Alabama Power Foundation’s Elevate Conference to be virtual

June 19, 2020 | Uncategorized | Alabama Power Foundation

Original post by Erin Harney on Alabama NewsCenter

For the first time in its eight years, the Alabama Power Foundation’s annual Elevate Conference has gone virtual. Traditionally, Elevate has brought together nonprofits from around the state for a day to encourage collaboration and offer workshops focused on best practices for building a better Alabama.

This year’s conference, which starts Monday, June 22, instead will be a five-day exploration of the dramatic impact COVID-19 has had on nonprofits and how they can navigate the challenges created by a global pandemic.

“One of the many ways in which we partner with and support nonprofits is through our annual Elevate conference,” said Myla Calhoun, president of the Alabama Power Foundation. “This conference is an opportunity for us to connect with our nonprofit partners and provide training opportunities so they can continue to fulfill their mission and expand their impact. Because of COVID-19, we moved our conference to a virtual setting, but this has allowed us to provide an even more robust agenda and has given us the ability to accommodate more attendees.”

Among the conference’s sessions:

Keynote speaker John MacIntosh, managing partner at SeaChange, on Monday will offer best practices for nonprofits in making tough decisions to survive COVID-19, which he said “threatens to be an extinction-level event for nonprofits.”

Tuesday, Mike Gellman of Fiscal Strategies 4 Nonprofits, will discuss how nonprofits can protect their financial health “amid a crisis that results in a loss of funding, the increased use of operating reserves, and the changing demand for services and programs, all of which could lead to rapidly growing deficits.”

Panelists also will offer advice on how nonprofits can use the virtual world to their advantage. Tuesday, Brooke Battle of Swell Fundraising will discuss virtual fundraising and the concrete steps nonprofits can take to create a successful online fundraising event. Wednesday, Dana McGough of Cayenne Creative will help nonprofits leverage today’s forced distancing “to build or bolster their online presence to engage with donors, participants, members and employees.”

Also Wednesday, a panel will discuss the importance of impact investing and the critical role it plays in the future of philanthropic funding.

Monday and Thursday, a panel of funders from Alabama foundations will discuss the effects COVID-19 has had on giving and explain new ways of leveraging support to nonprofit partners. Also Thursday, Greg Schumann of Markstein agency will help nonprofits understand how to survive crisis situations, including examining internal and external communications strategies.

During Friday’s closing session, the foundation will announce the opening of the application period for  Elevate grants. The grants focus on leveraging collaboration and helping a nonprofit achieve financial stability, program quality and growth. The foundation also will unveil its 2019 annual report, the third in the “Stories from the Field” series that highlights people and organizations working to enhance communities across Alabama.

For more information, visit and click on ELEVATE 2020 on the top toolbar.


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