Upswell, powered by Independent Sector (IS), is grounded in the belief that when people connect, they share, learn, innovate. Their collaboration leads to action. The action leads to making a difference. Upswell is about building a community of better changemakers – a community from across the sector working together to ensure all people in the US thrive.

Upswell depends on strong partnerships to achieve its goals – among organizations, participants, and sponsors. We are pleased to offer a range of partnership opportunities for our Upswell programming. Investors will be acknowledged in six major categories, with suggested benefits and visibility opportunities available at each level.

The Upswell team looks forward to working with you to craft a partnership package that leverages your expertise and experience, matches your program and issue interests, meets your needs for connection and visibility, and is within your budget.

We would love to discuss this exciting work with you!  For information about partnering with IS for Upswell, please email



Upswell is the community-building hub of Independent Sector’s work to bring together and catalyze the charitable sector. Programming includes new monthly virtual sessions, as well as a more comprehensive annual Upswell Summit. This engagement is threaded through the larger work of IS, and can be leveraged by sponsors as well, based on interest and alignment.


Upswell is about co-creation. It’s where ideas and solutions from across civil society are elevated into the national conversation. The focus of Upswell is giving changemakers a forum to share ideas, develop and refine solutions to challenges, and connect with allies – and then take what they have learned to make their own work more impactful and community-focused. Our content is sourced from and curated by our network, including sector thought leaders, partners and members. We welcome the opportunity to co-create content with you, leveraging your knowledge and distinct perspective.

Diverse Voices

Upswell is about building a community of diverse changemakers from across the sector, and those deeply linked to the sector. 82% of participants are decision makers for their organization – head of their organization, senior leader, or department lead. Nonprofit and philanthropic leaders, community-based activists, social entrepreneurs, as well as mission-driven government and business leaders, come together in Upswell monthly events and our annual Summit, to learn, share, connect, re-charge, and consider new and innovative ways to create positive change for all communities.

Focus on Impact Drivers

Upswell spans issue-areas and perspectives and builds bridges between the charitable sector and its partners in government and business. It does this to bring the leading edge of impact and innovation into clear focus. To that end, we have organized our experiences along four primary dimensions that drive impact, bringing together locally grounded and nationally relevant issues:

  • Acceleration – Learn best practices, strengthen your skills, and discover how to be a more effective changemaker. Think of this as high-impact capacity building
  • Innovation – Explore the leading edge of doing good, with powerful new data, experimental technology, and moonshot ideas about changing the status quo.
  • Collaboration – Build bridges across differences, brainstorm with influential leaders, and forge new cross-sector relationships. Your light bulb moment might only be a conversation away.
  • Resilience –Harness the insights gained during the pandemic to strengthen our communities, organizations, staff, and leaders – and prepare for the immediate and unexpected tasks ahead.

Equity Grounding

We encourage our partners to work with us to not only bring equity issues to the forefront, but directly support your work to enable authentic conversations – inclusive and diverse in race, gender, experience, mission, geography, and budget, among other important dimensions. To build cohesion and a community that reflects the diversity of the sector, we seek to broaden our reach and elevate new voices through a pay it forward or gift-subscription membership model. Partners are invited to support a year-long gift membership for the impact partners in their portfolio – helping Independent Sector to engage new voices but also supporting your investments by strengthening the sector and giving them access to sector-level content. Your impact portfolio partners will receive access to knowledge sharing, networking, and exposure to share the insights and experiences of all changemakers.  Please consider including these programs in your partnership framework.

Technology Enabled

We realize true community cannot be confined to a gathering or an experience, but needs an organic, ongoing means to engage, sense and respond. Our vision for Upswell includes live experiences and online tools and resources; serving up thought leadership and creating a marketplace for networking and problem-solving; a means of listening as well as being heard. We continue to build this technology platform as a means of maximizing the potential for engagement and scale. 

Core Mission Support

In addition to any partner’s specific support of content, experiences or gift memberships, all Upswell partners provide general support for our ongoing work with this community of changemakers from across the sector. Your support is essential to our ability to provide information, analysis, and collective action on behalf of the sector as a whole.


Partnership opportunities are exciting, varied, and open to collaborative design to meet your mission interests and goals.  They are also necessarily limited based on ensuring the best exposure and value proposition for our partners and attendees. Please contact us today to secure your participation!



Sustainer support extends fully across our year of Upswell programming, providing singular “headline” partnership for one of our core Upswell themes –Acceleration, Innovation, Collaboration, or Resilience – or a core mission area (such as Racial Equity or Advocacy).  Our Sustainer partners are partners in co-creation, working with us, community partners and thought leaders to bring important expertise and leadership – including their own, and that of their collaborators – to the Upswell community around the targeted theme or mission area throughout the program year, all with appropriate year-round elevated visibility.  These are full-service content partnerships and an Independent Sector staff member supports the partnership with content coordination, production and impact reporting.  With engagement opportunities via Upswell Virtual and the annual Summit, Sustainers have the opportunity to forge real connections with and among the Upswell community, including crafting distinct experiences for targeted cohorts if desired.



Transformers help IS create and support a powerful, vibrant Upswell community through our ongoing virtual programming throughout the year and culminating in our annual Summit.  Our Transformer partners have the opportunity to collaborate with the IS Upswell team to develop, recommend and participate in Upswell sessions with 2-3 content collaborations per quarter around a core theme as noted above, or mission areas appropriate to the Upswell community.  This content will be co-created and adapted across program formats, including social media, webinars, blog posts and community-wide communications.  These sessions can be structured to highlight cross-sector work, or used as an exclusive benefit – providing an opportunity to share your expertise, experience and case studies.   This partnership results in meaningful experiences to lift up the perspectives, communities and mission areas of greatest potential interest and impact. Transfomers also are invited to share 10 gift subscriptions for Upswell to nonprofit organizations in their portfolio as part of our equity grounding.



Builders partner with us to ensure Upswell ignites conversations and builds a community of diverse, emerging and innovative voices.  Builders are recognized for their significant support in creating the Upswell opportunity, and in bringing their own voices into the community.  We work with you on 3-4 content collaborations throughout the programming year that align with your mission priorities, or sponsorship of a signature content series – 4-6 related webinars/digital education sessions.  Support includes appropriate recognition with partner logos and messaging appearing prominently in emails, social media, and embedded within the programming. Sponsors at this level also include 4-5 gift subscriptions for nonprofit partners.



Movers ensure Upswell provides an immersive, engaging experience for the community.  They bring their expertise and will have the opportunity to co-create experiences such as cross-sector thought leader panels or showcase their own insights as paid. This includes 2-3 gift subscriptions for Upswell Summit for nonprofit partners.



Connectors support critical networking components of Upswell and have the opportunity to leverage the platform to support lead generation and business development goals – such as the opportunity to engage directly with members via a 20-minute presentation as part of a “Meet the Experts” webinar series.



Exhibitors share content and expertise with attendees and benefit from exposure to thousands of attendees from diverse change-making organizations.