Reflections from 501(c)onference

This past summer, I had the privilege of attending the Center for Nonprofit Management’s 2017 501(c)onference entitled “CommUNITY Out of Chaos.” The gathering brought together nonprofit professionals from all across the spectrum looking for new ideas and strategies for change within the current sociopolitical climate.


Since the conference, the news cycles have shown no signs of slowing down--and we have to work harder and smarter than ever to strengthen our communities and uphold our shared values. 

With that said, here are some bits of wisdom that I found most impactful:  

  1. The middle ground we all share is better than any divisions we have as a society. We are more connected than we realize. (Dowell Myers, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy)

  2. In order to harness the power of your community, you need to identify and get to know your champions. People act when they are given agency and control. (Naomi Leight-Give’on, CausePick)

  3. “Standing up for our constitutionally guaranteed rights is not taking a political position.”  (Ann Buroughs, Japanese American National Museum)

  4. How an organization sets itself up provides that organization with access to different pockets of funding. Nonprofits need to rethink their funding models, look “beyond the grant,” and become investment ready if they want to survive and succeed in future markets. (David Greco, Social Sector Partners)

  5. Mindfulness is synonymous with heartfulness. Heartfulness builds community. (Elliot Law, Mindful USC, Insight LA & Robert Lurye, Insight LA)

  6. Real change happens when we develop unlikely alliances. We have to diversify our alliances and develop a ‘coalition of the willing.’ (Unlikely Allies in Times of Change Session)

  7. We need leadership that is “courageous, open-minded, and built on trust” in the current political context. (Apolonio Morales, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, CHIRLA)

  8. “If you want to do equity, get ready to be uncomfortable.” (Manuel Pastor, USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences)

  9. How do you remain positive in the face of adversity? FLIP IT!

    Focus on the here, now. What can you feel good about?
    Label life differently: Is is happening to you or for you?
    Ideas: Imagine what could be
    Plan and prioritize. Practice, be patient and persevere.
    IT is just “it”. Learn to distinguish facts from beliefs.
    (Sebastien Gendry, The Laughter Consultants)

  10. Everyone can’t do everything, but everyone can do something. (Shane Murphy Goldsmith, Liberty Hill Foundation | LA Police Commission)

As a Board Member of YNPN LA, I hope that you will join our community as we work together to strengthen the nonprofit sector in Los Angeles and support nonprofit professionals by providing networking and professional development opportunities.

For more information on our organization visit, For access to the 501(c)onference presentations, please visit:


Noa is a human rights and social justice advocate, passionate about international affairs, women's rights, and education. In her current position as the Community Engagement Coordinator at Temple Israel of Hollywood, she helps facilitate social action initiatives and works to organize and strengthen the community both on and offline. She received her BA in Anthropology from the USC and her MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Noa has served in the nonprofit sector locally and globally for nearly a decade and is always looking for effective and creative ways to create positive social impact. 

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