12th Annual Nonprofit Governance Symposium

Exceptional Governance Days

Registration is now open for the 2016 Symposium - January 7 - 9, 2016


Governance is the process of overseeing and advancing a cause for the common good on behalf of the community by a legally constituted board of directors.

Did you know that San Diego County is home to more than 9,000 nonprofits, of which about 6,500 are secular charities?  Did you know that together nonprofits employ 19% of San Diego’s workforce and contribute $5.5 billion in wages to our local economy? *  We count on our nonprofits such as youth sports, social service, health clinics, hospitals, advocacy organizations, arts, culture, civic engagement, neighborhood development, housing, environmental, education, faith-based agencies and more to make our communities work.

And every one of these organizations has a volunteer board of directors.  In San Diego County, about one-quarter of us serve on boards.  We take on the responsibility of governance out of the goodness of our hearts and passion for causes that matter to us.  Most of us learn about fiduciary stewardship through doing it, and most of us do it well.  Yet while this aspect of governance is fundamentally important, it often leaves us under-utilized, passive and somewhat disengaged.  In fact, in a major national survey, board and staff members gave themselves a “B-“ on board performance.  Could we be more? 

Yes, we can!

The board is a team of informed people who work together to ensure that an organization achieves its full potential.  Boards who practice exceptional governance are unstoppable, high performing, have fewer issues with retention and engagement, and create meaningful change in their fields.  They are collaborative, identify potential issues before they become problems, and accountable to the mission, organization and community.

We can grow exceptional governance if we:

  • Understand and practice the legal obligations of effective governance
  • Embrace the “governance as leadership” aka “kaleidoscope of governance” framework
  • Develop a highly performing governance team
  • Create and maintain a positive culture and precise social architecture
  • Become advocates for our cause

University of San Diego’s 12th Annual Nonprofit Governance Symposium is dedicated to exploring with you what exceptional governance requires from its leaders and staff, what makes a high performing board, what it’s impact is, and the precise social architecture that undergirds it.  We will also examine the internal and external landscapes of partnership, human resource development, new laws, finance, and advocacy.

We will feature concrete examples of exceptional boards; leadership lessons from the field, 30 seminars that will help you become better fiduciaries, strategists and sense makers plus plenty of time to connect with colleagues from across our community.

Hope to see you there!

*  San Diego State of Nonprofits, 2014, Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and   Philanthropic Research, University of San Diego.

** 2014 Governance Index: Leading with Intent, BoardSource. 


Be sure to check out the most up to date session materials on the Session Descriptions and Materials page!


2016 Symposium Sponsors

USB Sponsor

CBIZ logo

Friday Lunch

Union Bank

Signature Sponsors

  AKT logo

San Diego Gas and Electric Logo 

MossAdams Logo

Lead Sponsor

Bank of America Logo 

HealthWay Trust of California

Supporting Sponsors

    Jewish Community Foundation Friday Only



Sonnenberg & Company CPA

YH Advisors Logo

Participating Sponsor

YNPN San Diego

Highlights from the Tenth Annual Nonprofit Governance Symposium

Beyond the Boundaries of Nonprofit Governance

Pat Libby
2014 Nonprofit Governance Symposium Friday Keynote Speaker