Texas Nonprofit Summit Highlights the Importance of Collaboration

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Courtesy / OneStar Foundation

Attendees networking at a past Texas Nonprofit Summit.

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The Texas Nonprofit Summit is expanding its boundaries beyond nonprofits to highlight cross-sector approaches and collaborative efforts for achieving social change.

On Oct. 29, an estimated 300 nonprofit professionals, board members, philanthropists, business leaders, and government and academic representatives from across Texas will convene in San Antonio for a day of networking and idea sharing. Texas Nonprofit Summit is hosted by OneStar Foundation, and CITGO is the Presenting Sponsor.

Organizers selected this year’s theme – Finding a Common Thread: Strengthening the Fabric of Our Communities – to emphasize the interconnected roles organizations and individuals play in creating community impact. 

“The importance of collaboration came into sharp focus during our Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery efforts. We noticed the communities that were able to respond most effectively were ones that had established relationships and were able to communicate and thoughtfully share responsibilities and resources across sectors,” said Chris Bugbee, president and CEO of OneStar Foundation. “Our goal is to bring this same approach of resilience and responsiveness to all of the complex challenges facing Texas communities.”

San Antonio’s vibrant nonprofit sector makes it an ideal host for this year’s Texas Nonprofit Summit, which will feature many local leaders. For example, facilitating a workshop on community engagement is Molly Cox, president and CEO of SA2020, a nonprofit that drives progress toward San Antonio’s shared vision by reporting on progress, activating the public, and aligning local efforts – including the work of over 180 multi-sector partners. According to the most recent SA2020 Impact Report, 55 percent of SA2020’s nonprofit partners participate in a collaborative working group or coalition.

“In San Antonio, reaching our shared Community Vision relies on us all taking responsibility for our collective well-being,” Cox said. “Coordinating efforts is essential because community results cannot be achieved by one organization working alone.”

In addition, Michael Guerra of the San Antonio Food Bank and Brandyn Moore-Rodriguez of United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County will be sharing insights on volunteer recruitment, readiness, and engagement.

Other workshops will cover best practices in marketing, board development, data analysis, and various nonprofit management topics. There will also be an exclusive screening of the feature documentary Community First, A Home for the Homeless, which played at the SXSW 2019 Film Festival.

During the lunch hour, the spotlight will shift to the private sector with a panel featuring representatives from AT&T and H-E-B discussing how businesses and nonprofits can work together to address social challenges. This conversation will give attendees an opportunity to hear directly from business leaders and will provide an intimate perspective on corporate philanthropy. The panel will be moderated by Robert Rivard of the Rivard Report and will be introduced by Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott.

Edith Lutnick, co-founder and president of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, will deliver the morning keynote address and will highlight how her organization worked across sectors to address the short-term and long-term needs of victims of terrorism and disaster.

The Texas Nonprofit Summit is an annual conference hosted by OneStar Foundation. The event was first launched in 1977 and was originally known as the Governor’s Volunteer Leadership Conference, which provided training for volunteer leaders across the state of Texas. It has since evolved into the premier nonprofit conference in the state and attracts leaders from across sectors to explore how to better strengthen Texas communities. These summits are locally driven, content-rich gatherings that showcase capacity-building efforts, foster cross-sector partnerships, catalyze strategies to address local issues, and create lasting collaborative relationships within the community.

“The economic prosperity of Texas and the resiliency of communities across our state relies on strong partnerships between the public sector (government), private sector (business), and nonprofit sector,” states the “Built for Texas” nonprofit study released by the United Ways of Texas earlier this year. “This symbiotic relationship between nonprofits and the public and private sectors creates a prosperous Texas where we can all live, work, and thrive.”

To view the full lineup of workshops and speakers and to register, visit texasnonprofitsummit.org. Tickets start at $75, and registration is also available on site.

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