A Cause for Change

By Nick Small

I fell in love with Nonprofit Hub about three years ago as the ambitious – yet underqualified – token frat boy, who lucked into a part-time job managing social media accounts and writing an article for NonprofitHub.org here and there.

 

I came on board at a pretty pivotal time in the life span of this organization. We were months away from moving into our new, self-painted collaboration center and just six months from my first Cause Camp conference.

I was pretty excited to meet and learn from the industry’s best in nonprofit thought leadership from all over the country. Between taking pictures and crafting witty tweets promoting the day’s events, I got to bump shoulders with the attendees; the people responsible for the operations of over 100 nonprofits. Even with all the big names we had speaking at Cause Camp that year, the individuals I was most excited about weren’t always the presenters, it was those in the audience.

The amount of passion in that one room is unmatched at Cause Camp. Striking up a conversation with any given person at the event makes me wish I could win the lottery for them and their organizations.

Bryan Seck is one person I was fortunate enough to meet. We chatted between sessions, getting over the small-talk awkwardness and shifting the conversation to what we do and why we do it. I was humbled quickly when I learned he had come from a ritzy, fast-paced job on Wall Street to Lincoln by way of Omaha, chasing something more valuable than money.

He had previously taught English as a Second Language classes to adults in New York while in graduate school, and also served at a teacher’s college in Kazakhstan with the Peace Corps. He met his now wife, Janell, on a site visit from New York to Lincoln. He realized he wanted to use his diverse skillset to make a real difference in the world. He started the College Possible program in Omaha helping low-income high school students attend and graduate college and also served for almost three years as the LPS Homeless Outreach Specialist.

In 2014, he found himself at Cause Camp where he met the people he’s now surrounded by every day, which helped plant his Lincoln roots and grow his circle of like-passioned people bigger and stronger. One of those people was Abbi Swatsworth of Center Pointe, who he explained was able to take sparks of ideas and put them into action in real time. He was inspired by both what the speaker was presenting and how his fellow attendee could take those words and act on them. They now work together through the Homeless Coalition and the Human Service Federation.

Bryan is now the Employment Skills Developer for Prosper Lincoln and is going on his third year at Cause Camp. His mission is to move people from part-time jobs to in-demand full-time careers.

Founded on three major pillars, Nonprofit Hub exists to inspire, educate and catalyze collaboration for change in, not just our community, but communities all over the world. Fittingly, we put on this conference dedicated to doing just that; educate, inspire and bring like-minded people together to transform nonprofits all over the world.

Since the Lincoln American Marketing Association incepted the – then primarily marketing – conference in 2012, Cause Camp has more than doubled in size and is now hosted at Nebraska Innovation Campus. The speaker talent keeps getting more impressive every year, and with a fully streamable online option for people to attend the event from anywhere with WIFI, the number of organizations impacted by the conference will continue to increase year after year.

We’re expecting more people (and more nonprofits) to be drawn into Lincoln to attend than Cause Camp has ever seen, from all over the country. This year, they’ll hear from speakers such as renowned author and Ted talker, Dan Pallotta, SVP of Disney, John Rood, nonprofit extraordinaire Beth Kanter and more. Together they bring millions of views online, over 600,000 social media followers and the brainpower that will incite the action to truly transform the operations of all organizations in attendance.

The Cause Camp formula is pretty simple. We work our [butts] off to inspire and educate nonprofits from some of the biggest names in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, causing organizations to change the way they view the sector, and evolve the way their organizations are run. Attendees will leave with more than just field notes, as we’ll equip them with the tools needed to create change – immediately – and give them the opportunity to make connections they can build on to deepen their impact.

Cause Camp isn’t just another conference to get people out of the office for a couple days. It’s an experience. I’ve watched and experienced not just the sessions, but the interactions Cause Camp has to offer first-hand. Once a part-time employee, skipping class to help with promotions of the event, I’m now a co-organizer of the event. Even through the stress of event planning, all winter long I look forward to the spring for the inspiration, education, and collaboration of Cause Camp.

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