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June 6-7, 2023
Pre-Event June 5th
University of Wyoming's 
Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center
Laramie, WY

We are looking forward to bringing together nonprofit professionals, stakeholders, and regional and national speakers to our 2023 Leadership Summit in Laramie! This premier event provides opportunities for attendees to build skills, network, share ideas, and be inspired. 


June 5 - Pre-Event 

4:00 to 5:00 PM Registration Check-In at Hilton Garden Inn

5:00 to 6:30 PM - Join us for a WyoGives Mixer at Laramie Plains Civic Center. Meet other WyoGives participating organizations, gather great ideas, and pick up WyoGives fans and signs.

June 6

7:00 AM Breakfast Buffet

8:00 AM Keynote
Becca Stevens, Founder and President of Thistle Farms
Leading with Love - How to impact workforces, mission, and markets from a foundation built on love
Love Leadership in the not-for-profit world begins by not turning away, then working with courage and humility. It is knowing that people are the heroes of their own story and becoming hosts that recognize community is the oldest entity this world knows for healing.

9:30 - 10:20 Breakout Sessions

  • The Board and Executive Agreement: Bridging the Gap for Unprecedented Success -  Anna Wilcox
    Agreements serve our everyday lives as essential instruments for establishing clear expectations, building trust, resolving conflicts and ensuring collaboration and cooperation. We enter into various levels of agreements with everyone from our favorite morning barista to our 30-year mortgage lender and often overlook the need amongst those we work the closest with. Together we will explore what a Board & Executive Agreement might look like and the steps we take to create this crucial tool.
  • Current Donor Retention Trends and What You Can Do About It - James Goalder, Bloomerang
    What does the current state of donor retention in the sector look like and what can we learn from it? In a nutshell: The personal touch works. Creating a second gift strategy will help you make retention a priority. In this session, you’ll learn why donor retention is important while gaining practical retention tips and real-world examples you can use to ensure that your donors keep giving.
  • Older Volunteer Engagement: How Services Leads to Success - Shannon Taylor and Alexis Grieve, ServeWyoming
    In this session, ServeWyoming staff will present on how nonprofits benefit from recruiting volunteers older adults retirement age and beyond, and how that engagement positively impacts the volunteers themselves, both mentally and professionally. We will talk about inclusive recruitment and retention practices, what this section of volunteers bring to the table, and how to bust ageist myths in your company culture.

10:40 - 11:30 Breakout Sessions

  • Planned Giving for Small Nonprofits: Where to Start - Gregory Dyekman, LRW
    Planned giving can be challenging for smaller nonprofits, but it can also be life changing. In this session, Mr. Dyekman will review the basic concepts along with considerations and strategies for organizations new to planned giving.
  • Strategic Legitimacy in Nonprofit Organizations - Dr. Gabel Taggart, University of Wyoming
    Legitimacy is the perception that the actions of an organization are desirable or appropriate within some socially constructed system of values, norms, and beliefs. Legitimacy is a resource that enables organizations to succeed, persist, and receive other resources from its environment. In other words, organizations perceived as illegitimate are less likely to succeed, persist, or receive resources. In this session we'll explore frameworks of different forms of organizational legitimacy and diagnose strategies organizations can use for authentically defending or repairing these different forms of legitimacy among important stakeholders.
  • Social Justice 101 - Becca Stevens, Founder and President of Thistle Farms
    How to launch and scale enterprises in which the workforce is the mission to further the work of not-for-profits.
  • Strategic Planning: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How - Tiffany Comer Cook, The Align Team
    Strategic planning is a process that helps organizations define their purpose, vision, goals, and strategies for the future. This session will cover various elements of strategic planning, including information to help organizations know when they’re ready for it.

12:00 - 1:30 Lunch and Keynote
David L. Thompson, Vice President of Public Policy, National Council of Nonprofits Using the Power You Have
It’s often said that charitable nonprofits are forces for good in their communities. But what does that really mean and why does it seem so hard sometimes to get the funding, recognition, and go-ahead to do what needs to be done? Wyoming charitable nonprofits already have the power to make a difference. The trick is using that power.

2:00 - 2:50 Breakout Sessions

  • Caring for the Leader - Becca Stevens, Founder and President of Thistle Farms
    Daily practices to keep our bodies, minds and spirits strong! (note, we will make essential oil blends for attendees to carry with them so people with sensitivity to smells might be cautious).
  • Wyoming National Service Programs and Resources - Shelly McAlpin and Julie Nash, ServeWyoming
    Participants in these programs address community needs in disaster services, economic opportunity, education, the environment, health, youth and veterans and military families. ServeWyoming is the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and National Service. We bring people together through service and award Wyoming AmeriCorps grants. Participants will learn about what AmeriCorps funding opportunities exist, the grant process, what AmeriCorps members do, and how they can utilize these resources to further your work. 
  • Effectively Measuring Your Marketing Goals with Google Analytics - Jes Stanbury and Jessi Sawdon, LUM Studio
    Your marketing goals won't mean much if you can't effectively measure them. In this session, Jes Stanbury and Jessi Sawdon, with Casper-based marketing agency LUM Studio, will walk you through finding and understanding the right analytics to ensure you're on track to meet your goals. We'll cover demographics, user behavior, user acquisition, setting up goals and more; dig into the specific metrics you should be measuring to monitor various goals; and share best practices for measuring and adapting.

3:10 - 4:00 Breakout Sessions

  • Overcoming the Overhead Myth: Budgeting for an Effective Website, Marketing & Growth - Kiersten Hill, Firespring
    When it comes to running your organization, most nonprofits feel pressured to do as much as possible with as little as possible. Donors still scrutinize nonprofits, wondering what percentage of their gift actually goes toward the “cause.” Today, it’s crucial to invest in your organization so you can continue to operate and support your mission. You’ll learn about the overhead myth and why it matters, the impact of underinvestment, how to address concerns with donors, and marketing efforts that provide the best ROI to help you move the needle.
  • The Secret to Fundraising and Planned Giving: Telling Authentic Donor Stories - Brett Befus and Toby Marlatt, University of Wyoming Foundation
    Marketing is all about telling a story. You’ve probably heard some variation of this a thousand times, but how often do we see that playing out in gift planning? As much as we’d like to think of ourselves as logical decision-makers, that typically isn’t the case. While we might use logic while researching a product or service, the final decision is often largely based on our emotions. Legacy gifts are an emotional decision too! In this session, Brett and Toby will share examples and tips for telling authentic donor stories.
  • Nonprofit Health Insurance: It's a battle you can win - Jason Mincer, Enroll Wyoming and Sabrina Lane, Wyoming 211
    Jason and Sabrina Lane will lead a discussion on creative health insurance solutions for Wyoming nonprofits. While traditional group health insurance plans are the most common, costs continue to rise and they have become unaffordable for many. There are other options that may work really well for your nonprofit including Marketplace Health Insurance plans. Sabrina and Jason will highlight these options and their pros and cons.

4:30 - 5:00 Reception - Networking and drinks

5:00 - 8:00 PM Please plan to join us for a buffet dinner and Murder Mystery Dinner Theater
Best Laid Plans: An Old Hollywood Whodunnit. Come to the quintessential whodunnit thriller at the estate of Sir Warren Peace and get thrown into a night of mystery, intrigue, and murder you will never forget. Bribe suspects for clues and gather information to uncover the unhinged guest. Guests may dress in Old Hollywood attire and props, but it’s not required. We will provide some props as well. Presented by The Murder Mystery Company.
June 7

7:00 AM Breakfast Buffet

8:00 AM Keynote
Dominic Syracuse, Actor, Comedian and Behavioral Specialist
Making Belief
What if I told you that your deepest anxieties and your greatest hopes each stem from the same place in your mind? In this engaging presentation which is as entertaining as it is informative, Dominic Syracuse offers unique and immediately applicable tools to take control of your mind and emotions to begin making your greatest goals a reality.

9:30 - 10:20 Breakout Sessions

  • Action, Not Philosophy - Kate Debow Hayes, Certified Coach, Speaker, Writer
    This is the workshop where the action is! Without Focus, Systems and Routines all the character building and motivation comes to a halt. Learn how these three things – while seemingly confining, can set your leadership – and your team – free. All while seeing your success and productivity skyrocket! Outcomes: Understand what is at the heart of focus, systems and routines; how to use the tools to actually create more time and more time for your team; and exercise to get you on the road to more productivity.
  • Impactful Leadership: Stop telling people what to do and coach them! - Lorraine Medici, Frontline Training Solutions
  • In today's world where engagement and retention can make or break your organization, it's important to reflect on how you are leading your people. A one-size-fits-all approach to leadership is not effective and can actually result in you losing quality talent. With any leadership style it is important to learn to coach through situations to help your people improve their self-reliant problem solving skills. In this presentation, we will cover coaching as a critical competence in leadership, the three parts to a coaching conversation, and accountability through ownership and responsibility
  • Service Learning - Alexis Grieve, ServeWyoming
    Serve Wyoming will demonstrate how we utilize knowledgeable and skilled volunteers to serve as mentors in Service-Learning at community colleges through the volunteer generational programing. Participants in this session will learn how AmeriCorps Seniors play a vital role in cross stream/co-generational national service projects and Service-Learning. As a National Service Hub, Serve Wyoming strives to engage differing national service programs across the generations to build a pathway for a lifetime of service across AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors programing.

10:40 - 11:30 Breakout Sessions

  • Be an Employer of Choice: What got you here, won't get you there! - Lorraine Medici, Frontline Training Solutions
    If you're not pivoting, you're more than likely struggling with a lot of issues in your organization from lack of engagement, high turnover, and finding talent. Being fluid with the economic and cultural conditions is key to keep your business moving forward. Leaders at every level must disrupt their "go to ways" and think differently about being an organization that has talent begging to work for you. This presentation will cover four critical topics for leaders to discuss in their organizations: current talent crises, short-term economic predictions, long-term demographic trends, and how employers must respond.
  • Plan, Manage, and Fund Your Nonprofit: Your Library Toolbox - Rayne Thomas, Candid, and Rachael Svoboda, Library 2 Business. 
    Whether you are just starting a nonprofit or looking to enrich an existing one, your library has a wealth of information. Join Wyoming librarians and Candid experts for an overview of resources now available at all Wyoming public libraries.Need funding? Explore the Foundation Directory, the most comprehensive prospect research tool for fundraisers, with over 239,000+ grantmaker profiles.How about inspiration? Explore books on nonprofit leadership through Candid's curated collection on Libby. Time to (re)organize? Build your foundational documents, or manage and optimize your nonprofit's operations with Gale Business: Plan Builder.
  • Storytelling for Impact - Kiersten Hill, Firespring
    From the beginning of civilization, storytelling has maintained a uniquely impactful position in defining culture, motivating action and bringing people together. Today’s nonprofits need to be better storytellers than ever before as more and more stories are told all around us. Join Firespring’s Kiersten Hill as she goes through tips, techniques and tools to help your organization tell better and more impactful stories that will activate your audiences around ideas and actions.

12:00 - 1:00 Lunch

1:00 - 2:00 PM Keynote
Vu Le, Writer and National Speaker
Time to Own Our Awesomeness: Unlocking the Nonprofit Sector's Full Potential to Create a Just and Equitable World
Throughout the pandemic and various challenges over the year, the nonprofit sector remains a stable force serving families and strengthening community. And yet we continually face barriers to our work. How do we unlock our full potential? What philosophies and practices must we let go or adopt? How do we fundraise differently? What does effective capacity building look like? And how do we take care of ourselves and one another as we do the work? Come for an entertaining, thought-provoking, and potentially infuriating presentation filled with pictures of baby animals.


Wyoming Library to Business

Unite Us

Wy Dept of Health &
The Align Team Program
Funding Program

Keynote speakers

Becca Stevens is a speaker, justice entrepreneur, author, priest, and founder and President of Thistle Farms. She has been featured on PBS NewsHour, The Today Show, CNN, ABC World News, named a CNN Hero, and White House Champion of Change, holds five honorary doctorates, and raised over $75M in funding for justice initiatives. Drawn from 25 years of leadership in mission-driven work, Becca leads important conversations across the country with an inspiring message that love is the strongest force for change in the world.

David L. Thompson is Vice President of Public Policy for the National Council of Nonprofits, the nation’s largest network of nonprofit organizations. Thompson  practiced law for 17 years specializing in labor relations, employment law, government contracting, and subsequently directed federal and state advocacy for a government relations firm. He served in the public sector from 2001 to 2007 as a Senior Counsel and as Policy Director to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. He was honored as one of the NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50 for 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Dominic Syracuse is an actor, standup comedian, and behavioral specialist. His company, Cognitive Behavioral Theater, uses acting and improvisation techniques to teach positive psychology and effective communication practices. Dominic has led workshops for dozens of organizations including the United States Air Force, nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and inside maximum security prisons. He is honored to be speaking at the Leadership Summit.

Vu Le (“voo lay”) writes the blog He is the former executive director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by supporting leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities. Vu is a founding board member of Community-Centric Fundraising. He has degrees in Psychology and Social Work. Vu has two kids, ages nine and six, and watches way too much television when not causing trouble.

Registration is closed

Early-Bird Member: $150 (April 1-15)
Regular Member: $175 (April 16 - May 29)
Non-Member: $200 (April 16 - May 29)

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be made by May 31st to receive a refund (registration fee minus a processing fee of $20). Your registration can be transferred at any time to someone else if you are unable to attend. Email us or call 307-772-9050 to cancel or transfer your registration.

Conference Location:

Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center
University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY

Questions about the Summit? Contact us

Interested in sponsorship?
Contact us

Conference Location:
Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center
University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY

Hotel Room Block:
Hilton Garden Inn is full.

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