Convention Logo D6 Transparent 1In October 2018, more than 300 nonprofit leaders joined CalNonprofits at our Policy Convention: “Nonprofits Standing up for California,” to learn from, and connect with, a dynamic lineup of speakers.

Scroll down to read about some of the highlights, check out #CalCon2018 on Twitter to see more from the day, or click here to go straight to the convention photo album.

Highlights of the Convention

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra kicked off the convention, sharing personal stories about the impact of nonprofits in his life, including how receiving a $25 scholarship from a nonprofit helped him to attend college. Citing the millions of Californians who depend on nonprofits every day, he called upon us to work closely with state government to do more: “make sure you have a good week, because your community is depending on you.”

During a panel discussion, four foundation CEOs representing "a new wave in philanthropy," which is younger and more racially diverse, and which is oriented towards social justice shared the challenges of being bridges between often-conservative donors and often more liberal grantees.

At the morning breakouts, nonprofit leaders were briefed on changes to laws impacting nonprofits like the new UBIT “parking tax,” and how donations seem to be changing in reaction to the new tax law.

At the session on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, the audience gasped when it was calculated that the collective debt held just by the nonprofit staff in the room was $600,000 (!) and presenters highlighted the importance of PSLF in attracting and retaining a talented and diverse nonprofit workforce.

At another session, CalNonprofits Advocate Jennifer Fearing and board member Sue Sigler shared "behind the scenes" views from Sacramento that nonprofits having discussions with elected officials is growing more important, and they shared strategies on how nonprofits can do it more effectively.

The afternoon brought a surprise for the CalNonprofits team when Assemblymember Monique Limón presented an official resolution from the California Assembly, recognizing CalNonprofits for our work to support, protect, and nurture the nonprofit sector in California. Attendees were struck by her understanding of nonprofits and her comment, "The work you do is in itself a political statement."

During her keynote address, Tamika Butler shared why "California is Awesome*" and why she included an asterisk, charging the attendees in the room to not be just allies in dismantling privilege—but to be accomplices.

Our afternoon sessions included a debate on whether Donor Advised Funds are “democratizing giving” or “warehousing wealth.” While the team supporting Donor Advised Funds made compelling arguments, the audience voted in favor of the “Cons” team.

At another session, census experts discussed the unique challenges facing California with the upcoming Census -- and how nonprofits will help.

And, nonprofits were able to get their insurance questions answered at a session with staff from our social enterprise CalNonprofits Insurance.

During her “Report to the Community,” CalNonprofits CEO Jan Masaoka shared how and why nonprofits are adapting to this new environment to meet community needs — whether it’s museums opening their doors to serve families after natural disasters, or a clinic helping its patients to vote.

And Vu Le closed out the day with his usual humor, but also a charge for nonprofits, explaining: “It’s time to acknowledge and own our power - things are getting urgent.”

Photos from the 2018 Convention

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