Axelson Center News: Nonprofits Invited to Disrupt the Norm at Axelson Center Symposium

If nonprofits are to successfully innovate, disrupt the norm, and be change agents for the communities they serve, their leaders and staff must go beyond big goals and lofty visions. Results and impact require thoughtful and empowered decision-making informed by nonprofit managerial excellence. The Axelson Center’s 16th Annual Symposium for Nonprofit Professionals and Volunteers, a one-day nonprofit management conference in downtown Chicago, equips the sector’s leaders with the knowledge required to create organizational excellence and translate strategic plans into results.

Axelson_Lead_Logo_2015_FINAL_COLORThe Symposium, hosted by North Park University’s Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management, will take place Monday, June 22, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The conference is one-of-a-kind in the Midwest, bringing nonprofit professionals together from across the sector to discuss management issues that affect all types of organizations. Symposium programming is designed with this diversity in mind, and executive directors, fundraising and marketing professionals, program staff, and volunteer managers will all find topics of interest to them at this year’s conference.

This year’s Symposium features a keynote address by Nick Tasler, internationally acclaimed author of Why Quitters Win and The Impulse Factor and creator of the Think Strategically & Act Decisively team learning system. In his talk, “Everyday Decisiveness: Decision-Making for Organizational Excellence”, sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, Tasler will deliver a powerful presentation equipping you to overcome all types of challenges with future-focused thinking and decisive action, resulting in a renewed sense of professional purpose and greater personal and organizational effectiveness from the inside out.

Following the keynote session, breakout sessions will offer programming across four diverse topic tracks: Accountability and Integrity; Resource Generation; Your Leadership: Your Impact; and Communicate Your Story. Detailed breakout session information is available at the Symposium website. This year’s Symposium also features some unique sessions: a program track exclusively for C-Suite leaders; a collaborative networking session sponsored by IFF that will bring attendees together to solve problems; and a live “Make Your Pitch” session where nonprofits will compete for a $1,000 cash prize sponsored by Urban Partnership Bank.

In addition to educational programming, the Axelson Center’s nonprofit management awards—the Alford Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Excellent Emerging Organization Award—will be presented during the luncheon portion of the Symposium. These annual awards recognize outstanding nonprofit management practices and a young nonprofit organization with potential for growth and greater effectiveness, respectively.

Regular registration is available through June 12. Review the entire event program and register at

The Symposium is made possible with significant support from the Chicago Community Trust, North Park University School of Business and Nonprofit Management, Covenant Ministries of Benevolence, BMO Harris Bank, Chicago Tribune, MB Financial Bank, and CL Graphics.

The Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University is the source for informative and engaging nonprofit professional development in the Chicago region. Through regular workshops, custom trainings, a BootCamp for New Nonprofit CEOs, and the Annual Symposium, the Axelson Center delivers a superior educational experience for nonprofit managers, leaders, and frontline staff, covering a vast array of topics from program evaluation to strategic planning, and communications to financial management. The valuable information presented through these programs enhances the impact of both the nonprofit sector and its professional staff. Visit for more information, including a full schedule of upcoming events.

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