Securing the Future with Jenny Berg

You can be humble in your work and still take pride in it.

Today we welcome Jenny Berg, executive director of the Leadership Council for Nonprofits. Jenny has served on many boards, including Impact 100, Women Helping Women, and Catalyst. We’re talking about an upcoming annual conference called Securing the Future. It’s happening on March 6, 2019, so if you’re listening before then, now is a great chance to learn what it’s all about.

What does the Leadership Council for Nonprofits focus on?

The Leadership Council provides leadership building capacity programs, cost savings programs, and collaboration opportunities for nonprofits. The biggest growing program is called the Leaders Circles which is similar to a mastermind: it’s a peer-to-peer coaching program where people can share concerns, challenges, and ideas and get feedback from their peers.

Their next program is the Leadership Challenge, based on a five-part leadership mode: model the way, inspire the vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart. This is coming up on April 22, 2019, and Leadership Council members are welcome to apply.

Can you tell us about the Securing the Future Conference?

This is the conference’s 19th year, and previously run by the Cincinnati USA Chamber, it was started to motivate and help the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors. Some notable speakers have been:

Dan Pallotta, author of Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential (Civil Society: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives), helped us think differently about how we can run a nonprofit organization and what we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for.

Dr. Frances Hesselbein,  past president of the Girl Scouts of America and president of the Hesselbein Leadership Institute. She’s now 102 years old, and was 84 years old when she spoke in 2001. She also co-authored a book last year called Work is Love Made Visible.

Ruby Payne, whose work on understanding poverty is well-known in the nonprofit sector.

Are there any particular innovations that your organization has been focused on to help nonprofits advance?

  • The Leaders Circles are able to pull out the wisdom from the individuals within the group.
  • Live to Lead is a five-part leadership series. One of its main components is change management — one of the only constants we have in this industry.
  • The World Café Model will be act three of Securing the Future, and it’s a model of conversation that uses your own internal resources to frame questions around what is important to the people in the room.

Who’s the speaker for this year’s Securing the Future conference?

Alton Fitzgerald White is well-known for playing King Mufasa in Lion King on Broadway. He played the role 4,308 times, and in his book My Pride (Broadway’s Record-Breaking Lion King): Mastering Life’s Daily Performance, he focuses on bringing your best self to work every day, even if you’re doing the exact same thing, the way he was when he played Mufasa. He looks at it as being a servant leader to his audience, being humble in your work but still taking pride in it.

The second act of the conference will have breakout sessions based on Alton’s talk, led by:

  • Maureen Maxfield on strengthening resilience during rapid organizational change
  • Joe Moorman on how to recognize and activate your strengths
  • Jennifer Goodin, Ronald McDonald House, and Jen Eismeier on confidence, authenticity, and a “lit” team
  • Lauren Jones on a recent report they’ve put out about black philanthropy called Giving Black

What brought you to this work and keeps you motivated every day?

Jenny grew up with parents who were great supporters of the nonprofit community in a variety of ways, so that has always been instilled in her. Helping the nonprofit community is her passion, and she’s grateful to be able to impact the larger nonprofit community in a powerful way.

Sign up for the conference

Securing the Future is happening on March 6, 2019 at the Cintas Center at Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH, and you can sign up at or here.


Jenny Berg (LinkedIn)

Leadership Council for Nonprofits (Website)

Tickets for Securing the Future Conference

Dan Pallotta (LinkedIn)

Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential (Civil Society: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives) (Amazon)

Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute (LinkedIn)

Work is Love Made Visible (Amazon)

Alton Fitzgerald White (LinkedIn)

My Pride (Broadway’s Record-Breaking Lion King): Mastering Life’s Daily Performance (Amazon)


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