The Nonprofit Congress is an initiative of the National Council of Nonprofit Associations (“NCNA”) and the state association network The initiative was founded in 2005 by Audrey Alvarado, former executive director of NCNA, and Robert Egger, President/CEO of DC Central Kitchen, in order to fulfill a threefold purpose: (1) to ensure that the nonprofit sector has the resources it needs to serve communities and that it is effectively and efficiently managed, (2) to empower individuals and nonprofits to act collectively for positive change, and (3) to increase public understanding and support of nonprofits.
Throughout each year, town hall meetings are conducted in each state, where local nonprofits can meet to discuss their needs, goals, and priorities.This year’s compilation of town hall meetings can be found here.
This year, the Nonprofit Congress National Meeting took place from June 1 to June 4, and featured a nonprofit expo, networking sessions, educational sessions, and a lobby day. Over 500 attendees gathered to discuss the most pressing issues affecting the sector: leadership, capacity building, and public awareness.
The opening plenary titled “Our Values in Action”, featured Kari Galloway of Friends of Guest House (a shelter and center for empowerment for women convicted of a criminal offense) and Jennie Niles of E.L. Haynes Public Charter School; they spoke on behalf of the communities they served and strengthened. Ms. Galloway introduced Jennifer McDaniel, who spoke passionately about her recovery story—from heroin addict, prostitute, and thief, to a well-established professional dog groomer— due in large part to the help she received from Friends of Guest House.The opening speech set a tone of inspiration for the rest of the conference.
Robert Egger, president of the D.C. Central Kitchen and co-founder of the Nonprofit Congress, gave another notable speech the following morning. The talk, entitled “Nonprofits Engaged in the Political Process” warned of the upcoming funding battle nonprofits will face due to government budget cuts. He urged leaders of the nonprofit communities to communicate openly and actively with their elected representatives, to make the nonprofit voice known. His speech roused increased participation in the Congress’ scheduled Lobby Day, which drew more than one hundred nonprofit delegates to the steps of the Dirksen Senate Building to call on their respective Senators and Representatives with a united front of furthering the Nonprofit Congress’ mission and values.
Next year’s Nonprofit Congress will take place in New Orleans from May 14 – 16.
Click here for the National Meeting Session Materials, including those on:
– Taleen Alexander
Taleen Alexander is a new contributor to the Nonprofit Law Blog. Taleen is a 2L at UC Hastings and an aspiring tax attorney.