Area Nonprofits Gather for Conference, Networking


Educational Workshops and Keynote Address Inspire Planning for Future

Nearly 130 representatives of Southern Maryland nonprofits participated in a day of workshops and networking during the Fourth Annual College of Southern Maryland Nonprofit Institute Conference at the La Plata Campus.

With 16 workshops following tracks for boards, fundraising, management and marketing, participants were given inspiration and ideas to consider as they plan for their organization’s future.

Keynote speaker Don Tebbe,  told attendees that there is a growing retirement-age wave cresting with baby boomers in the next seven years, and that even though people may be postponing retirement, it doesn’t mean that they are unavailable to serve nonprofits. Tebbe, a co-founder of the National Council of Nonprofit Associations and TransitionGuides, providing assistance to nonprofits, is the author of “For the Good of the Cause: Board Building Lessons from Highly Effective Nonprofits.” His remarks provided insights generated by years of experience helping nonprofits, with a special emphasis on the challenges of building effective leadership and handling leadership transitions.

“Demography is destiny. Look at your [community’s] demography and you are looking at your [organization’s] destiny,” Tebbe said. People retiring at age 65 today can expect, on average, 20 bonus years with good health, said Tebbe. In late adulthood there is psychological tension between stagnation and generativity or the ability to be creative, and Tebbe believes that sharing wisdom gathered over a lifetime is appealing to baby boomers as they look for satisfying experiences after retirement.

Tebbe said organizations shouldn’t focus solely on retirees but should be comprised of people representing multiple generations so as to be better prepared for transitions in leadership.

          Nationally, there are 1.5 million nonprofits registered with the IRS, with 32,001 in Maryland. Of those, 441 are in Charles County, 319 in St. Mary’s County and 283 in Calvert County. Southern Maryland nonprofits employ more than 6,000 people, making nonprofits collectively the second largest employer in the region.

“Although education is the bedrock of the Nonprofit Institute, providing opportunities for organizations to network is also vitally important. Organizations of varying sizes and missions can find much in common and we hope that they feel comfortable sharing and learning from each other beyond the workshops,” said Charles County Nonprofit Institute Coordinator Vivian Mills.

   “The more the nonprofit areas pull together and demonstrate value to the community, the better the odds of receiving government support which is critical to achieving other revenue streams,” said George Hurlburt, treasurer for the Literacy Council of St. Mary’s County as well as treasurer for the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum.

New to serving on a nonprofit board in Southern Maryland, Richard Lord found the conference useful and informative. He started his career as director of Boys and Girls Club of America in Trenton, N.J. in 1969 and now, following retirement with 30 years of federal government service, he returns to nonprofit work with Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee.

For information on the Nonprofit Institute and upcoming training, visit



CSM Nonprofit Institute: Running the All-Volunteer Organization. 6:30-8:30 p.m., April 14. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Center for Business and Industry (BI) Building, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. The College of Southern Maryland Nonprofit Institute presents a workshop, led by a panel of leaders in all-volunteer organizations, to discuss how nonprofits can pursue their missions and carry out a variety of programs without benefit of paid staff. The workshop will examine the effective balance between the organization’s overall governing role, its duty to assure sound management, the role of the president, the challenge of setting up a workable committee system and the process of recruiting volunteers. $15 for Charles and St. Mary’s county organizations; $20 for other organizations. To register, visit, 301-934-4741 or

CSM Nonprofit Institute: Telling Your Organization’s Story for Maximum Effect. 6:30-8:30 p.m., April 22. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Center for Business and Industry (BI) Building, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. Your organization has an important story to tell—and it’s vital to tell it effectively and to make sure it reaches all the audiences that count. The CSM Nonprofit Institute presents an interactive workshop, led by CSM Community Relations Senior Executive Director Karen Smith Hupp, on the importance of defining and clarify an organization’s story and how to integrate it into social media uses, marketing, public relations, fundraising, and board and volunteer recruitment. $15 for Charles and St. Mary’s county organizations; $20 for other organizations. To register, visit, 301-934-4741 or