The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities invites you to share your knowledge, promising practices, and solutions that help to unleash the transformative power of community-based human services organizations and propel the sector to be influential agents of systems-level change by presenting at the Senior Leadership Conference, to be held Feb. 21-24, 2021 in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

At this conference, emerging and seasoned human services leaders come together for discussions that focus on optimizing the capacity of human service organizations to achieve long-term, sustainable outcomes. At the Senior Leadership Conference, participants can expect to learn, build skills, network with colleagues, and develop meaningful relationships.

Presenters will choose from several engaging presentation formats and five requested topic areas pertinent to organizational excellence. Share your knowledge, strategies, and stories to enable colleagues to better address the challenges they face. Presentations should showcase the benefits of co-creating solutions with communities and collaborating within and across organizations and sectors to achieve shared goals. 

Submit proposals through the online form below by June 19.

Contact the Alliance Conferences and Meetings Department with questions or for more information.

Requested Topics

The Alliance seeks advanced content for its conference participants, whom have experience in the subject areas and are looking to develop their skill and mastery. Content should include practical strategies and concepts participants can apply in their work. While learning from the successes of others is valuable, presenters who use examples from their organizations as the core of their presentations must be able to identify and call attention to the takeaways that transcend local climate, contracts, and norms, so that all participants can benefit from the experience and use it to improve their work. 

In partnership with the Alliance Senior Leadership Conference Council, the Alliance has identified the following topics for which we seek proposals for conference presentations. 

  • Advancing Equity: How organizations can create a more just, fair, and inclusive organizational culture and society through policies, organizational leadership, and programs and services. (Intended audience: All)
  • Financial Health and Sustainability: How organizations can advance practices and policies that ensure a well-resourced and financially stable nonprofit sector that is resilient and able to manage risk effectively, achieve measurable outcomes, and positions itself for innovation and growth. (Intended audience: Finance executives)
  • Innovation: How organizations can intentionally cultivate a culture of innovation and invent new, effective solutions through generative thinking, human-centered design approaches, technology investments, and cross-sector partnerships. (Intended audience: All)
  • Fundraising, Marketing, and Communications: How organizations can build their fundraising and marketing capacity to advance innovation and promote sustainability. (Intended audience: Fundraising, marketing, and communications staff and chief executives)
  • Human Services Workforce Solutions: How organizations can develop diverse and robust talent pipelines and advance organizational capacity through effective employee engagement and retention strategies, the application of emerging human resources technologies, and cross-departmental collaboration to safeguard a strong and engaged workforce. (Intended audience: Human resources executives)
  • Performance Excellence: How organizations can strategically use data, accreditation standards, and best practices to reach program- and population-level outcomes; design and implement effective evidence-based models; develop and execute quality improvement plans; and engage all staff, participants, and community stakeholders for meaningful community and system impact. (Intended audience: Performance excellence managers, program directors)

Requested Formats

The 2021 Senior Leadership Conference’s breakout sessions will feature several formats to enhance learning, sharing, and networking. All presentations must align with one of the requested topics. 

All presenters should allow ample time for group interaction and Q&A. Past evaluations have made it clear that conference participants prefer hands-on workshops with clear takeaways, rather than the lecture format. Panel discussions are limited to three presenters. 

  • Pop-Up Presentations: These 15-minute standing sessions will take place during the conference breaks and will be limited to a microphone with no audio-visual equipment. Speakers should be experienced and succinct in their presentation of a focused topic or idea.
  • Candid Campfire Conversations: These sessions have no audio-visual equipment and participants will be seated in a circle of chairs. The presenter poses an idea, opportunity, or challenge, and, after a 30-minute introduction, the focus shifts from the presenter to the audience. For the remainder of the 60- or 90-minute session, the presenter becomes the facilitator and invites responses to comments and questions from those in the room, letting the participants dictate the ultimate direction of the conversation.
  • Talk Show Panel: These sessions, consisting of up to three panelists and a moderator, are a great way to showcase multiple expert opinions on a topic in a short amount of time. Use this format to feature different perspectives, offer alternative solutions to problems, and start new conversations.
  • SLC Snapshots: Multiple presenters will deliver TED Talk-style presentations for five minutes each. After all presenters have spoken, they will lead small-group discussions with participants on their topics.
  • Design It Yourself: Suggest a workshop format of your choosing. Consider a traditional presentation, world café, or other style. The format will be left up to you—just remember, adults have a hard time learning from 90-minute lectures. Keep your session as participatory and engaging as possible.

Proposal Selection Process and Deadlines  

All workshop proposals must be submitted online through the form below by June 19.

Workshop selections will be made by the Senior Leadership Conference Council, which is comprised of executives and directors from the Alliance network. Submitting a proposal does not guarantee acceptance. Individuals will be notified by Aug. 14 if their presentations have been selected for inclusion in the conference. 

The Alliance will not permit any presenter to use his or her presentation to make a sales pitch for any specific firm, publication, or service. Presenters are not paid for their participation.  


Proposal Components

All information must be included for proposal consideration:

  • Contact Information: Include full contact information including name, title, organization, address, phone, and email address for the lead presenter (main contact person) and any co-presenters. If presenters or their organizations use Twitter, list their usernames for conference promotions and engagement.
  • Biography: Include a current biography for each presenter that is no longer than 200 words.
  • Requested Topic: Select the requested topic that best matches your proposal.  
  • Learning Goals: Briefly describe/list how your workshop will meet the conference learning goal for its track:
    • Advancing Equity track learners will be able to apply new practices and policies or revise their existing practices and policies to their organization, to their leadership, and to their programs and services to develop their organizational culture to be more just, fair, and inclusive.
    • Financial Health and Sustainability track learners will be able to apply new practices and policies or revise their existing practices and policies to their organization to enhance its financial stability, manage risk effectively, improve their ability to achieve measurable outcomes, and position it competitively for innovation and growth.
    • Fundraising, Marketing, and Communications track learners will be able to apply new practices and policies or revise their existing practices and policies to their organization to build its fundraising and marketing capacity to advance innovation and promote sustainability.
    • Human Services Workforce Solutions track learners will be able to apply effective employee engagement and retention strategies to their organization, emerging human resources technologies to increase efficiency and effectiveness, and techniques to ensure strong cross-departmental collaboration to develop a diverse and robust talent pipeline and advance organizational capacity.
    • Innovation track learners will be able to apply generative thinking techniques, human-centered design approaches, technological advances, and cross-sector partnerships that create an innovative culture that generates new solutions.
    • Performance Excellence track learners will be able to engage all voices to design, develop, and implement quality improvement plans and evidence-based models using data, accreditation standards, and best practices strategically for meaningful community and systems impact.
  • Format: Select the format of your presentation.
    • Presentation Methods: If proposing a “Design Your Own” format, describe the format/delivery methods you will use to engage the audience. Preference will be given to formats that encourage strong participant engagement.
  • Presentation Title: Include a brief, descriptive title for your presentation.
  • Description: Describe your presentation in 350 words or less. Explain how your topic is practical and relevant for the attendees of this conference. Use compelling language that clarifies what participants can expect and entices them to attend.
  • Workshop Takeaways: List three to five main points to be covered in your workshop.
  • Content Level: Indicate whether your content level is “Learner” or “Doer.” “Learner” sessions are for those who have limited experience with the subject and seek to be introduced to the topic. “Doer” presentations are for those who have prior experience with the subject and seek to advance their skill and mastery.
  • Audience Type: Select all audience(s) whom this workshop will benefit the most:
    • Board members
    • Chief executives
    • Executives (vice presidents, c-suite)
    • Directors
    • Managers/supervisors
    • Professional/clinical services staff
    • Prior Presentations: If this workshop has been presented before, list the conference(s) and date(s).
  • Related Content: Share links to any articles, report, videos, etc. that have been published about the presenter or organization and the presentation topic.
  • Virtual Experience: We assume this conference will be held in person; however, indicate whether your presentation could be adapted to a virtual learning experience if needed.