Georgia Impact

UGA leadership conference includes community award, keynote session on digital marketing

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will host its second Community Leadership Conference Feb. 2-3, this year including an award for community innovation and a session on digital marketing.

Organized by the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, the conference will be held at the UGA Center for Continuing Education. Last year, the event drew 120 participants from 46 Georgia cities and 45 counties.

“There was a need for folks to come together and learn from others and from us, as experts in the discipline, so that ultimately they can enhance, grow and expand their own programming,” said Matt Bishop, director of the Fanning Institute. “This is a conference that we hope will be put on for years to come.”

This year’s theme, “Transforming leaders, transforming communities,” focuses on improving existing programs. Workshops are aimed at adult, youth and nonprofit leadership programs. A keynote session on digital marketing will be presented by the UGA Small Business Development Center.

“Communities we work with want to know how to seek the not-so-usual suspect in a community leadership program,” Bishop said. “You have to be very intentional about recruiting folks that have not traditionally engaged in community and civic affairs. We’ve seen programs do that successfully through digital marketing.”

The first award for Innovation in Community Leadership will be presented during the luncheon on the second day of the conference. The award was created to recognize individuals or programs who have moved beyond traditional community leadership programming.

Scholarships are available to groups that are unable to afford the fee to attend.

“Sometimes the folks that are wanting to do leadership development in their communities are in situations where they don’t have the resources to learn the best practices and best trends in the field,” Bishop said. “Fortunately, the Fanning Advisory Board has raised some money for us to provide that opportunity.”

For more information or to register, go to