Personal and Professional Development Abound at the Nonprofit Capacity Conference

Written by: Ann Parker

My first job after college was at a nonprofit organization that provided employment and support services for people with disabilities. As a 22-year-old young professional, I was simply trying to figure out how to survive on my own in the real world, let alone make some sort of an impact in my new workplace.

During my 20 months at that organization I was lucky to have a supervisor who encouraged my personal development. She understood that I could learn best when I stepped outside of my comfort zone, met people with seasoned skills and different perspectives, and filled my résumé with a variety of new professional experiences.

So she signed me up for conferences, networking events, and training opportunities galore. These diverse opportunities and the people I met through them helped me to see myself and the world through a fresh lens. As a novice working woman, these experiences gave me an edge: I not only became proficient at my required job responsibilities, but I was able to offer my own innovative viewpoint as well.

And even now, in another organization and different career track, and with a new decade of life stretched before me, I seek out conferences and events because I realize how vital they are to my professional health and competence. Joining with peers from different workplaces to discuss job challenges, share best practices, and support each other in our vocational missions energizes and inspires me. Hearing thought leaders share how they climbed their career ladders and what they learned along the way motivates me to be better at what I am doing today. And stepping away from the usual office environment—even for just a day—renews my passion to be an agent for positive change when I return.

What about you? What do you most enjoy about professional conferences? And what features offered by these events influence your decision to attend?

As you begin to budget for 2015, I encourage you to reserve April 2 for your conference plans. The Nonprofit Capacity Conference, which will take place at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, will feature Brighter Strategies’ President and CEO Elizabeth Scott as a keynote speaker. The conference will be an incubator for diverse insights through cross-sector collaboration. Its features include informative workshops, best practices panel discussions, plenary sessions, networking opportunities, and an exhibitor showcase. You will have access to more than 200 nonprofit leaders, advisors, and industry experts for a day of rich discussion about the challenges that most affect the nonprofit field.

Plan to attend Nonprofit Capacity Conference as a gift to your organization, and a gift to yourself—your professional development is worth it.

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