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April 27 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Spokes Symposium 2021 brings together experts in the field and regional nonprofit leaders to discuss taking stock, pivoting, and building collaborations to survive and thrive during times of great change. 

The virtual event will take place from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on three consecutive Thursdays, April 13, 20, and 27.

Topics in this three-part webinar series include:

• Taking stock of your financial health and viability
• Collaboration for long-term success
• Nuts and bolts of forming collaborations

Session 3

April 27, 2021 12 – 1:30 PM

Nuts and Bolts of Forming Collaborations

Today’s session has a different format from Sessions 1 and 2. Rather than a single keynote and a panel of nonprofit leaders, this session is a forum. Each of our speakers, all experts in their fields, will share key considerations and recommendations from a different perspective.


Kathleen Marcove is the President of Marcove Executive Training. She will share her expert knowledge of the important cultural and human resources considerations when combining forces with other nonprofits. Kathy is a Senior Certified Professional with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a certified Action Learning Coach, and accredited in Distance Education employing a wide variety of virtual learning techniques. She has over 20 years’ experience inspiring leaders in industry, nonprofit, and government to cultivate motivating work environments with focused and engaged employees. Kathy offers an invaluable perspective to meet any organization’s need for strategic human resource development and transformational leadership taking teams to the next level of success.

Casey Summar is a partner with the Law Firm for Non-Profits and a national arts consultant on strategy, planning and board development. Casey can answer the important legal aspects to consider when developing partnerships. Prior to relocating to the Central Coast, Casey founded the Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in 2005 which grew to become the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville, for which she served as Executive Director for over a decade. Casey was recognized for this work as the 2016 Nonprofit CEO of the Year for Middle Tennessee. She received her J.D. with honors from Vanderbilt University Law School where she continues to serve as an adjunct Professor of Law teaching Nonprofit Law.

Lindsay Kijewski is an associate of SeaChange Capital Partners, where she manages the SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration. Lindsay will share how this fund supports nonprofits in exploring or completing mergers, acquisitions, joint-ventures, and other types of formal, long-term collaborations. She has previously held positions as a Social Impact Fellow with the University of Pennsylvania Center for High Impact Philanthropy and Penn’s M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership program. She is a part-time instructor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, where she helps to design and teach graduate-level seminars in nonprofit governance and social impact assessment.

Branden Welshons has been a managing partner at Better Business Financial Services for over 20 years and Chief Financial Officer at Jean Marie Cidery for seven years. Branden will share his expertise of important financial considerations to consider when thinking about organization mergers.

Why should I attend?

  • Different challenges
    The COVID crisis has affected our area nonprofits differently. Many are struggling to maintain basic services. Some, such as performing arts venues, cannot operate at all. For nonprofits in these circumstances, the challenge is to stay solvent. For some fortunate others, the financial resources are there, but the challenge is finding the “bandwidth” to ramp up and add programs in response to new demands posed by the crisis.
  • Taking Stock
    Regardless of the challenges your organization faces, the Symposium offers help and guidance. No matter your financial situation, setting aside time to take a hard, informed look at your business plan is crucial to your long-term viability. Session 1 will prepare you to do that.
  • Is it smart to go it alone?
    In times of crisis, perhaps not. There are various ways organizations can support and complement one another. It may be something as simple as sharing space or staff. It could be the services offered by your highly specialized nonprofit would be more sustainable as a program under the umbrella of a larger organization. On the flip side, if your organization is experiencing growing pains, there may be a nonprofit out there already offering a program much like what you want to offer yourself. What kind of partnership might work to everyone’s advantage? Find out in Session 2.
  • Nuts and Bolts
    Intrigued by ideas from Session 2 but you don’t know where to begin? Whether it’s sharing resources, forming alliances, acquiring programs, merging, or simply winding down your nonprofit, Session 3 will provide expert and experienced guidance.

Session 1

April 13, 2021 12 – 1:30 PM

Taking Stock of Your Financial Health and Viability

This first part of this series will address the simple steps every organization should do to evaluate their financial situation and plan in the face of an extended economic downturn and disruption of normal operations. 

Session 2

April 20, 2021 12 – 1:30 PM

Collaboration for Long-Term Success

During this part of the series, Spokes will invite an expert in the field to discuss the many types of partnerships and why they can benefit an organization’s operations. Participants will also hear directly from organizations that have undergone a substantial partnership or merger about the pros and cons of that decision.   

Save the dates now and sign up for our Spokes newsletter to get updates on Symposium speakers, the registration process, and other details. Bookmark this page as it will also be updated regularly.


April 27
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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