Bravo, I Say! Bravo!
Let me raise a glass to the good folks at the DMA Nonprofit Federation for their truly well done Leadership Summit in Denver last month. Being as it’s a workday, it’ll have to be iced tea, but champagne would be much more in keeping with the degree of kudos warranted.
The conference was attended by a smallish group of nonprofit professionals ranging from the heads of development at organizations of all sizes to the top dogs at some of the sector’s most respected agencies, consultancies and vendors.
True, most of the industry conferences I’ve attended in the past two years have afforded attendees myriad learning and networking opportunities, and even the so-so ones have had a lot going for them.
But the structure, even for someone who has been in the sector for as relatively short a time as I have, tends to get old, with participants gathering in crowded rooms, session after session, to listen to speakers and maybe interact with them in brief Q-and-A periods at the end — if time allows.
In Denver, the group met for a plenary session, then broke into smaller workshops for down-and-dirty discussion periods where participants shared their experiences with and asked questions of their peers, and wrangled with implications and possible actions stemming from the main session. Afterwards, we reconvened, and the facilitator of each group presented his or her group’s insights and conclusions.
Then we did it all again. Each time, the workshops consisted of a different combination of participants with different facilitators.
The Denver gathering shook up the traditional conference model and threw folks into a merry mix that allowed for much more in-depth discussion, livelier conversation and, overall, a highly productive use of two valuable days.
And so I say bravo to the DMA Nonprofit Federation for taking a chance, breaking the mold and keeping it fresh. I can’t wait for the next one.
Ah, there’s just no easy way to say this: FS Senior Editor Paul Barbagallo is moving on. He recently relocated to Washington, D.C., to take an editorial position in the development office of a nonprofit organization. (Go figure …)
Paul has been an incredible resource for FS from even before the magazine had a name. He was an associate editor in the Target Marketing Group here at North American Publishing for a few years before our publisher had even approached the company with an idea for a strategy guide for nonprofit development professionals. I’m sure many of you spoke to Paul long before I was hired as editor-in-chief.
He’s been a tireless advocate, inexhaustible staff member and exuberant public persona for FundRaising Success, as well as a friend and partner in crime to me. I hope you’ll join me in wishing him the best.
Stepping into Paul’s place will be Abny Santicola. She has been an assistant editor for FS and the rest of the TM Group for just more than a year. Prior to that, she was a copy editor for the Tri-County Record, a semi-weekly newspaper in Phoenixville, Pa. She was an editorial intern with the Philadelphia Weekly newspaper and an editor for the Temple Times. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Temple University.
Ab is a true professional and a joy to work with, as I’m sure you’ll all find out as you meet and begin to interact with her in her new role at FS.