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Impact in 2022: The Stories Behind the Numbers

Photo of Meriel Martinez, a Hispanic woman with short black hair, Charlie Imbergamo, a white man with grey hair and Emily Benham, a white woman with curly blond hair
Emily Benham

If there’s one word to define our current decade, it’s change. In 2022, the world changed again. From new pandemic protocols and hurricanes to emergent laws around DEI training, it was another year full of unexpected moments. And as the world continues to change, the Nonprofit Leadership Center does, too — always striving to be agile and responsive to the needs of our nonprofit community.

As we’ve assessed our organizational progress and impact in 2022, it’s the stories behind the numbers that stand out most.

2022 Stories of Impact: The Headlines

1. Nonprofit Professionals are Committed to Learning & Continuous Improvement

In 2022, nonprofit professionals and community leaders were hungry to learn and hone their skills. The Nonprofit Leadership Center saw more people attend our professional development events and learning experiences than before the pandemic. Total attendance across all events was up 24% from 2019 to 2022. That means nonprofit leaders and organizations are more committed to creating a culture of learning than ever.


2. Organizations are Making Good on DEI Commitments

While many organizations have said diversity, equity and inclusion is important, we saw many transform those words into actions during 2022. Both funders and nonprofit organizations chose to invest more resources into diversifying their boards and increasing their cultural competence. Investments from courageous corporate and foundation funding partners enabled the Nonprofit Leadership Center to expand our DEI programming at a time when many weren’t sure how and what to do in this critical area. With the tremendous support received during 2022, NLC is poised to significantly increase participation in our Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards Fellowship in 2023.


3. Everyone Agrees: Being Back Together is AWESOME

The Nonprofit Leadership Center’s 2022 Nonprofit Leadership Conference: Called to Action broke attendance and sponsorship records last year, even after being rescheduled due to Hurricane Ian. Speaker Nataly Kogan, bestselling author of “The Awesome Human Project,” helped hundreds of nonprofit leaders in attendance break the cycle of daily burnout to reclaim their joy.


4. Looking in the Mirror

A recent poll of our LinkedIn community revealed that talent acquisition and retention keep nonprofit leaders up at night. Here at the Nonprofit Leadership Center, we don’t just teach best practices; we consistently strive to model them. In 2022, we undertook an organization-wide compensation and benefits survey to ensure pay equity for our amazing team members.

Additionally, we launched a new initiative to dive deep into measuring impact. We interviewed more than two dozen nonprofit CEOs, professionals and funders to assess the current challenges associated with measuring and reporting impact and examined our own opportunities to do better. We can’t wait to share more with you on this in 2023 as we take an industry-leading approach.

So, here’s to making progress and making a difference. Here’s to the stories the numbers don’t always tell and to meaningful growth and impact in the year ahead.

Lead for Impact This Year

Join the Nonprofit Leadership Center for an upcoming training event or learning experience this year to strengthen your skills, team and nonprofit.

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Emily Benham


Emily H. Benham has more than 30 years of experience in the nonprofit field. She served for 9 years as the CEO of the Nonprofit Leadership Center from 2014-2023, Emily was the Interim President for Bayfront HERO (Health, Education and Research Organization), a health legacy foundation formed in 2013 with the net proceeds of the sale of Bayfront Medical Center to a for profit entity. Prior to the sale, she was a member of Bayfront Medical Center’s senior leadership team, and directed its philanthropic arm (Bayfront Health Foundation) for more than 20 years, raising millions of dollars for capital improvements for the hospital.

On June 30, 2023 Emily retired as CEO of the Nonprofit Leadership Center to launch a new private consulting practice.

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