When your nonprofit is stronger, all of us are stronger. The Best Nonprofit Conference is a one-off-its-kind opportunity for all of us to learn from - and aspire to - the best practices of exceptional nonprofits.

On December 7th and 8th we culminated the 2020 Nonprofit Excellence Awards, the program’s 14th year, with close to 300 nonprofit leaders from organizations across our sector. We gathered online to learn from and aspire to the best management practices of extraordinary organizations. The Conference was full of engaging conversations and fun-filled networking opportunities where nonprofit professionals, consultants, funders, and partners learned, strategized, and connected.


2020 Best Nonprofit Conference Agenda

Monday, December 7 and Tuesday, December 8, 2020 | Virtual

Day 1 Sessions: Monday, December 7, 2020, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
12:30 pm - 1:00 pm: Registration & Explore the Expo
1:00 pm - 1:30 pm: Opening and 2020 Nonprofit Excellence Awards Presentation
1:30 pm - 2:15 pm: From Crisis to Recovery: The Current State of the Nonprofit Sector

  • Melanie Hartzog, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services
  • Gisele Castro, Executive Director, exalt youth
  • Evie Hantzopoulos, Executive Director, Global Kids
  • Jenni Wolfson, Executive Director, Chicken & Egg Pictures

2:15 pm - 2:30 pm: Networking, Visit the Expo, Sponsor Sessions

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm: Key Area of Nonprofit Excellence Breakout Sessions

  • Is Everyone Here?: Prioritizing our People While Remote
  • Alexandros Hatzakis, Chief Operating Officer, FPWA
  • Angela Jefferson, LCSW, Vice President of Programs, Partnership with Children
  • Marvin Webb, Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration, Funders for LGBTQ Issues
  • You Have to 'Unmute': Speaking Up and Often During a Crisis
  • Tim Lemberger, Director of Marketing & Communications, Project Sunshine
  • Farra Trompeter, Chief Growth Officer, Big Duck
  • Cindy Choung, External Relations Manager, Chicken & Egg Pictures
  • Virtual and Focused: Governance when Managing the Unexpected
  • Sharmila Rao Thakkar, Executive Director, SI Not for Profit Association
  • Jan Fisher, Executive Director, Nonprofit Westchester
  • Riel Peerbooms, Executive Director/CEO, Trail Blazers

3:30 pm - 3:45 pm: Networking, Visit the Expo, Sponsor Sessions

3:45 pm - 4:45 pm: Key Area of Nonprofit Excellence Breakout Sessions

  • Don't Freeze: Tech Solutions to Keep Moving
  • Karim Beldjilali, Information Technology Compliance Senior Manager, The New York Times
  • Katie Doctor, Managing Director of Educational Strategy & Data, DREAM
  • Joe Donato, Director of Technology, The Osborne Association
  • The Rainy Day is Now: Weathering a Financial Crisis
  • Luis Medina, Senior Associate, Nonprofit Finance Fund
  • Ellie Hume, Director, Your Part-Time Controller
  • R. Franklyn Pintado, Vice President of Finance, Partnership with Children
  • Advocacy in 2020: We're the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For
  • Kim Belizaire, Director of Partnerships and Advocacy, Good Call
  • Alejandra Duque-Cifuentes, Executive Director, Dance/NYC
  • Kimberly Roberts, Public Policy Fellow, Philanthropy New York
  • Brian Romero, Policy Associate, GMHC

4:45 pm - 5:00 pm: Day 1 Close Out

Day 2 Sessions: Tuesday, December 8, 2020, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
9:00 am - 9:30 am: Truth in our Words, Power in our Actions: Radically Reimagining the Nonprofit Sector

  • Richard Buery, Jr., President, Achievement First
  • Jarrett Lucas, Executive Director, Stonewall Community Foundation

9:30 am - 9:45 am: Networking, Visit the Expo
9:45 am - 10:45 am: More Than a Protest Slogan: Making Anti-Racism Real in Your Organization

  • Michelle Lawrence, Director of Anti-Racism Organizational Development, Safe Horizon
  • Yvonne M. Brathwaite, Director of Programs, Global Kids
  • Marisha Marsh, Development Manager, Good Call
  • Alexa Salame, Learning & Resources Manager, Nonprofit New York

10:45 am - 11:00 am: Networking, Visit the Expo, Sponsor Sessions

11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Key Area of Nonprofit Excellence Breakout Sessions

  • The End of Business as Usual: Shifting Priorities and Plans
  • Joseph Barretto, Principal, Barretto Consulting
  • Gisele Castro, Executive Director, exalt youth
  • Brian Lewis, Deputy Director, exalt youth
  • When Fundraising Gets Tough, the Tough Stick to their Values
  • Christa Orth, Principal, Wingo NYC
  • Yolanda F. Johnson, Founder, Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy
  • Jenni Wolfson, Executive Director, Chicken & Egg Pictures

12:00 pm - 12:45 pm: Rebuilding Together: Preparing for the Next Phase

  • Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director, Center for Urban Future
  • Maria Torres-Springer, Vice President for US Programs, Ford Foundation

12:45 pm - 1:00 pm: Conference Close Out

2020 Best Nonprofit Conference Photos

"On a broad scale, the areas of excellence and workshops you provide in each area are so valuable to help frame our work, and provide an overall paradigm. I have learned the most from that alone, areas of which I may not be as familiar with from my work on the program end. The opening panel was really great, and I think set the stage for the entire conference. And then the selection of speakers in the sessions was fantastic- too many to note individually, but very memorable."

— 2019 Best Nonprofit Conference Participant

"While I found the entire day to be well spent, I found the panel discussion featuring EDs from winning organizations the most significant because it provided a range of perspectives from organizations varying in size based on headcount, reach and budget. Very valuable."

— 2019 Best Nonprofit Conference Participant

"This was an excellent conference! The space was amazing and much of the content was very valuable. The feeling in the room was very supportive and uplifting. Even the vendors seemed happy to be there! lol."

— 2019 Best Nonprofit Conference Participant


For program inquiries: Lakimja Mattocks, [email protected]
For press and media inquiries: Melkis Alvarez-Baez, [email protected]
For sponsorships: Matt Cheng, [email protected]



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