Solve-It Sessions

Want to solve a problem and get inspired with a personal,
hands-on learning experience?
Get ready to Solve-It.

With three kinds of Solve-It sessions—1-2-1s, Huddles and Talk ‘n Try—we’ll help you het th answers you need with through a personal. Hands-on learning experience. Our team of coaches, consultants, and generally cool experts will lead you through a variety of talks, exercises, discussions and models that will engage you to solve a big issue for the sector, solve your own problem or help a colleague with theirs.
Talk 1-2-1 with experts in fundraising, strategy design, governance and marketing.
Huddle with peers and an expert to learn to turn an idea into a revenue generating social business, help us solve nonprofit contracting issues with the state, learn what Georgia foundations consider the hottest funding trends in 2014.
Join a Talk N’ Try and learn to lead innovation through design thinking, or understand how other nonprofits are leveraging social media and how you can too.

How do I sign up?

Registration is now closed. Stay tuned for information regarding the 2014 program.
Three Ways to

Talk one-to-one with an individual coach or consultant on an issue specific to you.

Pull up a chair to this small-group roundtable featuring an issue expert and peers who have “done it.”

Talk ‘n Try
Join a group of 10 to 20 peers for a 10-minute presentation, followed by an interactive discussion or exercise.
Sponsored by: Nonprofit HR

Sponsored by: Nonprofit HR

Solve-It: 1-2-1
Talk 1-2-1 with an expert individual coach or consultant on an issue specific to you. Expertise was available to tackle challenges in the following areas:

• Board Development & Governance
• Collaborations & Partnerships
• Fundraising & Grant Writing
• Marketing

• Organizational Effectiveness & Development
• Program Development & Evaluation
• Social Media
• Succession Planning


2013 Solve-It: Huddles

Pull up a chair to a roundtable and talk though challenges and solutions with an issue expert and peers who have “done it.” Huddle around capital campaigns, board fundraising and engagement, social media strategy, PR and more.

Attracting More Donors via Georgia Gives Day
Amanda Kueler, Georgia Gives Day Coordinator | Georgia Center for Nonprofits
Georgia Gives Day is a project of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits in conjunction with participating nonprofits, state agencies, corporations and businesses, and associations and foundations. Come learn how you can use this opportunity to expand your reach, raise the profile of your nonprofit, and connect with donors who may not know about the great work that you do!

Better Board Engagement
Yvonne Bryant Johnson, CEO | Bryant & Associates, LLC
Do you have a board member—or an entire board—that seems constantly “out to lunch”? This session will explore, and find solutions for, engagement issues on the board. Bring your issue and your own experience to share with peers, and our governance expert will help guide the conversation and develop actionable ideas.

Making the Case for a Raise
Mary Hughes, Senior Consultant | Georgia Center for Nonprofits
Many people want a raise but find it very difficult to make the case for one. There are several steps that professionals can take to position themselves to achieve the best result when approaching a board or a manager for increased compensation. This session will pair 4-10 professionals with a consultant who will provide actionable tools to help you prepare to make your case.

Managing a Difficult Conversation
Cathy Perry, President | The InwardBound Center for Nonprofit Leadership
Its review time! Whether you are giving or receiving feedback, managing a topic or conversation that you feel awkward about can be uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be. Difficult conversations can be managed to create a productive and professional result. This session will be facilitated by a coach to explore anticipated or recent conversations…… Several practical tools will be shared to use during your next difficult conversation.

Stewarding Boards Through Fundraising
Cindy Cheatham, VP of Nonprofit Consulting Group | Georgia Center for Nonprofits
This session will engage 4-10 professionals with an expert to problem solve issues related to activating boards around fundraising and asking for gifts. Participants are encouraged to bring an issue and their own expertise to share with peers.

Powering Up your Public Relations
Valerie Harris, PR Director | The Kinsey Group
How well is your nonprofit known? Do you need to increase the number of people who are aware of your events? Are you reaching your target market for volunteers, donors, board members, clients? A public relations plan can be a powerful tool to increase awareness and engagement with your organization or mission if executed properly. This session will engage a small group of 4-10 professionals with a PR expert to troubleshoot existing issues related to awareness and form ideas that can boost the effectiveness of current PR efforts.

2013 Solve-It: Talk ‘n Try

JohnBerry_web Collaboration: Buzzword or Effective Strategy?

John Berry – CEO & Executive Director | St. Vincent de Paul Georgia
Funders want us to do it, board members want us to do it, other non-profits want us to do it—but what is “Collaboration?” Is it mere hype, or a real way to increase effectiveness and efficiency? In this session, John Berry facilitates a panel discussion on what defines real collaboration, the benefits and risks of a collaboration strategy, and how you establish mutual goal for all partners.

John came to Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia, a nonprofit devoted to helping people in need achieve self-sufficiency and stability, in 2006 after more than twenty years in executive management positions at Fortune 100 companies such as General Electric and Westinghouse. His career has encompassed both the domestic and international arenas spanning Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. John is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta and serves on the Board of Directors of The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the United Way of Greater Atlanta Public Policy Committee. He chairs the Nonprofit CEO Roundtable for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. John has served on the Board of Directors of The Sullivan Center, and Catholic Charities Atlanta. John holds a BS and a BBA/MBA in Marketing. He is a member of the American Marketing Association, the PRSA, and the AFP.     READ MORE


Save Yourself! What Every Nonprofit Leader Needs to Know, Think, and Do to Prevent Personal Burn-out & Organizational Decline
Yolanda L. Watson Spiva, Ph.D., Executive Director | Project GRAD Atlanta
Nonprofit leaders are consummate doer’s–with checklists a mile long, myriad responsibilities, and limited resources to meet their bold missions. The inclination of the average nonprofit leader is to give, give, give–to their boards, their staff, the community writ large, and their various affinity groups. This perpetual and unbridled giving can lead to self-depletion, self-deprivation, or worse! When an organizational leader doesn’t strengthen and replenish his or her internal resource reserves, they run the risk of diminishing their personal effectiveness, and as a result, that of the organization. If this description rings true for you, you’ll want to join Dr. Spiva as she sheds new light on how to Lead with you in Mind, Not the Organization; Sabbaticals for Non-profit Leaders Aren’t Such a Bad Idea; If You’re Burnt Out, Change yourself First, then Your Outlook, then Your Situation.

Dr. Yolanda L. Watson Spiva currently serves executive director for Project GRAD Atlanta, a college readiness, access, and success organization committed to helping students in the Atlanta Public Schools find collegiate and lifelong success. Prior to joining Project GRAD, Dr. Spiva served as the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at Trinity College for Women, Director of Research and Programs for the American Association of University Women in Washington, D.C., as well in various capacities within the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education and the Region IV Office of the Secretary’s Regional Representative. Dr. Spiva was awarded the 2011 Turknett Leadership Character Award for outstanding leadership in the nonprofit sector. She also has earned recognition as a board-certified coach in the specialty designations of Executive, Corporate, Business and Leadership Coaching.  READ MORE

Download Yolanda’s presentation


Creating a Culture of Measurement
Ginneh Baugh, Sr. Director Measurement & Knowledge Development | United Way of Greater Atlanta
This highly interactive discussion is intended for any nonprofit professional who is striving to create a culture of measurement within their organization. Leaders from different levels from within Families First, Jewish Family & Career Services, and United Way will share their experiences, challenges and successes from their journey to make measuring results an organizational norm. Modeled after “Speed Dating,” participants will have three mini-discussions with staff from different perspectives – executive leaders, program directors, grants and evaluation staff. Attendees will take away a better understanding of the behaviors and policies that support a culture of measurement from different perspectives within an organization.

Ginneh Baugh is the Sr. Director of Measurement and Knowledge Development at United Way of Greater Atlanta. Ginneh is from Decatur and has a long history of working and volunteering with nonprofits in Georgia. Her career has focused on program planning, evaluation and learning and knowledge development for health and human service organizations. She has a personal commitment and a professional belief that data should be accessible and useful. Ginneh has also been an evaluation consultant and previously worked as the Senior Evaluation Associate for United Way of Central Maryland, in Baltimore, MD. In Baltimore, she led the Outcomes Measurement Initiative, which included developing programs to better monitor grants, and training agencies to improve evaluation processes.  READ MORE


Donor Landscape 2050
Ellen Dracos Lemming – CEO & Founder | Dracos~Lemming Consulting, LLC
The consumer landscape and the communication methodologies in the United States have changed more in the last 25 years than in the 200 years prior. That means the old ways of communicating need to be blown up and new thinking must be adopted right away. This presentation discusses the 5 biggest areas of change: Demographic Shifts, Technology, Globalization, Saturation and Brand Control. Without the data-based information in this presentation, non-profits will navigate the consumer landscape less effectively. Technology’s speed, adoption, personalization and connectivity have changed outreach and communications forever. 80% of all Facebook users are outside of the USA and Canada. Organizations no longer control their brand or their donor segmentation.

Ellen Dracos Lemming is an experienced businesswoman who has spent her 27-year career mastering the many aspects of business, marketing, organizational effectiveness and growth. Ellen has professionally assisted a wide variety of non-profits including The Association for Corporate Growth, CCCS/CredAbility, Education First, Emory University, Georgia State University, Giving Partners, Hope Homes, Honduras Outreach Incorporated, Take Aim at Cancer, The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Georgia, The Salvation Army, The United Way of Greater Atlanta and The High Museum. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for The United Way of Greater Atlanta, chairs the United Way’s Marketing committee and is on the “Destination Appeal” committee of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. Ellen is also a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2012.  READ MORE

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Going Green: Funding and Implementing Facility Projects Using the Grants to Green Initiative
Dr. Sharon Jaye, Assistant Director of Facilities | The Westminster Schools &
Jasper Tanner, Program Officer | The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

The Community Foundation Grants to Green initiative, in partnership with Southface, provides environmentally focused knowledge and funding to strengthen metro Atlanta nonprofits with the opportunity to build healthier work places that are energy-, water-, and environmentally efficient. The ultimate goal is not only to decrease environmental impact, but to increase the cost-efficiency of operations and free up finances to provide more services. Learn about the process from a facilities manager at Westminster Schools, who used one of these grants to implement green retrofits, with great results for her team and their mission.

Dr. Sharon Jaye is the Assistant Director of Facilities at The Westminster Schools. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Clayton State University, a master’s degree in project management from the University of Wisconsin Platteville, and a doctorate of education in educational leadership from Argosy University. Her dissertation on benchmarking greenhouse gas emission inventories in higher education was published in the International Journal of Facility Management earlier this year. At Westminster, she manages campus-wide sustainability projects and major construction/renovation projects.She is a Sustainability Facility Professional through the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and recently authored the IFMA Foundation’s Sustainability How-to Guide on Carbon Footprinting. She is the sustainability chair for the Atlanta Chapter of IFMA and currently serves on IFMA’s International Sustainability Committee as the co-chair of the knowledge management group.  READ MORE

Jasper Tanner is the Program Officer at The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. He has worked with The Community Foundation for the past nine years as both a consultant and full-time staff. He holds a BS degree in history from Fayetteville State University in North Carolina and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin. Prior to joining The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Jasper served corporate, government and nonprofit clients as president of Tanner Consulting, a marketing consulting firm. Prior to starting his own firm, Jasper held senior marketing positions with Delta Air Lines, NutraSweet Corporation and the Pillsbury Company, where he successfully developed and implemented marketing strategies, introduced new products and built brand franchises in both the domestic and international arenas. Jasper also served as vice president, account service and vice president, business development for Burrell Communications and Images USA, both full service advertising firms.  READ MORE

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Making Data-driven Decisions for Your Nonprofit
Mike Carnathan, Researcher | Atlanta Regional Commission and Neighborhood Nexus
Everyone understands that a data-driven decision will be better informed than simple intuition, but barriers of where to get the data and how to analyze the data make creating a data-driven organizational structure difficult for nonprofit executives who are already swamped with their current workload. Neighborhood Nexus can help. We have compiled a host of data in one place and developed powerful analytical tools that help leaders of all stripes understand the communities in which they work. Moreover, Neighborhood Nexus can help you understand the data-driven process- the process of turning data into intelligence.

Mike has been at the Atlanta Regional Commission for 13 years. In his role, he provides data and develops tools to help leaders at all levels make better decisions. Prior to that, he worked in the auditor’s office at Athens-Clark County Government. He was a reporter for 7 years. Mike has been involved with the Neighborhood Nexus project since the very beginning and is responsible for project and technology management. Mike earned a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree as well as Bachelor’s degrees in History and Journalism from The University of Georgia.  READ MORE

Creating a Social Media Strategy
Alyssa Esker, Senior Account Executive & Ashley Hunt , Account Supervisor | Edelman
A lot of nonprofits are engaged in social media but the truth is that they honestly don’t have a good sense of what they are trying to accomplish with it. Is the effort geared toward generating general awareness, funding, education, higher engagement or advocacy? Having a strategy for social media can translate a lot of scattered work elements into a cohesive and focused plan that gets results. This session will explore what successful strategies look like in action.

As a member of the Digital Team, Alyssa manages social strategies for clients and consults other teams on strategy implementation. Before joining Edelman, Alyssa worked for BlueLinx Corporation, the largest building products distributor in the nation. Alyssa’s specialized skills are in event planning, PR campaign management and internet marketing.  READ MORE

Advertising Resources for Nonprofits
Robbin Steed, VP/ Community Relations & Sales Marketing | The Networks of 11Alive
Lisa Orenstein, President | Focus Outdoor Advertising & Marketing
Lauralyn Mustaki, Manager of Accounts & Member Services | Georgia Association of Broadcasters

From billboards to radio and television public service announcements and paid advertising – there are a variety of special free and low cost media programs available to nonprofits. We have brought some of the best low and no cost options together in this session. The Georgia Association of Broadcasters, The Outdoor Advertising Association and WXIA will talk about their special nonprofit resources. Whether you are trying to get the word out about a specific issue, program or a special event, advertising is a great option to boost results.

Lisa was born in Fort McPherson, GA, raised in Beckley, WV, and attended USC – Coastal Carolina University. After receiving her B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis on Marketing in 1993, Lisa planted her roots in Macon, GA. Her career began in cable media sales at Cox Communications from 1993-1996. An opportunity with local outdoor company, Outdoor West, expanded Lisa’s media sales experience into the outdoor advertising realm from 1996-2000. Lisa’s area of expertise include research and an analysis of media campaigns, planning, placement, rate and contract negotiation, creative and design services for all types of media outlets and production execution for various media.  READ MORE

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Capital Campaigns Explained
Lindsey Caldwell, Senior Campaign Manager | Coxe Curry & Associates
Capital campaigns are an important tool to raise significant funding for a special project. Campaign purposes are varied but common projects include renovating or purchasing a building, raising money for an endowment, or funding critical equipment replacement and maintenance costs. Capital campaigns generally take several years to plan and to execute and therefore require a detailed plan, dedicated leadership and ongoing management. Often the specifics of campaign organization are mysterious to those who have never managed such a large undertaking. This solve it session is for people who are thinking about a capital campaign or who have low experience with campaign management. The purpose is to demystify the upfront requirements of a successful campaign plan.

Download Lindsey’s presentation

**Pre-registration is required for the Solve-It Talk N’ Try. Walk-ins are available on a first-come, first-served basis.