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Leadership Communications Days 2018 Nonprofit Edition

The leader of a nonprofit organization wakes up many mornings to an expanded job description, in an unanticipated spotlight, or on the horns of an exotic new dilemma.

That leader needs your help.

But where do you go to learn wisdom and the ways of fellow leadership communication professionals who work in your tight-fitting shoes?

You go to Nonprofit Leadership Communication Days—at AARP, April 26-27.

There, you’ll get an inside look at how the veteran leadership communicators at one of the world’s largest and most stable nonprofits, AARP, are dealing with this disorienting moment—not just by reacting with wisdom but by acting aggressively, with bold initiatives that keep the organization on its front foot. Join AARP Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff Kevin Donnellan and Director of CEO Communications Boe Workman, as they discuss an approach to CEO communications that led to AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins’ recognition as “Non-Profit Times’ Power and Influence Top 50” from 2013 to 2016 and as “Non-Profit Influencer of the Year” in 2015.

Other guest speakers: Employee communication counselor Sharon McIntosh will lead a discussion on how leaders of nonprofits deal with internal communication. And the nonprofit communication expert Shaun Adamec will help you frame your message in ways that cut through the public narratives that are currently interfering with your mission.

But mostly, our agenda will be your agenda. You’ll share your best practices and bare your biggest problems with the only people who understand what it’s like to:

  • Please many constituencies simultaneously. You’ll learn how your counterparts at nonprofits across various sectors deal with conflicting attitudes of donors and board members and employees—and the people who represent their purpose.
  • Communicate when the truth is elusive and everything is political. In an environment where caring for sick kids can be seen as a political statement and 401(c)3s are prevented from lobbying, many nonprofit leaders find themselves in a new territory without a map.
  • Contend with the increasing demands on nonprofit leaders to weigh in on public matters. “Statement fatigue,” as one speechwriter describes it—and as all nonprofit leaders understand it. We’ll get into it.
  • Maintain attention for the organization’s sometimes un-sexy mission. For nonprofit leaders, staying relevant is Job One—and it’s your job to help them do that. 
  • Oh, and deal with all the other nettlesome issues that leadership communicators face day to day. Finding great stories and telling them well. Using social media to amplify the impact of speeches. Managing colleagues, up, down and across the organization.

Get some help of your own for once, at Nonprofit Leadership Communication Days, where you’ll candidly discuss all your professional issues, no matter how unique-to-you they may seem.

You’re among friends.

What you can expect at Leadership Communication Days—and afterward

You’ll gain more than ideas out of these two days of meetings and coffee breaks and drinks and a sponsored dinner. You’ll gain permanent friends and helpful colleagues, making a sometimes lonely and difficult business more meaningful, rewarding and secure.

In an agenda created by participants and expertly moderated by David Murray, executive director of the Professional Speechwriters Association, you will share your best ideas and get help with your toughest troubles with the only other people in the world who understand.


To make sure everyone has a chance to participate fully and discuss the issues thoroughly, we're capping attendance at 20.


The cost for Leadership Communication Days is $1,495—with 25% off for members of the Professional Speechwriters Association.

Register now to make sure you get your seat at what could be a once-in-a-career opportunity. 

Hotel Suggestions

We recommend the Fairfield Inn & Suites Washington, DC/Downtown, a few blocks from AARP headquarters: 500 H St NW, Washington, D.C. Phone: (202) 289-5959. For a low-cost alternative, we recommend the Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center, just a short cab ride away.

Daily Schedule

Each day of Leadership Communication Days runs from 9am-5pm at AARP headquarters, 601 E Street, NW, Washington, D.C. Drinks and dinner, sponsored by AARP and the Professional Speechwriters Association, will take place Thursday evening at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Register Now.