Standing Beside Alaska's Non-Profits

2013 Foraker Leadership Summit – You All Need to Come

Storytelling is how we build community. We pass along knowledge, entertain, and engage each other when we tell stories. It is from this foundation that The Foraker Group is proud to present its third leadership summit with the focus on “Telling Our Stories.”

April 22-23, 2013 at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage, Alaska’s nonprofit leaders will convene to hear some of our sector’s leaders as well as have opportunity to connect with each other and discover how to better tell stories and serve our communities. Everyone is welcome. We want as many of the board, staff, and volunteer leaders of Alaska’s nonprofit sector as possible to come.

The first two leadership summits engaged a diverse crowd, each with over 400 people attending from throughout the state. Less than half of those at the first two summits were from Anchorage. We hope that again this year we can attract as many, or even more people from every corner of the state to Anchorage in April.

The focus of first summit in January 2007 was on becoming more strategic and preparing for what we could foresee as well as becoming better prepared for the unexpected. Nonprofit leaders from New Orleans told their stories of how they responded to their unexpected natural disaster – Hurricane Katrina. We also heard author Peter Brinckerhoff, a noted sector leader, present his latest research on how the transition from the Baby Boom Generation to the next generations would create significant challenges and opportunities for the nonprofit sector. We still hear feedback from those who came to that summit on how it continues to inform their effort to become more strategic.

Our second summit focused on leadership. We had sessions that focused on how to embrace new leadership models. Margaret Wheatley, the internationally recognized organizational consultant, author and lecturer presented her latest insights on how leadership models are changing and how today’s leader must become better at convening and listening, not just envisioning and inspiring. We also had Jim Sorensen from Context International who delivered a preview for what has become the newest ongoing leadership development program at Foraker, Catalyst for Excellence. It was also when Foraker presented the trends identified in its latest economic study including “the funding crisis, crash of the herd and sector restructuring.” Both summits helped to form a framework for ongoing dialog that we hope has positively influenced Alaska’s nonprofit sector.

Our website has detailed information on the speakers who will present at this year’s summit. Click here for information and to register. Again, we will have many noted national experts as well as local leaders as presenters. But I want to take this opportunity to add my own thoughts about why a few of this year’s speakers will be outstanding.

The first speaker I want to highlight is Thaler Pekar. Thaler developed a framework she calls “head, heart and head.” This system for persuasive communication has helped leaders throughout the world engage audiences and achieve policy goals, increase sales, or raise funds. While every speaker will address storytelling, she is uniquely qualified and has been recognized as a thought leader in this arena. She has worked with many noted clients like the Smithsonian Institution and Columbia University and is a regular contributor to Stanford Social Innovation Review’s blog.

In addition to Thaler, we will have two personal friends/presenters/inspirations. Michael Balaoing is a 20-year veteran of global philanthropy and nonprofit leadership and the former Senior Vice President of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. He is currently an independent consultant focused on helping people effectively tell their stories. I have heard Michael speak at Independent Sector and at the Council on Foundations and he steals the show. He exemplifies how to fully engage those we address by expressing our enthusiasm for our work.

The other close acquaintance I want to highlight is Steve Culbertson, the CEO of Youth Service America. YSA is an international nonprofit organization that partners with thousands of other organizations committed to increasing the quality and the quantity of volunteer opportunities for young people to serve locally, nationally, and globally. For two years in a row, the Nonprofit Times named him to its list of “The 50 most powerful and influential leaders” in the sector saying, “Culbertson has helped to position volunteering and young people as an issue and a national priority.” I first met Steve at an Independent Sector Conference. Now we serve together on the national board of Camp Fire. Every contact I have with Steve is a learning moment. I think one of his biggest gifts to his fellow Baby Boomers is how to communicate to better bridge the generational gap.

We have many more great presenters from around the country and state. We will have important material for you and for every person associated with your nonprofit. Our dedicated Summit volunteers are securing financial support to keep the costs low. We also can provide financial assistance for those outside Anchorage who need help to get here.

We want you to come. We need you to come. While the discount for early registration ended on March 1st, if you’ve read this far, you can still call our office and receive that discount until March 15. The Foraker Leadership Summits have been so warmly embraced by past attendees, we know many will return. And we have room for all first time participants. Don’t miss it!! If you do, you will have missed a meaningful experience.