Nonprofit Next: A Model Conference Session

Tactical Philanthropy is currently covering the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations conference with the help of a blog team. This is a guest post by Stephanie McAuliffe of the David & Lucile Packard Foundation.

By Stephanie McAuliffe

image A lively session at GEO was the one led by Heather Gowdy and David LaPiana based on their work on “Nonprofit Next”. Their report on the five trends that are reshaping the social sector can be found here.

I walked in to find round tables quickly filling, which promise a sharing of the wisdom in the room. There were flip charts on the wall which promise a chance to get up and move around during the session. The session launched with a “share pair” question so the promises were immediately delivered when everyone stood up to enjoy a noisy exchange that was almost impossible to shut down.


David and Heather delivered the content from months of research and exchange with others in the field succinctly with images and stories. And then they posed a question to the crowd and let us exchange challenges and successes at our tables. The exchanges at our table ranged from cosmic questions about the blurring of the sectors to how advocacy organizations are using twitter. I walked away with my view of the world broadened to include a glimpse of life in rural Ohio, and a realization that the future is here by the time we have a chance to discuss it.