United Way Monthly Agency Roundtables

Each month, United Way will host a partner roundtable in which agency staff and leadership are invited to convene and discuss crisis response initiatives, challenges facing organizations and our community, and opportunities for collaboration. While topics and speakers change, gatherings will focus on equity, governance, human resources, marketing, and fundraising. Formats include group panels, guest speakers, breakout sessions, and guided conversations.

2022 Schedule

March’s Roundtable will be a conversation on community needs facilitated by Laura Connelly. In addition to the Roundtable, United Way will be hosting a conversation on Wednesday, March 3rd with various sector professionals.

We value your organization’s input and appreciate staff participation in one or both of our group discussions. The information from the sessions will further inform the development of United Way’s impact goals through 2025.

Itasca County Needs Focus Group: United Way Roundtable
March 2, 2022
Noon-1 PM

Itasca County Needs Focus Group: Facilitated Conversation
March 3, 2022
4-5 PM

April’s roundtable will focus on volunteer capacity, engagement trends, and supporting staff who work with volunteers. Together, we’ll discuss holistic approaches to volunteer management, positioning volunteers as a strategic resource, and the resources volunteer managers and those who work with volunteers need in order to thrive.

Like nonprofits around the country, Itasca County agencies reported significant difficulties retaining staff and filling vacancies in recent surveys and focus groups. May’s Roundtable invites several guest speakers to share insights on our region’s job market, emerging trends, and resources available to nonprofits. The session will conclude with a group discussion about innovative approaches to benefits, compensation, learning/professional development, culture, and engagement strategies. 


Carson Gorecki, Northeast Regional Analyst, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) – Noon
Stacy Johnston, Founder of Duluth-based firm Audacity HR – 12:15 p.m.
Caleb Golberg, Associate Consultant with Gallagher, exclusive broker to BenefitsMN – 12:30 p.m.
Nick Rothstein, Business and Economics Faculty, Itasca Community College – 12:45 p.m.

Pre-reading: 12 Strategies To Reduce Employee And Volunteer Turnover At Your Nonprofit
Recording: To access the recording, enter passcode ?5E8oZ^d. | Watch

June’s Agency Roundtable has been canceled. United Way agencies will meet again in August.

Agency Roundtables will take a hiatus in July, resuming in August.

August’s Roundtable will feature an update on United Way’s Community Impact Framework. Kim Brink Smith will review the results of United Way’s Community Needs Assessment and how they inform United Way’s focus going forward, which prioritizes a two-generation approach to boost long-term upward mobility.

October’s Agency Roundtable will feature presenter Cre Larson, Executive Director of First Call for Help, which operates the Itasca area’s 211 line. Cre will discuss exciting new developments, including 211’s forthcoming partnership with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU); the implementation of the goMARTI (Minnesota’s Autonomous Rural Transit Initiative) autonomous shuttle pilot in Grand Rapids; and the impact of the 988 lifeline on 211 call centers, northern Minnesota residents, and law enforcement.

United Way recently joined the Aspen Institute’s Ascend Network, a nationwide community that uses two-generation approaches in policy and practice to create a society where every family can reach their full potential. The Ascend Network’s two-generation (2-gen) approach informs United Way’s updated community impact strategy. At November’s Roundtable, United Way leadership will review its two-generation approach and discuss how it will inform the work going forward, including our community impact grants program.

Discussions with our partners, particularly our monthly roundtables, bring light to issues facing our region’s nonprofit sector. United Way compiles a list of resources, including assessment tools, training opportunities, and relevant reading on our Nonprofit Resources page.


Is there a topic you’d like to see covered in future roundtables? Take our Roundtable Survey or email kimberly@uwlakes.org to share discussion ideas and scheduling preferences.


Return to Nonprofit Resources page.