Northern California’s Nonprofit Conference of the Year

February 4, 2020

About About

Take a closer look at our community and meet the leaders bringing change. 

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The Details

Join California nonprofits, world renown speakers, philanthropists, and passionate advocates for a full day of inspiration and discovery.  What IF is all about exploring what’s possible and being with people who care as much as you do. Impact Foundry, Northern California’s nonprofit resource center, is pleased to bring you our 4th annual What IF Conference. Learn more about Impact Foundry.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

McClellan Conference Center
5411 Luce Ave, McClellan Park, CA 95652

View the Parking Guide | View on Google Maps 


Theme:  Inclusion & Equity

Keynote Speaker: Pamela Ross, Vice President of Opportunity, Inclusion & Equity at the Central Indiana Community Foundation

What IF 2020 is all about cultural responsiveness. The conference will challenge participants to engage in courageous conversations regarding the systemic impacts of racism and the perpetuation of inequities affecting marginalized, vulnerable, and historically disenfranchised communities. We will lift up the voices of leaders of color and allies in our social sector who have leveraged their influence to bring awareness to the need for full comprehensive systems change. We believe we all have a responsibility to work collectively to dismantle systems built on foundations of bias, racism in order to create inclusive systems that work for everyone.

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Keynote Speaker:

Pamela Ross

Our keynote speaker is Pamela Ross, Vice President of Opportunity, Equity & Inclusion at Central Indiana Community Foundation. She is responsible for leading CICF’s organizational initiatives that support increased equity, inclusive economic growth and racial awareness in Central Indiana.

Pamela has her MSW from the University of Georgia with concentrations in community development and program evaluation. She has over 25 years of professional experience in the social services field, managing multiple programs dedicated to improving the plight of children and families. Pamela serves on the board for Kennedy King Memorial Initiative and is active in various efforts focused on disparities in multiple sectors.

She is a 2019 Tobias Fellow and vice chair for Indiana Blacks in Philanthropy, an affiliate of Indiana Philanthropy Alliance. She is a well-known presenter and collaborator on efforts delving into issues of race, equity and inclusiveness.

A native of Indianapolis, Pamela has lived in Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston and Iowa. She has also traveled to multiple countries in Africa, including an internship in Tunisia for the African Development Bank. Pamela has a great passion for making a difference in the lives of people often left behind. Above many things, she values her family and living a purposeful life.

“Today’s climate requires bold and courageous leaders. Leaders that not only care and have compassion but are also willing to lose some things in the fight of justice for all. We can no longer afford to stand on the sidelines becoming more intellectual about the issues or be proud because we are the greatest cheerleaders. We all have to fight to ensure everyone has an opportunity to achieve their greatest dreams.”

- Pamela Ross


Download the Guidebook App

The WHAT IF Conference will use a mobile-app digital program guide. It’s called guidebook (with a little blue g – its free).
The WHAT IF mobile app is designed to help you navigate a full day of sessions, ensuring that you get the information you need to excel in your mission-driven work. With the app you can download presentation handouts, message and network with other attendees, and receive live conference updates throughout the day.

The app also features:

  • A full schedule of the day
  • Speaker bios
  • Vendor company descriptions
  • Sponsor company descriptions


Tatiana Lee

Tatiana Lee is a Hollywood Inclusionist at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Lee learned to harness the power of social media to speak boldly about accessibility and inclusion in mass media. She became the voice behind “Accessible Hollywood” where she highlighted her journey as an actress, model and lifestyle influencer born with Spina Bifida. Lee was in one of Apple’s first ad campaigns featuring people with disabilities using Apple’s accessible features and products. Lee has appeared in several short films, including the 2018 Disability Film Challenge Best Awareness Film “Footloose” and “Coffee with Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.” She is the 2018 recipient of the Reeves Acting Scholarship from The Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation, which she accepted at the Media Access Awards.

Dr. Betty Uribe

For nearly three decades, Dr. Uribe has been transforming business, culture, and people through values-based leadership. A recognized authority on the psychology of leadership, turnarounds, organizational structure, and peak performance, she has been honored for her turnaround results, strategic intellect and humanitarian endeavors. Dr. Uribe has worked with leaders from every walk of life at national and international levels including CEOs of multinational corporations, military generals, political leaders, advocates for humanity, psychologists, university presidents, parents and community leaders. As an international and bilingual/bicultural speaker, Dr. Betty has lectured in, and her work has been published in, financial and business publications in Asia, Europe, Canada and The Americas. Author of International Best-Selling book: #Values: The Secret to Top-Level Performance in Business & Life, Dr. Betty’s work has been featured in television, radio and print. Her life story has been featured in Spanish and English television and print media, where she is often featured as a subject matter expert in corporate turnarounds and the financial services industry.

RoLanda Allaha Wilkins

RoLanda is an innovative program administrator, global community organizer and traditional ceremonial leader. RoLanda and her organization, Earth Mama Healing, works in areas of adolescent and women’s health and wellness, specializing in youth development and leadership. RoLanda has worked throughout the United States an internationally in Canada, Cuba, Ghana, Honduras, Haiti, Jamaica, Nigeria and South Africa. Earth Mama Healing was formed in 2011 by seven women between the ages of 18 to 62, with a mission to create emotionally strong, spiritually connect, and socially smart girls and women.

Sejal Thakkar

Sejal Thakkar is founder and Chief Civility Officer of TrainXtra.  As Sejal grew up in a suburb of Chicago, she fought hatred and discrimination on a regular basis. She refused to allow ignorance, insensitivity, and the bullying conduct of others impact her inner “ninja”.  Armed with knowledge she gained from these experiences, Sejal teaches that harassment will not stop on its own  – it’s up to all of us to be part of the fight to stop workplace harassment. Sejal’s passion for training led her to create TrainXtra, a proactive training practice where she brings the wealth of her employment law expertise in customized training in an interactive, engaging environment.  She has over fifteen years of employment law experience that includes advising clients, human resources personnel, and legal counsel regarding sound, standard employment practices.


Anita Ross

Anita Ross is on a mission to empower millions of women to love themselves fully and to equip them with the tools for making choices that serve their highest good. She knows firsthand the struggles that women face with low self-esteem, gender discrimination, body image pressures and domestic violence. She is the author of Mean Time Love: A Woman’s Journey From Self-Loathe to Self-Love, a self-help book for women. Anita is founder of Women For Equality and is presenting the 3rd Annual Racial Healing in America Conference on February 29 in Sacramento. This one-day conference is in response to the heightened awareness in our nation of the need for racial healing. The prevalence of hate crimes, social injustices and racial divides demonstrate the need for us to come together.

Brad Bonar

1 Degree of Separation: A Funny Look at Depression & Suicide

A comedy show aiming to end the stigma of mental illness. Depression has one degree of separation: if you don’t suffer then someone you know does.

“Our mission is to bring dialogue, awareness and acceptance to depression through laughter and vulnerability. We will kill the stigma of depression by creating an army of comedians to share stories of hope, happiness and triumph.”

Dr. Jenni Murphy

Dr. Jenni Murphy serves as the Dean for the College of Continuing Education. With a passion for service, Dr. Jenni works at the intersection of workforce impact, economic development, and higher education and is currently leading ProjectAttain!, which is a region-wide initiative to narrow the equity gap, reduce the attainment gap, and meet our region’s workforce needs.


Equity and Inclusion Track

Intro to Power, Privilege & Responsibility
Advancing Cultural Responsiveness within Organizations
Leadership sets the tone for culture in organizations. Even with a positive view on race by leaders, policies and practices continue to negatively affect people of color within the workforce and our communities. We did not choose this system but we have a responsibility to address these dynamics within our agencies and organizations.
Panelists include:

Equitable Development and Community Ownership of Community Assets
Community Vision promotes economic justice and alleviates poverty by increasing the financial resilience and sustainability of community-based nonprofits and enterprises. Through flexible financial products and sound advice, Community Vision creates opportunities to make socially responsible investments that revitalize Northern and Central California communities. Join their lending and consulting experts in a discussion of equitable development in our sector.
Presenter: Saul Ettlin and Kelly Ehrenfeld, Community Vision

Causes Count: New Data on Disparities and the Economic Power of California’s Nonprofits

We don’t always think of the California nonprofit sector as a powerful economic force, but we generate 15% of the state’s GDP and employ more people than the construction industry.  Join us for a lively presentation and discussion of new research from the recently released Causes Count: the Economic Impact of California’s Nonprofit Sector – New Findings. Join this discussion of the scope and impact of government-nonprofit partnerships, disparities within the nonprofit sector, and how the new data can be used to advocate for ourselves and our communities.
Presenter: Christina Dragonetti, Outreach and Communications Director for California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits)

Planning for Vulnerable Populations in Disaster
According to The World Health Organization, “Children, pregnant women, elderly people, malnourished people, and people who are ill or immunocompromised, are particularly vulnerable when a disaster strikes, and take a relatively high share of the disease burden associated with emergencies”. In this session, Connect Consulting Services will share case studies, lessons learned, and strategies from non- profit organizations on how they prepared their constituencies for and recovered from disaster. In addition, the speaker will discuss Access and Functional Needs (AFN) Planning which is a process to identify those populations and communities that need special assistance when disaster strikes and determine a course of action that ensures their safety and security.
Presenter: Nora O’Brien, Connect Consulting Services

Children’s Literacy Campaign
Join youth advocates in a discussion moderated by April Javist, Sacramento Public Library Foundation. The vision of the children’s literacy campaign is to put all children on a path to success through reading and writing, and to create a community-wide literacy movement that commits to the achievement of all children. Join this session to discuss the data, the tools and resources, and the opportunities to collaborate for more equitable opportunities for our kids.
Discussion facilitator: April Javist, Sacramento Public Library Foundation
Panelists include:

  • JaNay Brown-Wood is a professor and author working to move the needle by telling stories about characters who are more representative of the nation’s diverse makeup.
  • Michael Lynch is CEO & co-founder of Improve Your Tomorrow, the fastest growing mentor program for high school boys and men of color.
  • Marcus Strothers is Director of Youth Development at Sacramento City Unified School District.
  • April Javist has been working on convening the literacy community to streamline efforts, build relationships and help all children get to grade-level reading.

Sacramento State, an Anchor University
In the past three decades, urban universities nationwide have strengthened their commitments as place-based “anchor” institutions to improve the economic and social well-being of their local communities. Sacramento State has embraced the vision to formally become an “Anchor University” and is on course to further align resources and efforts with the anchor mission and cultivate long-term and mutually beneficial relationships with our community partners in pioneering endeavors to address our community’s priorities. Meet leaders from several university centers and departments to learn about their work in alignment with the anchor institution initiative and share ideas on how the university is currently partnering or could partner with your community organization to make an impact.
Panel discussion facilitated by Dr. Jenni Murphy, Dean, College of Continuing Education, Sacramento State

Womenomics: Empowering Women Through Financial Security
Understand the importance of women’s buying power and how it can be used to your advantage individually. As a woman, there are many financial hurdles that can be overcome with simple planning and proactivity. Shayne Corriea-Fernandez, a financial advisor and business owner, will provide you with strategies on how to build your personal financial plan that details retirement plans, budgets, investments and tips on savings so you can start defying the odds and live up to your true potential. In addition, consider ways to leverage women’s buying power in your nonprofit fundraising strategies.
Presenter: Shayne Corriea-Fernandez, Corriea Group Financial

How to Mitigate Unconscious Bias and Micro-Aggressions at Work
Civility in the workplace enables employees to feel safe expressing their ideas and fosters organizational cohesion. We all want to work in a supportive environment and when we understand unconscious bias and micro-aggressions, we’re better equipped to create inclusive work settings. Join this session to learn strategies for overcoming personal and organizational bias.
Presenter: Sejal Thakkar, Esq., Chief Civility Officer at TrainXtra, South San Francisco

Sacramento Investment Without Displacement
A discussion of the role of community organizing in local advocacy
Join this engaging panel to discuss the Sacramento Investment Without Displacement initiative born out of the Sacramento Building Healthy Communities as a response to University of California’s planned Aggie Square development; the role of community representation in economic development; and nonprofit organizations’ role in helping identify potential impacts of major investment in neighborhoods.
Panelists include:

Racial Healing in America: A Workshop To Discover What It Would Take
We are currently experiencing a heightened awareness in our country of the need for racial healing. The prevalence of hate crimes, social injustices and racial divides have been brought to the surface and it’s time for us to come together. Communication and understanding can provide a way forward to healing the divide that is preventing our country from reaching its full promise of unity, equality and equity. Join Anita Ross, Founder of Women For Equality, for a candid conversation about race, healing and a path forward, all in a safe space.  Participants will:
  • Dive deep into the significance of racial healing
  • Explore what racial healing looks and feels like
  • Discover how they can be a part of the solution

Empowering Women to Bridge the Gap
Hosted by Junior League of Sacramento & University of the Pacific

Historically it is no secret that women have faced greater barriers than men attaining leadership roles in public and private organizations across the country. These barriers persist regardless of background, geographic location, or income levels. Considering the persistent inequality for women in the workplace, it is more than apparent help and intervention is still required. In this workshop, we’ll discuss what unique barriers women face as well as resources for collectively addressing the gap.

Nonprofit Best Practices Track

Podcasting as a Marketing Tool: “Tell your story in your words”
You’ll likely agree the best advertising is unpaid. “Word of Mouth” marketing is referral, testimonial and content driven.  So why not talk to your audience personally?

Join this high-energy session to learn about the fastest growing medium, Podcasting. Is it right for your organization? You’ll learn simple steps to get started doing a podcast, and you’ll learn simple steps to fix the things you’ll screw up once you start your podcast. Learn the three most important things you must do; and how to get good, better, best at doing your podcast and attracting more donor dollars.
Presenter: Jeff Holden, MultiPoint Content Strategies

Top 3 Legal Issues for Nonprofits in 2020

  • AB5 & Worker Classification: Employee or Independent Contractor?
  • CalSavers & Retirement Plans
  • Fundraising Through Raffles, Auctions & Commercial Co-Ventures

Make sure your nonprofit is in compliance with employment agreements and compensation, retirement plans, and fundraising activities. This session will be invaluable to executive directors, HR staff, and employees.
Presenter: Scott Galbreath, Murphy Austin Attorneys

Data Privacy Protection Laws: Wading Into the Alphabet Soup
If you follow the news at all, you’ll be aware that data privacy and protection are hot topics.  The daily headlines might catch your eye on a personal level, and have you wondering how the businesses that you interact with as a consumer are handling your personal information.  Should data privacy and protection issues also concern you in your capacity as an executive or volunteer leader of a nonprofit organization operating in California, though?  Not surprisingly, the answer is yes. While California’s newest and most high profile privacy law, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – which became effective on January 1, 2020 – generally only applies to for-profit entities, there are a host of other laws and regulations that don’t exclude nonprofits from their scope, and that could potentially apply to your organization.
Presenters: Corinne Gartner & Kaitlyn Saberin, Delfino Madden Attorneys

Engaging Millennials Through a Strengths-Based Approach
Culture wins. And a winning culture is one that values strengths-based development. In transformational, strengths-based workplaces, culture is borne of a shift from the old ways of managing people to the rights ways of developing them.
Presenter: Helen Yee, Certified StrengthsFinder Consultant

Nonprofit Mergers: Part of the Strategic Partnership Continuum
There are many ways nonprofit organizations can partner to achieve greater impact. In addition to collaborative projects, organizations can also merge. What’s involved in mergers? Join a national expert on this topic and get your questions answered.
Presenter: Scott Schaffer, Public Interest Management Group, Seattle

Contracted Services, Outsourcing, and Managing Costs
Should you employ or outsource payroll, accounting, HR, IT? Do you offer voluntary benefits? How do you fill vacancies? How do you mitigate risk? Join a panel of service professionals to discuss what makes sense for your organization. Understand costs, and get your questions answered. This highly interactive panel will provide you valuable answers to help you plan and budget in 2020.
Moderated by Kim Tucker, Impact Foundry
Panelists include:

The Value of Executive Coaching
With constant demands to produce more results faster with fewer resources, coaching has become a significant solution in leadership development. With vision, strategy and implementation, you will have all the support you need to jump-start your goals and with more confidence and freedom, faster than on your own! This session is designed for Executive Directors and Development Directors looking for a partnership that can help them accomplish extraordinary results in their professional and personal life.
Presenter: Tyra Jarvis, Kefi Coaching LLC

Imagine: Strategic Planning that Actually Works!
You may know that strategic planning sometimes gets a bad rap. In many cases that reputation is well-deserved since the effort doesn’t deliver on its promises. Yet it continues to be true that your small nonprofit will benefit greatly by having a plan and a planning process that actually works. Join this session to learn five essential tips to ensure that your planning works, along with tools and strategies for improved engagement with your Board and staff. The presenters will share their one-of-a-kind platform to make strategic planning more effective than ever for small organizations.
Presenters: Eric Ryan & Al Spector of Mission Met LLC

Using Evaluation to Measure Our Impact
What’s the most effective way to measure outcomes to understand our impact? Program evaluation offers a set of tools that can help us measure and assess success on multiple levels.  This interactive workshop will provide practice for framing and conducting evaluations.  We’ll consider how to use data and evidence to assess outcomes of a program, service, or initiative.
Presenters: Rod Githens, PhD and Kristen Snow of Benerd College, University of the Pacific

Building True Volunteer Capacity for Nonprofits
As volunteer coordinators, we have an often daunting and sometimes overwhelming job. We all want good solid volunteers to truly support and build our organizations, but how do you recruit, retain and manage them successfully while wearing your other 45 hats? And then get them to come back?

Join us for an inspiring and empowering session including an in-depth look at how volunteering has changed over time and how you can truly inspire and connect with each volunteer to create sustainable relationships and true capacity building of your nonprofit. With lots of open discussion time, we will be sharing ideas, solutions, and explore how you can create an amazing volunteer network.Trudy Harris, founder of Team Giving, shares the experiences and workable solutions to help implement a strong volunteer strategy.
Presenter: Trudy Harris,
Team Giving

The Lab Capacity Building Program Information Session
A significant number of local nonprofit leaders feel isolated in their roles and report they lack the resources they need to strengthen their service in our community. Addressing these issues is a priority for the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, which has created The Lab Capacity Building Program, a hub for established and emerging leaders from local nonprofits to collaborate, innovate, and problem-solve. Together over seven months, members of The Lab cohort receive leadership coaching and participate in monthly sessions to address specific challenges that have stymied their organizations’ impact. Join us during this session to learn more about The Lab, hear from graduates of the last cohort, walk through the application process, and have your questions answered!

Facilitator, Niva Flor, Sacramento Region Community Foundation
Kenn Altine, Sacramento SPCA
Sarah Haney, Sacramento SPCA
Jade Parker, Improve Your Tomorrow
Megan Wygant, CLARA

Strategic Collaborations Panel
We have unique models of collaboration happening across our region. Learn about three approaches and evaluate how your organization might benefit from thinking about partners in your work.
Panelists include:

Cool Stuff


A great photo captures your personality, professionalizes your image, and helps welcome people into your mission-centric work. Thanks to photographer Rachel Rosenthal, we’re offering all conference attendees free individual and team head shots!

Rachel Rosenthal describes herself at a photographer, explorer, and chaser of light. She is an award-winning photographer who travels the world capturing the essence of places, people, and moments. Learn more about Rachel at her website.


Acclaimed photographer Tia Gemmell will be taking picture’s of the day’s events. Strike a pose and take a picture with your nonprofit friends!




You work hard, and sometimes you maybe even stress out! We love what you do for our communities, and we want to help you relax. We are bringing back massage therapist Brian McClure, who will set up his chair in the Marketplace and offer free chair massages. And because we want everyone taken care of, we’ve invited massage therapist Jen Villafuente to double the fun! Take a break and let Brian or Jen help you get rid of some tension.


Highlight your organization’s commitment to community success by sponsoring the What IF Conference. Connect with area nonprofits, promote your brand, and showcase your services.


The What IF Conference features a business marketplace for businesses and organizations to showcase their services to our region’s nonprofit sector. Connect with professionals across sectors and share knowledge, insights and solutions for our sector’s biggest challenges and opportunities.

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