“We have to approach employees like we get customers,” RKL Operations Consulting Practice Leader Bob Pozesky told a packed room of not-for-profit leaders from across the region at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim Tuesday morning. “It’s an active game, not a passive game. It’s playing offense.”
Bob and Human Capital Management Consultant Stephane Smith’s presentation on Next-Level Leadership was among the opening sessions of this year’s Not-for-Profit Forum, which saw record attendance of 125 participants for the first year in its new all-day format. From the Dauphin County Library System to senior living providers and Community Aid, attendees from nearly every facet of the local nonprofit world came out to learn about maximizing recruitment and retention, the future of fundraising, fraud prevention and more.
Bob and Stephane’s session followed an interim tax reform update delivered by Stephanie Kane, and opening remarks from the day’s emcee, Partner and Not-for-Profit Industry Group Leader Doug Berman, who awarded prizes throughout the day to a few lucky attendees, including an Eagles cooler, outdoor camp chairs, Starbucks gift cards and more.
Later in the morning, Fundraising Strategist Chad Barger urged not-for-profit leaders not to get hung up on dollar goals or on competition with other nonprofits.
“For fundraising staff, many will have a dollar goal,” Barger said. “Very few have visit goals. On top of that (fundraising), we need to get out and meet with a hundred donors face to face this year. It’s planting seeds for the future.”
Perhaps the most moving session of the day was that of RKL client and Marine Corps Sgt. Chris Kaag, an adaptive athlete and founder of the IM ABLE Foundation, which since 2007, has been providing grants to athletes for the purchase of sports equipment to help them overcome physical challenges. Kaag’s military career was cut short when he was diagnosed with a degenerative nerve condition that would eventually take away his ability to walk. Following his service, he earned a business degree from Penn State and opened the popular Corps Fitness gym in Wyomissing, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.
Post-lunch learning sessions included the ever-relevant topic of fraud in the not-for-profit industry, led by Partner and Consulting Group leader Bethany A. Novis and Consultant Jeremy Witmer, updates on not-for-profit financial reporting standards by Adam Waszkiewicz and a closing legal session by Fox Rothschild Partner Richard Caputo on avoiding the top 20 most common nonprofit organizational errors and mitigating risk.
The varied topics of the day were lauded by many in attendance, including Angie Lightfoot Roth, who was named Chief Financial Officer of the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County in June.
“The fraud presentation was fantastic,” she said. “Some things that Chad said about fundraising were very contrary to the beliefs that some of my fundraising team members have, so that’ll be interesting to take back. And Chris Kaag’s presentation – I think it’s nice sometimes to have those inspirational things, because on the finance side of things, there’s not a lot to inspire you.”
Couldn’t make it to this year’s event? Or, attended but interested in continuing the conversation? Contact RKL to discuss how we can help your not-for-profit develop a game plan for success.