Independent Sector Annual Conference – 2006


While I was not able to attend the Independent Sector Annual Conference held this year in Minneapolis, I was able to follow some of the happenings thanks to the Independent Sector website.  The conference was attended by over 700 nonprofit leaders and scholars and highlighted the importance of collaboration in the nonprofit sector.

Diana Aviv, Independent Sector President and CEO, delivered the keynote speech: “Making a Difference Together.”  Among Ms. Aviv’s comments:

  • Our sacred promise to improve lives has been — and must continue to be — our ultimate purpose for existing.
  • Americans have high expectations for us.  We are the primary outlet for their humanitarian impulses, their conduits of goodwill and generosity.
  • Among the most discouraging realities for organizational leaders are funding patterns that appear to be more connected to the passions and personal associations of donors than with clear-headed conclusions about organizations that are making a real difference.
  • We are also a voice through which the people make clear their expectations of their political leaders.  The timing is right to be warming up that voice.
  • We must keep asking ourselves:  How do we make more of a difference in the lives of those we serve?
  • We need to make collaboration the centerpiece of our approach, to think from the start about how working with others can help us achieve our ultimate goals.

Read more about the conference here (you’ll find among other things transcripts of Ms. Aviv’s keynote; an illuminating Opening Plenary, State of Our Nation, featuring Andy Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union; and a Closing Plenary, When Corporations and Communities Connect.