Photo By The Climate Reality Project, Unsplash

Photo By The Climate Reality Project, Unsplash

Two Conferences Educate and Recognize Leaders

Alyce Lee Stansbury, CFRE, Notes on Nonprofits

Two long-standing opportunities for employee education were held last week, including Planet Philanthropy and the United Partners for Human Services conference. Here are a few highlights: 

This year’s Planet Philanthropy, hosted by the Florida Caucus of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, was held in St. Petersburg.

Over 350 EDs, fundraising professionals, and board members from across the state gathered to learn more about fundraising trends, best practices for annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, special events, stewardship, and the latest tools and technology to support fundraising, social media, and branding. 

Local attendees included Tank Ackerman and Doug Stevens, Live the Life Ministries; Leonard Parkhurst, Salvation Army; Gail Alexander, Westminster Communities Foundation; Lisa Heil, Southern Scholarship Foundation; Alexis Simoneau, CharityEngine; Kendrah Richards, Tallahassee Community College Foundation; Jennifer Naff, Tallahassee Senior Center Foundation; Rachael Schirmer, Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida; and me. 

I was proud to be part of the line-up of speakers from across the country including T. Clay Buck, Cherian Koshy, Chad Barger, Julia Campbell, Liz Wooten Reschke, Jen Filla, Alice Ferris, Jim Anderson, and many more. 

Mike Geiger, CEO of AFP Global, shared findings from a 2021-member survey in which more than 75% of respondents reporting having been sexually harassed by a co-worker, donor, board member, or both.

As part of its response, AFP is developing a Fundraiser Bill of Rights that will address bias, sexual harassment, equity, and anti-racism. Learn more at

Tips for supporting employees

The highlight of the conference for me were remarks from author and TEDx speaker, Ian Adair, one of the leading voices in a movement to encourage nonprofit leaders to take bold action to support the mental health of its workforce.

Adair stated unequivocally, “Leadership today is about taking care of people responsible for the work, not just the work itself.” 

Because there is no health without mental health, Ian offered the following strategies to cultivate a culture of empathy and support in your nonprofit: 

  • Check in with employees regularly which means more than just their annual review. 
  • Practice gratitude. 
  • Create no meeting days. 
  • Ensure self-care breaks. 
  • Celebrate small wins together. 
  • Make it OK to talk about feelings and uncertainty. 
  • Recognize and reward good work. 

United Partners Recognition

Also held this week was the 23rd annual conference hosted by United Partners for Human Services. This year’s conference was attended by over 250 nonprofit leaders representing 68 UPHS member agencies.

Sessions were provided by 31 speakers and panelists in four tracks including organizational resilience; diversity, equity, and inclusion; leadership; and sustainability.

The conference was made possible by the generous support of its title sponsor James Moore as well as the City of Tallahassee, Leon County Government, Care Point Health and Wellness/Big Bend Cares, and Prime Meridian Bank. Special thanks to the FSU Askew School of Public Administration which enabled the conference to be held at the Turnbull Center.   

Royle King, III, Executive Director of Omega Lamplighters, was honored as this year’s recipient of the Kris Knab Service Award. Kris Knab was a true servant leader, beloved former Executive Director of Legal Services of North Florida and founding member of UPHS who passed away in 2018. Criteria for the award includes exemplary leadership; engagement in the human services sector; community service; dedication; and impact.

I would also like to recognize all of this year’s nominees for their outstanding dedication and service: Jackie Fortmann, Deputy Director, Ability 1st; Russell Harrison, Executive Director, Born 2 Be a Man; Dr. Adrienne Peters, Executive Director, The Achieve Academy; Allyne Smith, Volunteer, Guardian ad Litem; and Samantha Vance, Executive Director, Connecting Everyone with Second Chances. 

Notes on Nonprofits Live on Facebook

I hope you will join me and Felina Martin at noon Tuesday, June 14, for this month’s Notes on Nonprofits Live on Facebook. Our topic is “To Event or Not to Event?”

We will discuss the pros and cons of fundraising events. Felina and I have differing views on this topic so it should be a lively discussion. Bring your questions and we will do our best to answer them! (View video of the event here:

Notes on Nonprofits is a column in the Tallahassee Democrat produced by Alyce Lee Stansbury, CFRE, President of Stansbury Consulting, and includes resources, responses to reader questions, guest columns, and timeless topics. This column first appeared on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Please send your comments and questions.

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