Annual Nonprofit Governance Symposium

SAVE THE DATE: 2018 Governance Symposium

January 25-27th, 2018


The purpose of the Annual Nonprofit Governance Symposium is to highlight current best practices, lessons learned from the field, and trends in exceptional nonprofit and philanthropic board leadership, as well as board recruitment and retention. The premise is that governing well is essential for strong nonprofits working efficiently and effectively to address critical needs in our communities. This year, the overarching theme is People, Planet, Profit: A Triple Bottom Line Accountability Accounting Framework for Governance.  This theme is woven throughout plenaries, seminars, and workshops organized around three modes of governance: fiduciary, strategic, and generative.

Our opening reception on Thursday evening features the Kaleidoscope award, showcasing what good governance looks like and initial thoughts from the Kaleidoscope award-winning board on how they are incorporating the People, Planet, Profit framework into board governance. On Friday morning, we set the stage with opening remarks by President Harris underscoring USD’s mission, vision and values as they relate to the People, Planet, Profit framework. The first plenary then highlights how government, business, and the nonprofit sector are looking at the San Diego region from a triple bottom line approach. The second plenary will be a moderated discussion with reflections from leaders on nonprofit and philanthropy boards about integrating People, Planet, Profit as an accountability framework for nonprofits. The workshops and seminars use a combination of case studies, experiential and interactive learning approaches for participants to be exposed to best practices, hear lessons learned, and gain valuable tools of the trade in good governance.  



Thank you for your support at the 2017 Governance Symposium! 

"What can I do?"

-The Blind Boys of Alabama, William Bell, Chris Goldsmith

What Can I Do? is the latest in a long series of uplifting songs from the Grammy Award winning gospel group, The Blind Boys of Alabama and their producer Chris Goldsmith. The song implores people to become more involved in helping a friend, or a group or a community, in any way they can. 
Governing well is one of the most profound ways to help our communities.  
And when it's exceptional, it has the biggest reach of all. The Blind Boys and their co-writers want to be part of a movement that catalyzes more people. To this end, they gift us this anthem to use in our work here and across the country.
Join us at the Nonprofit Governance Symposium to find out how we can grow exceptional boards, engage our communities and use "What Can I Do?" to support our work.  Going into the 13th year, this conference is designed to help nonprofits and philanthropies govern more effectively.  It's objectives are simple:  to educate participants about the sector; inspire them to make positive changes to their organizations; and connect them with one another so that all can better understand the regional context that they operate within.
On January 12th, Liz Shear, USD Nonprofit Symposium Director will facilitate the third annual Kaleidoscope Tour to learn from two Kaleidoscope Award winners and get a bird's eye view of what makes exceptional boards tick.
On January 13th, we feature how to grow exceptional boards:
  • We present the 2017 Kaleidoscope Award for Exceptional Governance followed by a frank conversation among board members and staff, who teach us how they work and what they have learned.
  • Keynoter Jackie VanderBrug, managing director, investment strategist, global wealth and investment management, U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management, shows us "How to Put Our Money Where Our Mission Is" through using a solid, high return and value-based investing system.
  • And, 18 practical workshops will give you the latest best governance practices, as well as show you how to support a great board.
On January 14th, we bookend our day with two exciting plenary sessions on community engagement:
  • Paul Shoemaker, founding president of Social Ventures Partners International and author of What Can't Not Do discusses how to find like-minded people to support your cause.

  • Hernan Luis y Prado, founder and executive director, Workshops for Warriors and White House Champion of Change Award winner, offers practical ideas to "Change The World, One Warrior at a Time."

  • And, between the bookends, choose among 18 opportunities to learn how to amplify your mission reach through marketing, partnership, community engagement, leadership development and more.

  • Back by popular demand, is "Do It Right from the Get-Go", two special sessions for new and small organizations on board development and fundraising.

The revenue gained from the Governance Symposium goes towrads the scholarship fund for our students in the Master in Nonprofit Leadership and Mangagemnet program.  Over the past 12 years, we have been able to provide 125 scholarships to students with the $250,000 in revenue earned, reached over 12,000 individuals and have connected with over 5,000 nonprofits in San Diego, which enhances governance locally, providing educated growth in the nonprofit sector.

Be sure to check out the most up to date session materials on the Session Descriptions and Materials page!
2017 Symposium Signature Sponsors
US Trust
2017 Symposium Lead Sponsors
San Diego Gas and Electric Logo 
MossAdams Logo
For Purpose Law Group
Union Bank
USB Sponsor 
Supporting Sponsors
Sonnenberg & Company
Contributing Sponsors
YH Advisors
Carol Chatwick CPA A Professional Accounting Corporation
Participating Sponsors
San Diego Business Journal
San Diego Nonprofit Association
San Diego Grantmakers
Scholarship Funders:
Alliance Healthcare Logo
Jewish Community Foundation
The Sand Dollar Foundation