(Check back in Spring 2019 for this year's speakers) 

2018 plenary speakers: Erik Daubert, Elle Benson, and Philip Walkley


Erik Daubert is one of the most certified fundraising professionals in the world; he holds the lifetime credential of Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive (ACFRE) - one of approximately 110 worldwide. He serves as faculty with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, LaGrange College, and Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. He also serves as Affiliated Scholar with the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute. Erik is Director of Financial Development at the YMCA of the USA where he works to expand the philanthropic capacity of the YMCA worldwide. He is also the author of the book The Annual Campaign, and is an Association of Fundraising Professionals master trainer.

Plenary: “Reframing Home Repair Nonprofits for Philanthropy” Erik's plenary will focus on the power of philanthropy to grow, drive, and move the needle on home repair work in your community. Leveraging concepts in education, motivation, and inspiration, this presentation is designed to set the stage for your home repair nonprofit to consider philanthropy to accelerate your nonprofit forward. Erik will also lead two break-out sessions, “Starting Your Nonprofit Annual Fundraising,” and “Asking People to Support Your Nonprofit in 3 Easy Steps!”

Elle Benson is the Director of Capacity Building for the Alliance for Better Nonprofits (ABN). She is certified in RightPath assessments and Standards of Excellence for Nonprofit Organizations, and she teaches nonprofit management courses at the University of Tennessee. Elle is originally from Denver, and has an MBA in Leadership. She previously served as the Director of Operations for YMCA Knoxville, and president of Young Professionals of Knoxville. Elle serves on the boards of Friends of Literacy and the Alliance for Infant Mental Health in Tennessee, and has served on the boards for City People, Knoxville American Marketing Association, and the United Way Young Leaders Society.

Plenary: “Best Practices for Home Repair Programs - Where Do You Start?” Nonprofit home repair organizations must be proactive in meeting funders and community needs through best practices. Learn from Elle about how to self-assess your organization to determine and prioritize where to begin with best practices. Nonprofits that embrace and develop the characteristics of well-governed organizations are able to improve their operations, governance, and long-term sustainability. Luckily, there is a roadmap of where to start! ReFrame Association’s [soon to be released] Best Practice Guide and The Standards for Excellence are both great resources. The Standards for Excellence Institute aims to raise the level of accountability, transparency, and effectiveness of all nonprofit organizations to foster excellence and inspire trust. Elle will also lead a break-out session, “LinkedIn to Advance Your Cause.”

Philip Walkley has served as the Executive Director of Service Over Self for 11 years. SOS is an urban home repair and leadership development organization in Memphis, Tennessee. He has over 15 years of experience working and living in neighborhoods of poverty. Philip and his family currently live in Binghampton, one of the marginalized neighborhoods served by SOS. Philip is a former board member for ReFrame Association, and is a contributor to the book Gospel Centered Youth Ministry: A Practical Guide.

Plenary: “The ABCD’s of Home Repair” Philip will review the overarching philosophies behind poverty and Asset Based Community Development. He will also share practical steps to implement this approach in a volunteer-based home repair nonprofit. Attendees will walk away with a clear vision for the importance of ABCD in their home repair efforts as well as practical tools to put ABCD into practice in their organizations. The end result of ABCD is that those who have been helped - the recipients of charity - feel like the heroes and feel empowered to improve their circumstances in the future. Philip will also lead a break-out session, “Empowering Volunteers for Success: How to Motivate and Equip Home Repair Volunteers for Maximum Impact."