Upper Peninsula Nonprofit Conference

Thursday, October 13, 2016
Northern Michigan University 

Build U.P.

Nonprofits are consistently asked to do more, be more and change more. This can be a challenge, as the complicated issues that the sector addresses do not have quick and easy fixes. This year’s conference focuses on building the capacity of organizations to operate efficiently, effectively and strategically. Topics covered at the conference will equip organizations and individuals to think innovatively. It will also introduce new ideas and strategies for nonprofit leaders, staff, board members and volunteers.

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conference overall


Pre-registration is now closed. Registrations will be accepted at the Celebrating Nonprofit Impact event Wednesday evening and at the door Thursday morning.



Gold Sponsor

TV6FoxUPMS Print

Silver Sponsors


Bronze Sponsors

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Thrivent  CVB-Logos-Orange_Logo


Copper Sponsors

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Keynote Speaker Matthew Downey, Johnson Center for Philanthropy 

Matthew Downey has worked in the nonprofit sector as a consultant, program manager and dMatthew Downeyevelopment officer for nearly 20 years. Presently, Matthew serves as the nonprofit services program director for the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University where he oversees the Johnson Center’s technical assistance and capacity building services for nonprofit organizations. In this capacity, he is a frequent speaker and instructor on a wide array of nonprofit management issues and offers one-on-one technical assistance to nonprofit organizations across the state of Michigan. His areas of expertise include fund development, governance, board/staff relationships and general nonprofit management issues.

Prior to the Johnson Center, Matthew worked with a wide array of nonprofit organizations. A few of the positions he
previously held include: director of development and community programs, Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival (Kalamazoo, Mich.); development specialist, St. Mary’s Hospital for Children (Bayside, N.Y.); development manager, Queens Borough Public Library (Jamaica, N.Y.); director of development, Child Care Action Campaign (New York, N.Y.) and development consultant, United Negro College Fund (Detroit, Mich.).

Matthew is the President of Wellspring/Cori Terry and Dancers, a professional nonprofit modern dance company in Kalamazoo, Mich., and serves as a board member of Indian Trails Camp (Grand Rapids, Mich.).

He recently published a chapter in the 2010 Sage Publications text book, “Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations.” He holds a Bachelor of Science in Nonprofit Arts Administration from Butler University (Indianapolis, Ind.) and a Master’s of Public and Nonprofit Administration from Grand Valley State University (Grand Rapids, Mich.). In 2010, Matthew was recognized by Grand Rapids Business Journal as one of West Michigan’s 40 business leaders under the age of forty, and in 2011 he was named Young Nonprofit Professional of the Year by the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Greater Grand Rapids. He is also a member of the Grand Rapids Rotary Club.


This year’s workshop line up features sessions on a variety of nonprofit management topics. The list will be updated as we confirm presenters. Check back regularly for updates.

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Consultant Corner

Sign up for a 30 minute meeting with consultants from a variety of nonprofit management areas.  Consultants include:
  • Carole Pence – Pence Consulting
  • Mike Grentz, CPA – Anderson Tackman & Co, PLC
  • Chad Mager, GLCYD

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Fund Development Panel

The U.P. Nonprofit Conference will close with a panel discussion on fund development. This is a great time to get your questions answered by fund development professionals. Panelists include:

  • Carole Pence, Pence Consulting
  • Danielle LaCavella, Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Jess Jones, NMU Foundation

Stay and Play in Marquette

Staying overnight to attend the U.P. Nonprofit Conference? Hotel blocks are available at local hotels for conference attendees.

Hotel Block Info

The Upper Peninsula Children’s Coalition will be hosting a Candidate Forum in Marquette on Thursday, October 13 at 7 p.m. A meeting place for conference attendees wanting to attend will be announced at a later date.

The Fresh Coast Film Festival will take place October 13- 16 in Marquette. The festival will feature doucmentaries celebrating the outdoor lifestyle, water-rich environment and resilient spirit of the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest. Thursday evening will feature two free films and a food truck rally at the Marquette Commons. A meeting place for conference attendees will be announced at a later date.