Mercy Connections May Luncheon @ Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center
May 4 all-day



Our Annual May Luncheon highlights the many programs and participants we support all year long and the results that are important to our community. This year’s event will be held at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in South Burlington, VT, on Thursday May 4, 2017 and will highlight the many ways Mercy Connections helps move people to greater self-sufficiency. Purchase individual tickets here.

Mercy Connections is pleased to share that Lisa Ventriss, President and CEO of Vermont Business Roundtable, will be this year’s recipient of the Catherine McAuley award, exemplifying Mercy values and the example of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy.

This year’s event will be held at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in South Burlington, VT, on Thursday May 4, 2017 and will highlight the many ways Mercy Connections helps move people to greater self-sufficiency.
Read About Event Here
Working Board Lunch: Embrace the Future – Transition Planning @ Channel 17 Studios
May 4 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Embrace the Future: Transition Planning for Non-profit Organization Boards and Executive Directors

Today, with the overwhelming numbers of nonprofit professionals planning retirement, career moves, or sector changes, nonprofits must anticipate and plan for change. Leadership transitions are pivotal moments in organizational life. They hold opportunities for transformative change, but also for organizational missteps. Whether your executive director plans to leave in a few years or if a departure date is undefined, transition planning gets your organization prepared for the departure of an executive or other valued staff. 
This workshop will help participants consider the options available to create and sustain a culture of leadership succession.

Katherine Sims, Katherine Sims Consulting

Katherine Sims specializes in working with nonprofit organizations to solve problems and build systems to do good work. A dynamic non-profit leader with over ten years of experience as a practitioner and consultant, Katherine has worked with leaders in business, government and nonprofits to develop their organizations. Katherine is experienced in managing and growing organizations, developing teams, fundraising and managing complex finances, evaluating and improving programs, and engaging donors, stakeholders, political leaders, and the public.

Energy Innovation Night @ Generator
May 4 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Join Burlington Electric, Vermont Gas and friends for an evening of pitches and networking designed to connect emerging energy innovators with the resources you need to advance your projects. All innovators along the energy value chain are welcome.

Rocket stoves? Solar panels? eGauges? Capacitors? Turbines? Dashboards? Concentrators? Wireless transmission? You bet, we want to see it all!

Join us Thursday May 4 to share innovative ideas and prototypes – it’ll be a great evening to share and connect, and possibly unlock those sticking points to advancing your work.

Drinks and appetizers by Liquid Arts. Special thanks to Burlington Electric, Vermont Gas, Renewable NRG Systems, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation and the Office of the Vice president for Research at the University of Vermont.

Vermont Foodbank – Hunger Action Conference @ Killington Grand Resort
May 5 @ 7:30 am – 3:30 pm


Conference logo


JOIN US! This year’s conference will focus on the importance of community engagement and innovation, and deepening community to create large scale change.

Our keynote speaker is Paul Born.  Paul is the cofounder and President of the Tamarack Institute, and founder of Vibrant Communities Canada – a network of more than 70 Cities Reducing Poverty. He is a leader on issues of place, citizen engagement, collective impact and community innovation. The author of four books, including two Canadian best sellers, Paul is internationally recognized for his community-building activities that have won awards from the United Nations and as a Senior Fellow of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social innovators.



Workshops include:

  • Deepening Community for Poverty Reduction (based on Born’s best-selling book)
  • Community Conversations for Community Change (based on Born’s best-selling book)
  • Engaging People with Lived Experience
  • Keeping it Fresh: Produce Care and Handling for Community Food Programs
  • Intro to Results Based Accountability
  • From Gleaner to Freezer: Minimally Processing Vermont’s Surplus Crops
  • Grow Your Own: a Community Lesson in Self-Sufficiency
  • And more!

For more information and to register, visit: 

Webinar: 10 Steps to Success for Vermont Gives Day of Giving
May 10 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

10 Steps to Success: Only 3 weeks to go, but there’s still time to get ready for Vermont Gives!

For nonprofit leaders and development staff. Vermont Gives is fast approaching, but there is still plenty of time to prepare your campaign and tell an amazing story to your supporters. In this webinar, we review the last- minute strategies you can focus on today to have a great day.

VBSR’s 27th Annual Spring Conference @ UVM Davis Center
May 17 @ 7:30 am – 5:30 pm


VBSR’s Marquee event returns for the 27th year on May 17, 2017. Our call for sponsors and workshop proposals is open!

FINANCE FRIDAY: Numbers Don’t Lie: What Your Board Needs to Know @ Remote
May 19 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

The secret to good accounting is to add twice. The secret to good financial management is to look at your numbers in more than one way – preferably several.  Come learn the ways to approach your organizations financials. Walk away with information on:

  • Informed questions to ask
  • Regular Good Practice internal controls
  • Cross Referencing the back up behind the numbers

Christine Moriarty is a Certified Financial Planner who has worked with thousands of people to create financial peace of mind. She is often seen in national press as a featured financial planner. She has consulted for variety of organizations from the New England Life Insurance Company and SunLife of Canada, to Outward Bound and the Massachusetts Special Commission on Financial Services. She has taught classes on financial management and has extensive public speaking experience including regional financial planning conferences, weekend retreat centers, on-site employee groups, and national trade conferences

Cost: $15

Watch online or in person at Channel 17 Studios, 294 North Winooski Avenue VT 05401

Friday, June 16  12:00 – 1.30 p.m.
Audit Time: What Types of Audit are Best for Your Organization?
Todd Wimette, Wisehart, Wimette and Associates, PLC

Finance Fridays are supported by The High Meadows Fund, The A.D. Henderson Foundation, VELCO, National Life Foundation

Vermont Story Lab: Storytelling Strategies That Move People to Donate @ Waterbury Public Library
May 25 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

At the heart of your work as a nonprofit communicator is the powerful mission-driven story that your organization has to share. How effectively are you bringing that story to funders, grantors, businesses, and individual donors so that they feel moved to support your work over the long-term?

This half-day workshop, sponsored by Vermont Story Lab, will offer creative, dynamic strategies to showcase programs and participants to demonstrate impact. From shaping a poignant client story for an annual appeal to representing your program work through a compelling infographic, this interactive lab will share robust examples of effective nonprofit storytelling for specific diverse audiences. Please bring a stellar example of your own to share.

The session will be facilitated by Marybeth Christie Redmond, a writer-journalist and former director of development and communications at Vermont Works for Women. She has worked in marketing, communications and fundraising for a host of local and global nonprofit organizations over 25 years and taught digital storytelling to undergraduates at St. Michael’s College. She holds a master’s from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Redmond is a founding partner of Vermont Story Lab, a peer-to-peer network of nonprofit communicators exploring storytelling for change.

Vermont Story Lab, a network exploring and supporting storytelling for change, is generously funded by the Vermont Community Foundation.

Planned Giving Council’s Full-Day Conference
Jun 1 all-day

Highlights of Event Include: 

– A Keynote Address by Josh Birkholz, a highly-regarded consultant and dynamic speaker from Bentz, Whalley, and Flessner (Minnesota) on “Predicting the Next Planned Gift.”

– An “Endnote Address” by Thom Lockerby of Phillips Academy (and formerly of Dartmouth) on “Hacking Human Nature: How Behavioral Economics Informs Fundraising Success.”

– Breakout sessions featuring Abbie Von Schlegall (“Women Driving Philanthropy”), Laura Alexander (“Preparing Your Donors for the Real Estate Gift Journey”), Michael Pannebianco (“NH and VT Trust Laws:  Differences That May Matter”), and keynoter Josh Birkholz (“Applied Analytics”).

– Our Council’s annual meeting – and great networking! We’ll also have a great lunch and, at the end of the day, a relaxing social hour!

Watch for information in early April on the June 1 conference – and see you there!

Vermont Story Lab: Minimal Resource Filmmaking @ Vermont Folklife Center
Jun 2 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Storytelling, oral history, and ethnography can be powerful tools for the documentation of voices, memories and histories. They can also be catalysts for activism and social change. This workshop is intended for students, community members, and staff members of nonprofit cultural, community and social-service agencies interested in developing collaborative documentary or storytelling skills, and especially for those who would like to do so using technology they already have (phones, iPods).

This half-day session will provide an introduction to the ethnographic method of community-based research and the tools and skills of media-making. Participants will view a variety of short media examples, design a question or mini-project idea, and then head out into downtown to interview people and gather video, audio, and photographic footage. Participants will return to the Folklife Center and learn to use available tools to edit a short video on iPods or phones (on their own equipment or on iPods and phones provided by the Folklife Center).

Mary Rizos, education outreach and professional development coordinator, at the Vermont Folklife Center will serve as instructor. Rizos worked as a middle and high school Spanish teacher for 12 years before joining the Folklife Center. During that time, she taught photography and Latin American Studies, and led students on international trips built around history, identity, community, and cultural exchange.

Rizos has produced multimedia work exploring the culture of bodybuilding, daily life on both sides of the US-Mexico border, and microfinance and water access in the Andes. She has also worked collaboratively with students on projects about their personal and educational experiences in rural Vermont. Rizos earned a bachelor’s in anthropology and Spanish from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, and a master’s in journalism (with an emphasis on documentary photojournalism) from the University of Montana.

Vermont Story Lab, a network exploring and supporting storytelling for change, is generously funded by the Vermont Community Foundation.

Vermont Story Lab: Top Tips for Digital Media Outreach @ RETN Media Factory
Jun 12 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Get started telling your organization’s story online and on video! Learn strategies for reaching your audience, and explore digital media tools that elevate and amplify your story. We’ll look at great examples, explore new media tools, and have conversations about how to best reach your community. You will come away with ideas, inspiration, and a basic toolkit to get started in digital media, or take your work to the next level.

Bring your iPad, smartphone, or laptop to our smart classroom. We’ll also have some iPads for use during the session. While much of our training focuses on Mac/Apple, we’ll be talking about universal strategies and online resources that are cross-platform as well. (And if the above sentence is confusing, have no fear – we’ll explain it all!)

Workshop presenters:

Gin Ferrara is RETN’s Community Engagement Manager. Gin is also the owner of Spindle & Widget a communication services company, and is the co-founder of Storytelling VT, an oral storytelling event and community.

Ross Ransom is RETN’s Education Coordinator. In order to make media more accessible to his community, Ross works with RETN productions, marketing, programming, and trainings.

RETN makes media and technology accessible for all students and lifelong learners to advance education and civic engagement. Find out more at

Vermont Story Lab, a network exploring and supporting storytelling for change, is generously supported by the Vermont Community Foundation.