Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 1:39 pm | Fair 58º


Partnership for Excellence Conference to Address Nonprofits’ Leadership, Economic Impacts

The Partnership for Excellence on Thursday will present its 22nd conference, Recognizing Our Strengths: Creating Excellence at Every Level.

Diana Whitney
Diana Whitney

The 500-plus participants from Santa Barbara County’s philanthropic sector will gain skills and resources to build relationships that inspire individuals to work from their strengths — bringing out the best in each other as they work together to enhance the community.

This premier conference is the single largest annual gathering on the Central Coast convening regional foundations, nonprofit organizations and community/business board members.

“As originally envisioned, this year’s conference will once again provide the space and time for conference participants to network, learn from each other and share our unique challenges,” said Pam Lewis, conference chairwoman and executive director of the Hutton Parker Foundation.

“We are very excited and proud to be presenting a day full of interaction, discovery and best practices.”

Keynote speaker Diana Whitney Ph.D., founder and director emerita of the Corporation for Positive Change, will present thought leadership on appreciative leadership, appreciative inquiry and positive change to drive winning performance and build thriving organizations.

In addition to her keynote, she will facilitate two practical learning sessions — one on recognizing strengths and the other on turning creative potential into positive power.

Guest speaker Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits, will present Causes Count, the first report of its kind to examine the nonprofit sector’s scope, activities and economic impact on the state of California.

While some research about the sector has been conducted, the present state of knowledge about the California philanthropic sector as a whole is extremely limited. This study addresses this deficiency and highlights economic contributions such as job creation, job retention, revenue and tax generation as well as public confidence in the sector.

“The practices of appreciative leadership help individuals and organizations leverage ‘what works’ — shifting people, meetings and client interactions from focusing on challenges to creating more vibrant impacts and opportunities,” said Judy Hawkins, the conference coordinator.

“We can all benefit from telling less and asking more.”

Started by the Foundation Roundtable, the Partnership for Excellence conference is an important event that seeks to create a forum for funders and nonprofit leaders from the philanthropic sector to learn, share and network together — building relationships, increased understanding and awareness of each other’s perspectives.

The event is sold out, but click here for more information on the program. The conference is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at The Fess Parker.

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