SDCF President Bob Sutton said the primary benefit of attending the convenings is the educational opportunity to learn about timely topics from strong speakers.

"As the nonprofit sector faces increased scrutiny, additional training for staff and volunteers alike is a necessity," Sutton said. "These convenings offer a tremendous opportunity to network with others in the nonprofit sector that face the same types of challenges, and celebrate the same types of successes as your own organization."

Conference attendees also will receive valuable information about the South Dakota Community Foundation's Nonprofit Enhancement Grant program and have an opportunity to meet with SDCF officials and Bush Foundation program officers.

The first full-day session will be held in Sioux Falls on Friday, July 10. The second session will be held in Rapid City on Tuesday, July 14. Sessions will be held in Kyle on July 15, Eagle Butte on July 21, Chamberlain on July 23, and Watertown on July 28.

Sutton said the goal of the convenings is to offer training opportunities that are tailored to the needs of South Dakota's nonprofits. The breakout session topics will be based on survey responses from nonprofit participants from various regions in the state.

"For example, if fundraising strategies are a high priority for nonprofits in southeastern South Dakota, we will deliver training on this topic," Sutton said. "If the priority in the west is governance and mission development, we will focus in these areas."

Renata Rafferty will be the keynote speaker at the convenings in Sioux Falls and Rapid City. Rafferty is a nationally recognized author and consultant, and she serves as the president of Rafferty Consulting, an Indiana-based firm that provides philanthropic counsel. She has been interviewed in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Forbes, On Wall Street, and Money Magazine. She has also appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor."

"Participants can expect to leave the sessions better equipped to handle the responsibilities they have as a board member, staff member or volunteer for a nonprofit entity," Sutton said.

The convenings are being hosted by Sumption & Wyland and The University of South Dakota's Government Research Bureau.

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