Strengthening Nonprofit Culture: Highlights from NLC’s 2019 Board & Senior Leadership Conference

Team NLC News

Do you remember playing the game tug-of-war as a child? You’d pull and pull with all your might, fighting the force of the other side until one team collapsed in exhaustion. That’s how it can feel working inside an organization that doesn’t have a strong culture. When nonprofit organizations are internally moving in opposite directions, we’re moving further from our missions.

This is the picture NLC Trainer Margarita Sarmiento painted when she opened NLC’s 2019 Board & Senior Leadership Conference presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Culture is defined as the underlying beliefs, assumptions, values and ways of interacting that contribute to the unique physical, social and psychological environment of an organization. But at the end of the day, it’s about every employee, board member and volunteer getting on the same side of the rope in tug-of-war. Culture is pulling on a common rope, with a common vision, working from a common purpose.

During our fall Board & Senior Leadership Conference, more than 130 nonprofit and board leaders came together to talk about how we can all strengthen and nurture our organizational culture to achieve greater impact.

Here are a few of the standout moments and takeaways from this powerful event.

NLC CEO Emily Benham kicked off the morning.
An amazing group of leaders was in the house!
Conference facilitator Margarita Sarmiento shared strategic advice and practical tips to help us think differently about organizational culture.
Our partner and sponsor JPMorgan Chase & Co. spent the day with us. We’re so grateful for their continued investment in strengthening our nonprofit community.

We’ll be sharing more tips and tools from this year’s conference in the coming days. In the meantime, you can dive deeper into culture for your organization by joining Margarita and NLC for one of her upcoming classes: