CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - March 10, 2011) - North Park University, which prepares students for lives of significance and service, announced today that registration is now available for its 12th Annual Axelson Center Symposium for Nonprofit Professionals and Volunteers, which is the largest conference in the Midwest focusing on nonprofit management. The event, which will take place on Tuesday, May 17, at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza, includes more than 40 of the country's top nonprofit management experts and thought leaders, and will provide nonprofit strategy-level discussions and practically-focused mini workshops throughout the day. Additionally, the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Axelson's Center Excellent Emerging Nonprofit Organization Award will be awarded at the conference. Participants can take advantage of the early bird rate of $180 by registering at by Wednesday, March 23. Following that date, the registration fee will be $225. 

"This strategy-focused educational and networking event is designed to equip nonprofit leaders with the tools they need to deal with the changing trends that are affecting the nonprofit industry," said Pier C. Rogers, Ph.D., director of the Axelson Center. "The conference is about learning how to overcome obstacles facing nonprofit organizations for a more productive and successful future."

The theme for this year's symposium is "Strategies for Excelling in a Fast-Changing World." The symposium's opening plenary speaker is Diana Aviv, president of Independent Sector, which is a coalition of corporations, foundations, and private voluntary organizations that works to strengthen America's nonprofit organizations. Her session is titled, "Headwinds and Tailwinds: Managing Change in Turbulent Times." The closing keynote address, "Making Room for Play," features Darell Hammond, CEO of KaBOOM!, and author of "KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play." KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit dedicated to saving play for America's children and whose mission is to create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities. Hammond will discuss his experiences in the nonprofit industry and on the key principles that have made his organization a national phenomenon.

A variety of panel discussions and workshops will also address practices that enable nonprofit organizations to work smarter and accomplish more. There will be speed consulting sessions sponsored by the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits, which will provide attendees with the opportunity to get immediate counsel on pressing questions related to organizational development, fundraising, marketing, and more.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence, which will be given to two nonprofit organizations that embody exemplary management practices. The two organizations awarded will each receive a $5,000 unrestricted grant. The deadline to submit an application for this award was January 31. One organization will also be presented with the Axelson's Center Excellent Emerging Nonprofit Organization Award. This new award targets smaller, emerging organizations and includes more than $25,000 in pro bono capacity-building services and a $2,500 grant. The deadline to submit an application for this award is Friday, March 11. The application can be found at

A pre-conference institute on Monday, May 16, will offer participants an intensive workshop ideal for nonprofit leaders who work with governing boards, including management team and board members.

For more information and to register for the conference, please visit or call (773) 244-5799. 

About the Axelson Center
North Park University's Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management, established in 1999, seeks to enhance the performance and effectiveness of individuals and organizations in the nonprofit sector through education, service and resources. The Axelson Center's vision is to help build vibrant communities in Chicago and beyond through strengthening nonprofit leadership. For more information, visit

About North Park University
Located in Chicago, North Park University is a Christian comprehensive university that serves nearly 3,200 undergraduate and graduate students of all faiths and diverse multicultural backgrounds from around the country and the world. North Park offers a values-based education to students through more than 30 undergraduate majors and an adult degree-completion program, as well as graduate and continuing education in business, nonprofit management, nursing, education, music, and theology. By integrating faith with learning and service -- as it has done since its founding in 1891 by the Evangelical Covenant Church -- North Park University continues to focus on the important task of preparing students for lives of significance and service. More information is available at

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Media Contacts:
Joshua Taustein
for North Park University

Ryan Nangle
for North Park University