Press Release

Robert Putnam to keynote Conference on Cross-Sector Collaboration

 PORTLAND, Maine — Robert Putnam, professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School and author of the best-selling book “Bowling Alone,” will present the keynote address, “Restoring Civility to Public Discourse: Finding Common Ground” at the fifth annual Nonprofit Leadership Conference on Friday, April 26, at Colby College in Waterville.

 This year’s event, presented by the Maine Association of Nonprofits (MANP) and the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs at Colby College, is titled “Building Common Ground – Nonprofit Leadership in Cross-Sector Collaboration,” and will focus on renewing conversations and revitalizing bonds between the public and private sectors. Putnam’s keynote address will be followed by a series of workshops focusing on collaborative, cross-sectorial work taking place throughout Maine.

 Mark Hews, director of programming at MANP, recognizes the timely nature of this year’s event. “As our political discourse continues to deteriorate at the national level, we are left with the reality that finding common ground starts with the nonprofit community.”  He acknowledges that while challenging, the work of building bridges between sectors is both necessary and rewarding.  “Nonprofits have the opportunity to play a key role in facilitating discussions between the government, nonprofit and private sectors. Building trust between the sectors to face shared community challenges is imperative if we ever hope to collectively solve the challenges that face us today.”

 The conference will conclude with a dinner featuring the Maine Philanthropist of the Year Awards, honoring Roxanne Quimby, who is recognized as an entrepreneur, environmentalist and philanthropist, and whose vision has advanced wilderness values and increased access to the arts throughout Maine.

 Registration and information can be found on the MANP website at

Since 1994, MANP has grown to become Maine’s comprehensive resource for the tools, knowledge, and connections nonprofits need to be effective and well-run.  With a growing statewide membership of almost 800 nonprofit and 135 for-profit organizations, MANP advances the public profile of Maine nonprofits by highlighting their vital contribution to the quality of life in our state, connects people, organizations and resources from all sectors to foster collaborative problem solving,  andstrengthens nonprofits by providing management training and leadership development programs, resources and services to help staff and board leaders enhance their community mission impact.

 For more information and photos, please contact Jessica Lantos at (207)871-1885 or by email at


No Further Information is Available