The Nonprofit Management Institute 2012

New Skills for a Complex World

September 11-12, 2012
Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center, McCaw Hall
326 Galvez St.
Stanford, CA



2012 Nonprofit Management Institute
For the seventh consecutive year, nonprofit leaders from across the US and the world came to the Stanford campus to attend the Nonprofit Management Institute. The theme “Building New Skills in a Complex World” provided a lens for two full days of sessions aimed at supporting the important work nonprofit leaders do to run their organizations and achieve impact in today's quickly evolving operating environment.

The Nonprofit Management Institute's presenters are leaders in the field of social change: academics known for their work at Stanford and at other renowned universities and practitioners who share their insights and experiences from successes in the field. The Institute also offers many opportunities for networking, including small group activities, receptions, and group lunches with affinity table seating. We aim for participants to leave energized, brimming with ideas for their organizations, and with a long list of new contacts.

The Nonprofit Management Institute is for senior-level nonprofit executives including CEOs, executive directors, board members, and others with significant leadership responsibilities. Sessions are for leaders at all types and sizes of organizations, domestic or international. In 2013, attendees came from 30 states and 8 countries. About 15% of participants are funders. Every year the Nonprofit Management Institute features an all-new program; so many attendees come again and again.

2012 Program Overview
The goal of the 2012 Nonprofit Managment Institute is to help you become a more effective leader by developing new skills for our complex, hyperconnected world. Some of the session topics are aimed at supporting your personal leadership skills to better match with today’s new workforce and rapidly accelerating technology change. Other sessions will focus on how you can better steer your organization and take advantage of new learnings in our sector. Additional presentations will provide you with a new way of looking at the evolving nonprofit landscape and collaborating across sectors. We aim for you to leave energized, brimming with ideas for your organization, and with a long list of new contacts. 

2012 Nonprofit Management Institute


2012 Sessions

How to Make Better, Bolder Decisions
Chip Heath, Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford Graduate School of Business


Thinking About Talent
Sal Giambanco, Partner, Omidyar Network, and Lecturer, University of San Francisco School of Management

Creating Shared Vision: Scholars, Leaders, and Practitioners
Kim Meredith, Executive Director, Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS)

New Skills for the New Social Economy
Rob Reich, Associate Professor of Political Science, Stanford University, and Faculty Co-director, Stanford PACS
Lucy Bernholz, Visiting Scholar, PACS

Becoming Networked Nonprofits: What Nonprofit Leaders Need to Know to Succeed in the Age of Connectedness
Beth Kanter, Author, Beth's Blog, and Co-author, The Networked Nonprofit

Using Brand Democracy and Affinity to Drive Your Mission
Nathalie Kylander, Lecturer, John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Researcher, Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard University

Strange Bedfellows: Leadership, Trust, and Collaboration
Akaya Windwood, President, Rockwood Leadership Institute

Forces for Local Good: Applying the Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits
Heather McLeod Grant, Senior Consultant, Monitor Institute

A Crash Course on Creativity
Tina Seelig, Executive Director, Stanford Technology Ventures Program, and Director, National Center of Engineering Pathways to Innovation


Photos and Podcasts


Attendees chat during lunch.

The audience during one of the presentations.


Sal Giambanco “Thinking About Talent”
Akaya Windwood “The Art of Collaborative Leadership”
Tina Seelig “A Crash Course on Creativity”
Nathalie Kylander “The Critical Role of the Strategic Brand”
Lucy Bernholz “New Skills for the New Social Economy”
Heather McLeod Grant “Creating Forces for Good in Nonprofit Management”
Beth Kanter “Network Mindsets in Nonprofit Management”


What Past Attendees Liked

“This conference is unique in providing tools and a platform to be more strategic, deliberate, and innovative in moving our organizations forward in this new social economy. This isn't the conference that simply gets you on the emotional “change the world with these few steps” ride. Instead, this conference deepens our knowledge, our work and provides resources that have the potential of leaving a lasting footprint on our communities.”

“This conference celebrated thought leadership and enabled me to think globally and strategically. Thank you!”

“Caliber of speakers is outstanding and relevancy cannot be matched by any other conference.”

“Astonishing level of correlation/relevance to our world and to our opportunities. A very interesting mix of academia/field expertise. Mostly excellent presenters both in content and presentation. And lastly—good hosts and perfect location.”

“This institute consistently delivers high quality speakers, timely topics, research-based methodologies, and thoughtful hospitality. What I find most compelling about this program are the profound questions it generates for leaders, organizations and the nonprofit sector. Thank you so much for investing in nonprofit leadership development so intentionally.”

“This was my first time to attend. Will be sending staff and partners in the future!”

“Overall, this was one of the best professional development events I have ever attended. Many of the ideas presented at the Institute will probably be discussed by our senior staff or board. I am going to recommend our CEO or Chief Development Officer attend next year. Go Cardinal!”

“Conference is a great resource—gets you thinking, exposes attendees to new ideas, speakers and sparks creativity.”

“Loved participating in this conference. Overall, the topics were quite relevant to my work and I'm excited about having a new set of tools as I take in new work in 2012. Topics that weren't directly related were also very interesting and expanded my thinking on a personal level. This is just what I needed at this point in my career and left me wanting more!”


Exhibiting Sponsor

Stanford Social Innovation Review and the Association of Fundraising Professionals thank this organization for its generous support of the conference:

FrontStream Payments

The ultimate in fundraising flexibility for nonprofits of all sizes.



The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Since 1960, AFP has inspired global change and supported efforts that generated over $1 trillion. AFP's nearly 30,000 individual and organizational members raise over $100 billion annually, equivalent to one-third of all charitable giving in North America and millions more around the world. The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. For more information or to join the world's largest association of fundraising professionals, visit

Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) is an award-winning magazine and website that covers cross-sector solutions to global problems. SSIR is written for and by social change leaders in the nonprofit, business, and government sectors who view collaboration as key to solving environmental, social, and economic justice issues. Published at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, SSIR bridges academic theory and practice with ideas about achieving social change. SSIR covers a wide range of subjects, from microfinance and green businesses to social networks and human rights. Its aim is both to inform and to inspire.

The Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS) develops and shares knowledge to improve philanthropy, strengthen civil society and effect social change.  Stanford PACS is a research center for students, scholars and practitioners to explore and share ideas that create social change. Its primary participants are Stanford faculty, visiting scholars, postdoctoral scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, and nonprofit and foundation practitioners.  As publisher of SSIR, Stanford PACS informs policy and social innovation, philanthropic investment, and nonprofit practice.