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Over 200 Attend Scranton Area Community Foundation’s Virtual NEPA Learning Conference


On Thursday, September 17, and Friday, September 18, 2020, through our Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence in partnership with Moses Taylor Foundation and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Scranton Area Community Foundation hosted the 2nd Annual 2020 NEPA Learning Conference—completely virtually—offering over 200 nonprofit organizations and professionals across the region an opportunity to receive in-depth training from local and nationally-recognized presenters.
Keynote speakers included Jessamyn Shams-Lau, Executive Director of the Perry Foundation and coauthor of Unicorns Unite: How Nonprofits & Foundations Can Build EPIC Partnerships; and Wes Moore, bestselling author, Army combat veteran, social entrepreneur, and Robin Hood’s Chief Executive Officer. Plenary speakers included Dr. Barbara Larson, Executive Professor of Management at Northeastern University, whose research on remote working environments and virtual work has been published in Harvard Business Review and many other journals.
Attendees of this two-day learning conference had an opportunity to learn from local and national experts in a variety of fields, network and connect virtually with peers, and discover how they can create a learning culture within their organization. The conference shared strategies for staying solvent during unprecedented times, taught how to maximize resiliency to thrive during tough times, and shared useful tips on how to visualize an organization’s impact and sustainability. 
“It is more important now than ever to prioritize learning so that nonprofit organizations can be better poised to manage change,” said Laura Ducceschi, President and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation. “Our goal at this conference was to provide high-quality training opportunities so that nonprofits can be able to continue to effectively meet their important missions.”

“This conference was a great opportunity to hit the pause button on our daily operations and reflect on our current situation mid-COVID,” stated Bill Kern, Executive Director of Countryside Conservancy in La Plume, Pennsylvania. “Hearing how other organizations are adapting to our new reality and planning for an unknown future has been both enlightening and encouraging.”

Sponsors for the 2020 NEPA Learning Conference included Moses Taylor FoundationThe Harry and Jeanette Weinberg FoundationThe William C. McGowan Charitable FundGeisingerThe Luzerne FoundationMcGrail Merkel Quinn & Associates, Goodwill Industries of Northeastern PennsylvaniaUnited Way of Lackawanna and Wayne CountiesEdwards + StrunkPenn State ScrantonCenter City PrintAgile Strength FitnessAllOne Foundation and Charities, and GiveGab.

This event was originally scheduled to take place in person in downtown Scranton but due to the public health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support the health and well-being of the region, the event took place virtually through Whova, an online conference platform.

About the Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence
The Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence was established by the Scranton Area Community Foundation in 2012 to serve the capacity building needs of nonprofit organizations in the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) region to help them meet their critical missions more effectively and to improve their impact throughout NEPA. The Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence works with partners to provide relevant training programs, technical assistance, and additional resources free of charge or at low cost to local nonprofit organizations.

About the Scranton Area Community Foundation
Scranton Area Community Foundation is on a mission to enhance the quality of life for all people in Northeastern Pennsylvania through the development of organized philanthropy. With assets of more than $41 million and more than 210 charitable funds, the Scranton Area Community Foundation distributed over $2 million in grants and scholarships in 2019. Additionally, through its foundation management services offered to other private and public foundations, the Scranton Area Community Foundation manages assets of more than $31 million and distributed an additional $1.2 million in grants and scholarships in 2019 through assets under management. As a public 501c3 community foundation, the Scranton Area Community Foundation serves as a steward, a grantmaker, a charitable resource, and a catalyst for change. The Scranton Area Community Foundation leads various initiatives including Women in Philanthropy, the Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence, NEPA Moves, and the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative. More information about the Scranton Area Community Foundation can be found at www.safdn.org.

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