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COVID Conversations: Creative Discussions for Sustainability

August 20 @ 1:00 PMOctober 22 @ 4:00 PM EDT

COVID Conversations: Creative Discussions for Sustainability
We’re online! This workshop will be presented online through Zoom. All registrants will receive the access link and password via email the day before the event.
A three-part leadership lab series for nonprofit executives

The global pandemic has magnified challenges within nonprofit systems. With the path forward changing on a daily basis, nonprofit leaders are left with many questions. The “COVID Conversations” leadership lab series provides a safe space for nonprofit executives, board members, and other key stakeholders to explore the unique dynamics created by the events of 2020.

This series will be facilitated by the Johnson Center’s Tamela Spicer and Mandy Sharp Eizinger.

Price: $179 for the entire series
Deadline to Register: Wednesday, August 12

Meeting Dates & Times

This is a three-part series. Participants will meet virtually from 1–4 p.m. on each of the following dates:

  • Thursday, August 20
  • Tuesday, September 22
  • Thursday, October 22

Each session in this series will be presented as a live, interactive experience. The sessions will not be recorded or made available afterward.

Session 1 – Centering Equity in Recovery Efforts

Thursday, Aug. 20  //  1–4 p.m.

The global pandemic has magnified issues of equity in the nonprofit sector. With the path forward seeming to change on a daily basis, this session will explore the issues affecting nonprofit organizations through the lens of equity in recovery efforts.

Panelists: Robyn Afrik (Ottawa County) and Candace Cowling (Family Futures)


  • Defining the concept of equity vs. equality
  • Understanding how COVID-19 has highlighted the cracks in the system
  • Exploring how inequity has shown up in individual organizations — and the blind spots it has revealed
  • Leveraging tools and resources to help organizations center equity within their recovery efforts

Session 2 – Restructuring for Recovery

Tuesday, Sept. 22  //  1–4 p.m.

The year 2020 has been a year of crisis, challenge, and change. What new approaches to our work are worth keeping in the way organizations operate? This session will explore how we rethink the places, spaces, and roles of organizations.

Panelists: To be announced soon!


  • Creating space for partnerships and potential mergers
  • Asking new questions around how we’re building mission vs. building the institution (buildings, structures, etc.)

Session 3 – Fundraising for Sustainability

Thursday, Oct. 22  //  1–4 p.m.

In 2020, fund development revenue streams shifted swiftly from in-person events and across-the-table asks to socially-distanced, digital engagements. How does fund development shift in times of crisis or economic downturn — and what can we learn to build sustainable models for fund development?

Panelists: To be announced soon!


  • How do we adjust to changing communication channels?
  • How does fundraising look different in light of COVID’s impact?
  • Tips for fundraising in a financial downturn
Photo: Tamela Spicer
Tamela Spicer, M.A. is a program manager at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. She works with our nonprofit clients, and specializes in organizational structure, fund development, strategic planning, and faith-based organizations. Learn more about Tamela.
Photo: Mandy Sharp Eizinger
Mandy Sharp Eizinger, M.S. is a program manager at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. Mandy brings to her role training in Gallup Strengths Coaching and a people-centered approach to developing individuals and programs to make meaningful and measurable impact. Learn more about Mandy.


August 20 @ 1:00 PM EDT
October 22 @ 4:00 PM EDT
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