Saturday, April 24, 2010

EPIP 2010 National Conference: Day 1 Recap

Yesterday, we kicked off the EPIP 2010 National Conference in Denver, Colorado. The theme for this year’s conference is "Building a Movement, Making an Impact” and we're excited to have a fabulous team of young nonprofit and philanthropy bloggers who did a great job covering the conference yesterday:

Robby Rodriguez co-author of Working Across Generations-Defining the Future of Nonprofit, started with a powerful reading from the book about transitioning from a intern at the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP)–an organization dedicated to fighting racial inequality–to taking the control of the organization at the age 28 in 1999. Robby faced a great deal of pressure: not only carrying the legacy of the organization’s founders and impact on the community but also dealing with age divide in the organization. Most of the staff was under 30, while the board was over 50; everyone was forced to take on different roles, adjust to new leadership, and re-examine motivations for being involved in with the organization. The crisis he faced embodies the challenges facing nonprofits today as different generations meet in the workplace.
Essentially, before we even begin to plan for new leadership, we need to open the discussion; examine assumptions about change and leadership; offer trust; acknowledge gifts within our organization; and talk about the future in terms of mission, impact, and succession planning.

Rosetta Thurman (nonprofit leader & consultant): Philanthropy Leaders Discuss Trends in Generational Change: It’s About Leading Together
Robby talked about the conversation about the nonprofit leadership “crisis” and how it’s changed in the past few years. In 2007, the worry was: “The boomers are leaving!” A 2001 Daring to Lead study said that 75 percent of executive directors planned to leave their jobs within five years. Yet, five years later, when a second Daring to Lead study was published in 2006, that percentage was the same. And the boomers still hadn’t left their jobs yet. So in 2010, the crisis is: “the boomers are staying!” And indeed, the boomers are staying. The youngest baby boomers are in their mid-40s, so they have at least 20 more years left in the nonprofit workforce.
Trista Harris (foundation professional): Council on Foundations 2010 Annual Conference
There is also this idea that there are no leaders in the sector. This happens when you have a vision of what leadership has to look like i.e. a six foot two white man with a degree from an ivy league college. If we can’t broaden our vision of what a leader is and check our assumptions, there will always be a “leadership crisis”.
Elizabeth Miller (foundation professional): EPIP Day One
We heard from Cynthia Gibson, who has more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector as a consultant and senior staff person for national nonprofits and philanthropic institutions. Gibson talked a little bit about her new effort called the “Generational Change Initiative” which will examine these trends and how the definition of philanthropy and social justice will shift as we see dynamic changes in the workplace. Gibson also talked about what she called “a perfect storm of whiteness” when it comes to the lack of diversity amongst nonprofit leadership and what efforts must be made in order to combat this problem.
Check back for more daily roundups of all of our blog posts! And be sure to check out the live webcast throughout the weekend.

Coming at you LIVE from Denver, Colorado, EPIP will be streaming a webcast of conference sessions through Sunday, April 25. The full schedule of video events is available here. The video player will be available on the EPIP home page at

We invite you to join the conversation by submitting questions to speakers and offering comments using our video player’s chat function! Throughout the live webcast programming, there will be opportunities to ask questions to guests and speakers. Just sign on via Twitter or Facebook chat or tweet your remarks to @justgOOdtv with #epip10 and the producer will place your questions or comments in queue. We encourage you to participate!

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