Our Leaders in Action

Throughout the year, members of the BoardSource team speak at conferences and events across the country about nonprofit board service. Take a look at our upcoming speaking engagements to see where we’re off to next.


April 16th: AFP International Fundraising Conference | New Orleans, LA

Anne Wallestad, President & CEO

The risk of under investing in fundraising: The conversation boards aren’t having about fundraising effectiveness

Under investing in fundraising can create real risks, but too often that gets overlooked in most conversations about fundraising effectiveness. This session will share a new framework for measuring fundraising effectiveness designed to help boards and staffs have informed conversations about the importance of a well-balanced fundraising strategy.


March 16th | Boston Bar Association | Boston, MA

Vernetta Walker will speak at the Boston Bar Association headquarters. The topic is our Leading with Intent findings on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and its connections to nonprofit governance.



February 20th: Association of Fundraising Professionals | The Impact of Diversity: Understanding How Nonprofit Board Diversity Affects Philanthropy, Leadership, and Board Engagement | Indiana

Vernetta Walker



December 5-6: Council on Foundations, CEO & Trustee Retreat | Miami, FL

Anne Wallestad, President & CEO

The Council on Foundations will host its second annual CEO & Trustee Retreat, in partnership with BoardSource. This dynamic learning event will take place December 5-6, 2017 in Miami, Florida. The CEO & Trustee Retreat is designed to help energize foundation executives through leadership development, exposure to stimulating intellectual activities, and an opportunity to re-charge personally through networking and peer learning with colleagues.


November 7-8, 2017: The Giving Institute, November Meeting | Chicago, IL

Anne Wallestad, President & CEO of BoardSource, will provide an introduction to BoardSource’s groundbreaking new framework for evaluating fundraising effectiveness — one that provides a balanced approach that emphasizes how important it is to invest in strong and sustainable fundraising program.

November 9, 2017: Association of Fundraising Professionals, Workshop: “Diversity Deadlock?” | New York, NY

As more funders center on diversity in their decisions, how will the broader nonprofit economy be reshaped? And how will that affect you and your fundraising goals and outcomes? Join a moderated panel of grant makers and nonprofit staff for a discussion of diversity, fairness, and funding.

November 9, 2017: BradyWare | Take Five Nonprofit Leadership Conference 2017 | Fairborn, OH

Jenifer Holland delivered the keynote address “Exploring Greater Impact through Strategic Partnerships”. The conference theme is “Strategic Alliances and Partnerships: Working Together to Build the Organizations of Tomorrow”.

Past engagements


October 2, 2017: National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) Conference | Washington, DC

Vernetta Walker, Vice President, Programs & Chief Governance Officer

Vernetta will be participating in a panel entitled “Bridging the Great Divide: Toward Better Communication between Charities Regulators and the Charitable Sector” alongside Tim Delaney, President and CEO of the National Council on Nonprofits, and Sean Parnell, Vice President of Public Policy of Philanthropy Roundtable. The panel will be moderated by Cindy M. Lott, the Director of Nonprofit Management Programs at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. 


August 10: New Detroit, Inc. Inaugural Board Meeting Commemoration | Detroit, MI

Carol Goss, Fellow, Advanced Leadership Initiative program, Harvard University
BoardSource board member

Carol joined a panel with The Hon. Alma G. Stallworth, former State Rep. and founder of the Black Caucus Foundation of MI, Father Norman P. Thomas, long-time pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Eastern Market, and moderated by Catherine Kelly, former publisher of the Michigan Citizen.

About the event: New Detroit, Inc., held a special board meeting Thursday, August 10 to commemorate its inaugural board meeting, held August 10, 1967, and to examine the status of race relations in Detroit and Southeast Michigan 50 years later. New Detroit, Inc. is a racial justice organization comprised of leaders from civil rights and advocacy organizations, human services, health and community organizations, business, labor, foundations, education, media and clergy. It is a private, non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Learn more about the event at the Michigan Chronicle.


July 11: 2016-2017 American Express NGen Fellows | Washington, DC

Anne Wallestad, President & CEO

Anne will discuss her personal leadership journey and participate in an intimate, open conversation about leadership in uncertain times and how to model leadership and productive civil discourse in an increasingly divided America.

About the program: The American Express NGen Fellows Program gives emerging nonprofit and philanthropic leaders, age 40 and under, an exceptional opportunity to strengthen their capacity for future impact. Over the course of twelve months, Fellows collaborate with other talented NGen leaders, interact with established social sector leaders, and contribute to Independent Sector’s work on nonprofit and philanthropic impact and leadership.


June 7: The Better Together Fund Summit | Dallas, Texas

Anne Wallestad, President & CEO

About the event: The Dallas Foundation, The Lyda Hill Foundation, The Meadows Foundation and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas joined forces to launch the Better Together Fund to encourage and support nonprofits to explore formal, long-term collaborations as a way to maximize impact.

Anne Wallestad joins the event as a guest speaker, participating in discussions that introduce the initiative, discuss the principles and practices of formal collaboration, and share how to access the fund’s resources.


June 20: Service Unites: Conference on Volunteering and Service | Seattle, Washington

Anne Wallestad, President & CEO

Susan Comfort, Vice President Strategic Development & Partnerships

Susan and Anne will present “Making the Most of Employee Nonprofit Board Service: What Companies Need to Know.” The session discusses nonprofit board service as a compelling tool for professional development and community impact and explores the practices leading companies undertake to set up their board service programs and policies.

About the conference: Points of Light’s Conference on Volunteering and Service is the largest service-related convening of nonprofit, government, business and civic leaders in the world. The conference encourages attendees to work together to increase the number of volunteers in the world and the impact of the work they do.


June 27: Baltimore Leadership Symposium | Baltimore, Maryland

Jenifer Holland, Senior Director of Programs and Consulting

Jenifer will present “Exploring Greater Impact Through Strategic Partnerships” at the T. Rowe Price Foundation’s Leadership Symposium.


May 15: Causecast | Washington, DC

Anne Wallestad, President & CEO

Anne Wallestad joins a panel to present “Perspectives: Best Practices in Community Engagement” in which innovative companies discuss the next wave of social impact.

More about the conference: The +IMPACT East Conference combines the flavor and community spirit of +IMPACT with hands-on, practical elements that will help workplace giving and volunteering program leaders and nonprofit leaders come together in new ways to create strategic impact during changing times.


April 4: Statewide Afterschool Networks | Los Angeles, California

Jenifer Holland, Director of Consulting
Justin Wood, Governance Programs Manager

Jenifer and Justin will present “Sector Snapshot: How does your Leadership Team Compare?” The panel will use Leading with Intent as a starting point to share valuable information about the state of governing leadership today. They will focus on practical strategies nonprofit leaders can use to assess, build, and maintain an effective governing culture. Additionally, Jenifer and Justin will moderate a panel on network committees, “The Focus Factor: Making the Most of Network Committees.”

About the conference: Afterschool Works: Empowering Students with Skills for Success, the 2017 network meeting, brings together leaders from all 50 states who are championing afterschool and summer learning programs as a potential support and solution for early workforce development.


April 6: The Center for Effective Philanthropy | Boston, Massachusetts

Anne Wallestad, President & CEO

Phillip Henderson, BoardSource Board Member

Anne Wallestad and Phillip Henderson will participate on a panel discussing the relationship between CEOs and boards of directors. Among the questions answered will be: How can foundation CEOs develop and manage a dynamic board of directors that contributes to greater impact? How can foundation boards support their CEOs and challenge them to achieve results?

More about the conference: Leading Effective Foundations, CEP’s biennial national conference, provides philanthropic leaders with resources to maximize their effectiveness. The conference will bring together foundation leaders and major donors from across the country to engage with the most pressing issues facing the field.


April 17-19: The Nonprofit Association of Oregon | Portland, Redmond, and Eugene, Oregon

Anne Wallestad, President & CEO

Anne Wallestad joins The Nonprofit Association of Oregon to discuss the big questions that nonprofit leaders face in times of change. She will lead a reflection and discussion on this moment in nonprofit leadership — what we can learn from what’s happening across the sector and how to translate that into positive momentum and action in Oregon.


April 26: The Council on Foundations | Dallas, Texas

Sherece West-Scantlebury, BoardSource Board Member

Sherece West-Scantlebury will moderate, “Listening and Leading in a Divided America,” the closing plenary of the Council on Foundations 2017 Annual Conference. The session will feature two thoughtful and provocative authors who will share their unique perspectives on diversity and divide in today’s America and discuss what we can do to bring our nation together.

More about the conference: Leading Together is a thought-provoking experience dedicated to exploring the essential role that philanthropy plays in society and in creating transformational change. The conference will take place over four energizing days filled with dynamic keynotes, sessions, and networking events.


April 27: The Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership | Kansas City, Missouri

Vernetta Walker, Vice President of Programs & Chief Governance Officer

Vernetta Walker will present the conference’s keynote address. She will discuss the findings of the 2017 Leading with Intent governance survey.

More about the conference: The Many Faces of Nonprofit Governance will challenge practitioners and researchers as they come together to examine from multiple perspectives how we engage in governance and how governance and the work of boards is and will continue to be evolving in these challenging and dynamic times.


March 5: Dance/NYC

Vernetta Walker, Vice President of Programs & Chief Governance Officer

Vernetta will join leading national voices to moderate “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on Dance Boards.”  The session will discuss how to engage board members who traditionally have been excluded from the audience, management, and decision-making in arts organizations. It will help arts leaders who want to understand the issues—from a local and national perspective—and provide real strategies to move the dial forward.

About the conference: Dance/NYC’s 2017 Symposiom, the only full-day gathering of the dance community in the New York metropolitan area, aims to share information and innovation and to stimulate awareness, interest, and ongoing engagement in dance.

Dance/NYC Presents Eighth Annual 2017 Symposium” | Broadway World.


March 7: Independent Sector | Webinar

Anne Wallestad, President & CEO

Anne Wallestad will join nonprofit leaders for “Put Your Voice Where Your Mission Is,” a webinar that will discuss how to begin positioning your organization for advocacy success by engaging your board, aligning your staff, and leveraging coalitions.


February 9: National Health Council | Tampa, Florida

Vernetta Walker, Vice President of Programs & Chief Governance Officer

Vernetta Walker will discuss best practices for partnering with board leaders, staff, and volunteers on a panel titled, “One Big Happy Family: Strengthening the Partnerships Within.”

More about the conference: The 2017 National Health Council Health Leadership Conference brings chief executive officers and board leadership from the nation’s leading patient advocacy organizations together to look at trends in nonprofit organization management and emerging issues in health care.


February 27: American Alliance of Museums | Washington, DC

Anne Wallestad, President & CEO

Anne Wallestad will join museum professionals on a panel entitled, “The Vital Role of Trustees in Advocacy.” She will provide a preview of the American Alliance of Museums’ Leading with Intent survey results about board members and advocacy, and discuss how museums are successfully leveraging their board members with policymakers and public officials.

More about the event: Museums Advocacy Day is a unique opportunity for museum professionals and supporters to make the case for museums. Advocates take part in a day of issue briefings and then prepare for the following day’s meetings on Capitol Hill with members of Congress and their staffs.

Fifty Percent More Advocates Will Visit Capitol Hill on February 28 to Speak Up for Museums” | University Chronicle


November 16: Independent Sector | Washington, DC

Anne Wallestad, President & CEO

Along with three co-presenters, Anne Wallestad will present “Frame-Breaking Ideas for 21st Century Fundraising.” The session will roll out a new Fundraising Culture Assessment tool and will candidly discuss what kind of leadership and resources organizations and boards need to advance fundraising effectiveness.

More about the conference: The Independent Sector Conference is the meeting ground for leaders and changemakers looking to drive momentum for the charitable community, set the sector’s agenda for the coming year, and collaborate on strategies for success.


November 17: Alliance for Nonprofit Management National Conference | Washington, DC

Rick Moyers, BoardSource Board Chair

Given the importance of the board chair role, it is surprising that there is little research in the governance literature focused on the nonprofit board chair. This panel, “Voices of Nonprofit Board Chairs:  A National Research Study on How They Prepare For and Perceive Their Role in Relation to the Board, Community, and CEO,” will discuss the study conducted by a research team of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s Governance Affinity Group. The study examined two questions researchers believe will help advance the sector’s understanding of board chairs and their importance to governance.

About the conference: The Alliance 2016 annual conference is in collaboration with the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organization’s (ARNOVA) conference. Research to Practice has been the key program of the Alliance and this partnership with ARNOVA will further solidify the research to practice continuum between Alliance members practicing capacity building and the researchers engaging in cutting-edge research.


November 18: ARNOVA | Washington, DC

Chris Thompson, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation

Chris will present “The Revolution Will Be Data Driven: New Opportunities for Disruptive Nonprofit Research in an Open Data World.” With three co-presenters, Chris will discuss how recent developments with nonprofit data at the BLS and the IRS offer exciting new opportunities for researchers to operate at unprecedented scale and detail.

More about the conference: The ARNOVA conference is designed to create a public conversation on, as well as opportunities for presenting research about, pressing issues and vital opportunities facing the voluntary or nonprofit sector. It is both a showcase for the best and most current research, as well as a seed bed from which new research is born.