is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to connection and collaboration to address social impact issues.

What we do

We are a nonprofit membership organization that develops programs, tools, and resources to support community organizations and businesses impact positive social change. We have built a community of mission-driven conveners and accelerators who learn from each other, build the larger capacity of the field, and construct pathways to more efficiently realize change.

Who we serve

We serve “purpose-first conveners” — organizations and individuals who use the tool of convening (bringing people together) in service of social or environmental good. Purpose-first conveners show up across sectors and structures; they are non-profits, foundations, governments, social enterprises, incubators, accelerators and corporations, and the diversity of our community is one of its greatest strengths.

Our story emerged from conversations among impact convening organizers who wanted to embrace a more coordinated and collaborative approach to their work. Topher Wilkins, SaraJoy Pond, and Avary Kent launched Convening the Conveners in October 2013 with the idea that a common platform would allow organizations to more easily connect with each other.


We build transformative platforms for impact-focused organizations to meaningfully connect with each other.


“ is like having your own personal cavalry. They are super strategic and empathically have your back.”

Joy Anderson | Criterion Institute

We Connect Networks

Building communities of practice for impact-focused conveners and accelerators | Facilitating strategic introductions | Creating tools and hosting opportunities for peers to connect and collaborate

We Share Knowledge

Identifying knowledge gaps | Building online resources to help practitioners navigate a growing field | Conducting original research | Curating and distributing industry content & thought leadership

We Build Capacity

Offering in-person and virtual opportunities for practitioners to develop and hone relevant skills | Coaching & training in ‘purpose-first’ experience design | Advisory services offerings to design & facilitate impactful convenings

Our story emerged from conversations among impact convening organizers who wanted to embrace a more coordinated and collaborative approach to their work. Topher Wilkins, SaraJoy Pond, and Avary Kent launched Convening the Conveners in October 2013 with the idea that a common platform would allow organizations to more easily connect with each other.

In 2015, launched a membership program for this community with the support of Sujatha Sebastian. It also formalized Accelerating the Accelerators, a peer learning network open to impact accelerators around the world. In 2017, it formally launched “Mapping the Mappers,” a network of impact mappers that raises awareness of global impact mapping efforts.


SaraJoy Pond

Executive Director and Head of Impact

One of the co-founders of, SaraJoy Pond leverages her background in research, communications and experience design to help clients recognize and build on the bright spots of their convenings, then balance the pragmatism of quick wins with the support to authentically engage around big opportunities for change. As a facilitator, SaraJoy is deeply committed to the power of storytelling for social innovation and change processes and takes a capacity-building and strengths-based approach to all her interactions. She has a passion for, and deep experience in facilitating charged, intersectional conversations and helping disparate groups coalesce and move toward productive dialogue, understanding, and action.

SaraJoy received a BFA in Graphic Design and a BA in Journalism from Colorado State University and did her doctoral work at Brigham Young University in Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation. She has worked as an adjunct professor at universities across the country, instructing graduate and undergraduate students in quantitative and qualitative research methodology, measurement & evaluation, visual communications, human-centered experience design, and facilitation.

She has presented research, facilitated trainings, and led workshops on four continents; from working with impact investors exploring alternative currencies for triple-bottom-line accounting in Paris, to training educators in participatory evaluation in Bolivia, to developing a capacity-building impact assessment framework with a 12-village collective in rural Mali.

SaraJoy is the founder of, one of the world’s first purpose-based crowdfunding platforms, where she engaged a community of more than 10,000 donors to raise $1M toward 75+ successful projects around the world. She has also worked as a creative director, user-experience designer, usability specialist, curriculum consultant, professional evaluator, academic editor and newspaper reporter.

Sarah Sterling

Program Catalyst

Sarah Sterling has years of experience working with entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations on developing effective impact metrics, program development and management, social media outreach, fundraising, and team leadership skills and training. Sarah has over 5 years of experience working with and training international organizations such as Mercy Corps, Oxfam International, SOCAP, and Agora Partnerships, as well as impact investment funds, and social entrepreneurs in Latin America in areas of organizational sustainability and impact metrics development.

She has a Master’s in Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey where one focus of her studies was how to work with organizations to develop their strategies around fundraising and building core competencies and confidence in the leaderships/management team in grant writing – both to governmental organizations and non-profit grant agencies.

Rei Champion

Director of Operations

Rei Champion brings a passion for international development and collaboration for social equity to He is a management specialist with experience in human resources, strategic planning, and operations logistics. Rei is a kinesthetic learner and he flourishes in experiential learning environments.

He has served in several applied fellowships including the AmeriCorps Massachusetts Promise Fellowship (MPF) at Northeastern University, Community Fellows at the Boston University School of Management, and Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Originally from Hawaii, Rei holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and cycling around his family’s home in the Washington Metro area.

Michael Kass

Michael Kass

Program Support

Rena O'Brien

Rena O’Brien

Program Support

Missie Frandsen

Missie Frandsen

Project Management Consultant

TJ Neathery

TJ Neathery

Email Marketing Specialist

Stephane Bandeira

Stephane Bandeira

Operations Support

Tadzie Madzima

Tadzie Madzima

Social Media Consultant

Board Members

TJ Cook

T.J. Cook

A tech strategist who’s been helping entrepreneurs scale impact for more than 20 years (CauseLabs, ABIQ), TJ is instrumental in helping integrate the right technology, in the right way, at the right time.

Elvis Fraser

Elvis Fraser

With his passion for, and deep engagement with, impact measurement, evaluation, and learning (Sankofa, Gates Foundation), Elvis helps keep strategically aligned and accountable for our efforts.

Christine Lai

Christine Lai

An expert on cross-sector collaboration and ecosystem building (Kauffman Foundation), with an impressive track record of success in fostering it, Christine’s insightful questions help stay true to its core in every decision.

Emily Winslow

Emily Winslow

Emily Winslow is the Director of Operations at Change Finance, an innovative financial firm dedicated to creating an economy in service to life by providing ESG performance-oriented investment products. Emily joined Change Finance after serving as the Director of Investments and Impact Opportunities at Social Venture Circle (SVC).

Joseph Mouzon

Joseph Mouzon

Joseph’s deep roots building the philanthropic sector (Tides Foundation, Giving Sphere, Network for Good) and extensive experience as a veteran board member, have helped integrate best practices from the start.

Topher Wilkins

Topher Wilkins cofounder and CEO of Opportunity Collaboration, Topher is a connecter extraordinaire who’s been building cross-sector collaborations for more than a decade. His vision is foundational to our success.


Sujatha Sebastian

Sujatha Sebastian

Sujatha thrives helping diverse stakeholders to build trust, collaborate and advance systems change. As cofounder and former managing director of membership and advisory services, Sujatha helped develop’s founding mission and vision.

Avary Kent

Avary Kent

Avary Kent is a serial social entrepreneur with expertise in bringing ideas to life.
She is the Founding Executive Director of building the impact ecosystem through more effective convening, accelerators, and mapping initiatives.

Jessica Loman

Jessica Loman

With a decade of experience convening impact investors (TONIIC) and social entrepreneurs, plus her personal commitment to convening as a force for peace and social justice, Jessica is a grounding guiding voice for

“ is like having your own personal cavalry. They are super strategic and empathically have your back.”

Joy Anderson | Criterion Institute

“There’s something incredibly special going on with this organization. They are inspired champions of mission-driven networks.”

Steve Havill | Conscious Capitalism

“ provides us the opportunity to share best practices, develop partnerships, create collaborations, and network with like-minded innovators.”

Jill Ultan | Skoll World Forum

“ provides a wealth of insights from thought leaders we would never have been able to access on our own.”

Lindsay Morris | TNP Academy

“ provides you resources, recipes for success and an awesome network.”

Pratik Gauri | India Needs You Foundation

“This work moves at the speed of trust. builds that trust.”

Elaine Rasmussen |
Social Impact Strategies Group

“Running an accelerator can be lonely. Having this community fosters more innovation and ultimately better outcomes.”

C’pher Gresham | SEED Spot

“Our Accelerator stand-up calls have evolved into a potent source of community for sharing best practices and collaboration.”

Ryan Ross | Halcyon Incubator

“The calls illustrate the magic of in creating spaces and combining networks in new ways.”

Ryan Ross | Halcyon Incubator

“ has shown us by example how to deepen connections and collaborations through intentional meeting experiences.”

Patricia Marquez | University of San Diego

“Their work is essential to further the collective impact of networks for positive change.”

Jessica Loman | Toniic

“If you want to learn about increasing the impact of your events and create more successful gatherings, you should connect with”

Deb Nelson | RSF Social Finance

“ brings the right mix of competence, flexibility and independence in executing a client’s vision. It has been a pleasure working with them.”

Connie Evans |
Association of Enterprise Opportunity

“With their broad knowledge of the convening space, they brought savvy ideas and helpful frameworks that shaped many aspects of our Summit.”

Kila Englebrook | Social Enterprise Alliance

“ has connected us to global peers for give/get moments that help us better serve our customers.”

Pamela Roussos |
Miller Center for Social Enterpreneurship

“We appreciate the tools and support we’ve received from around how to host effective virtual meetings and run an effective social impact organization.”

Almaz Negash | African Diaspora Network

“In this challenging convening environment, has been my go-to resource. They have proven their value repeatedly as a source of reliable and trusted advice.”

Melanie Nowacki | Feeding America