The Northern Shenandoah Valley Nonprofit Alliance for Excellence and Shenandoah University School of Education and Human Development are hosting a one-day symposium at Stimpson Auditorium, Halpin-Harrison Hall, Shenandoah University on Tuesday, October 11th.

The symposium features five seminar sessions, two keynote addresses, breakfast and lunch. Registration is from 8 – 8:30 am and the symposium wraps up at 2 pm. The five seminars run concurrent, but are repeated, so you will have the opportunity to choose the two that seem most relevant to your nonprofit organization.

The schedule and seminar descriptions are below. Register online through October 3 for only $25 (AFP Members $15).  Click here to register, and you can download a pdf version of the program flyer for more information about the symposium, including speaker bios.


8:00 – 8:30 Registration, Continental Breakfast, and Visiting

8:30 – 8:45 Mini Workshop: Tools for Engaged Communication – Tammy Bjelland, Language In Bloom

8:45 – 9:00 Welcome and Introductions – Kim Herbstritt, Chair, Northern Shenandoah Valley Nonprofit Alliance for Excellence – Dennis Kellison, Ed.D., Director School of Education and Human Development, Shenandoah University

9:00 -10:00 Keynote Speaker – Dan Pallotta, Founder and President, Charity Defense Council (live video feed)  – Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential

10:00 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 11:00 Concurrent Seminars (see list and descriptions below)

11:15 – 12:00 Concurrent Seminars repeat

12:00 – 12:15 Break

12:15 – 1:30 Lunch and Keynote Speaker – Jeff Brooks, Creative Director, TrueSense Marketing

1:30 – 2:00 Closing Remarks – Ron Kaplan, Chairman of the Board Trex Company


Seminars are 45 minutes long and will be offered twice during the day.

1. Mini Workshop: Tools for Engaged Communication 

Maximize your engagement with symposium content by using social media and other communication tools, including: Twitter | Facebook | Pocket | Google Drive

Tammy Bjelland, Language In Bloom 

2. More War Paint – Louder Drums | Challenges of A Non-Profit Organization in a For Profit World 

In the non-profit sector, financial sustainability is the most critical of factors in defining organizational success. Cause or purpose, although very important, is a distant second. This is why non-profit organizations need to function with a for profit mindset. Sustainability depends on several factors, the most important of which is relevance. This is particularly so for local or regional non-profits that do not have a large, deep rooted geographic presence or high levels of political or star power to spotlight their efforts. In the simplest, and perhaps the cruelest of terms, if a non-profit organization is not relevant, it simply has no future. Following close on the heels of relevance as key definers of success are the tenets of entrepreneurial visioning, risk taking, internal investment, and forceful marketing. There also needs to be strong management of both internal and external influences as they, if not held in balance, can quickly recalibrate a non-profit’s gyroscope in a negative way. Dr. Abbey’s session will focus on these challenges and provide insight into options to overcome obstacles and create a clear path to success.

Osborne Abbey, Ed.D., Managing Director, Center for Holistic & Integrative Education

3. Measuring Impact in the Non-profit Sector

Non-profit organizations operate under constant pressure from their stakeholders to measure and document performance and impact. However, identifying meaningful, useful measures for the return on investment in the non-profit sector is often challenging and resource intensive. This presentation will provide an overview of some of the latest academic and practice based research that examines tools and methods that can be used to develop and implement quantifiable metrics that capture the impact of non-profit organizations.

Bogdan Daraban, Ph.D., Shenandoah University, Harry F. Byrd School of Business 

4. Financial Management for Not-for-Profits

This overview course will provide you with a more thorough understanding of not-for-profit basic accounting principles. We will explore areas such as the recommended chart of accounts structure, statement of financial position (balance sheet), statement of activities (income statement), cash vs. accrual basis of accounting, and IRS Form 990.

Olivia Hutton, CPA, Yount Hyde & Barbour 

5. Advocacy as Strategy

What does advocacy have to do with nonprofits? There are so many things we see that we want to change to support the health and wellness of individuals, families, and communities, but how and where do we begin? This seminar will cover the basic rules for nonprofit 501(c)3 advocacy, the importance of engaging in strategic advocacy to achieve mission, and examples of successful advocacy campaigns.

Kate Wofford, Director, Shenandoah Valley Network 

6. Legal & HR Issues 

Professor Winn will discuss current trends and laws affecting the not-for-profit workplace. This includes hiring, evaluation, compensation, and discipline. Emphasis will be placed upon practical and ethical management principles that promote best practices.

John Winn, J.D., LL.M, Shenandoah University, Harry F. Byrd School of Business


The Symposium is sponsored by the Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury, Yount, Hyde & Barbour, Hottel & Willis, P.C. and Partlow Insurance.

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