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9 Nonprofit Conferences You Need to Attend This Year

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By Hannah Durbin
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Published March 1, 2021
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Every year there are countless nonprofit conferences happening all across America. Although 2021 might still look a little unconventional due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations are charging ahead by shifting their live events to virtual conferences, hosting in-person and virtual hybrid events, or delaying their live nonprofit conference until the second half of the year.

To help you narrow down your search for nonprofit conferences to attend this year, we rounded up nine events that will benefit you and your team, no matter your role. Choose from the nonprofit conferences below and mark your calendars.

9 Nonprofit Conferences to Attend in 2021

1. The Collaborative: Virtual Sessions

Date: June 8 to 11

The Collaborative is going virtual again in 2021, and if the opportunity to engage with some of our most admired nonprofit experts and leaders isn’t reason enough to attend, it’s also totally free.

Over 10,000 registrants reserved their spot at the Collaborative: Virtual Sessions in 2020, and this year our carefully curated breakout sessions, wellness initiatives, and hand-selected speakers will leave you once again with takeaways and tactics to accelerate your mission.

What to Expect

The Collaborative: Virtual Sessions unites changemakers from all corners of the nonprofit space to empower each other, inspire innovation, and cultivate community. Our networking opportunities create a space for you to interact and learn from some of the most reputable experts in the industry, in addition to building meaningful relationships with like-minded leaders through group networking opportunities and one-on-one discussions.

Our nonprofit conference will cover topics like:

  • Fundraising and marketing
  • Organizational priorities and finances
  • Current technology
  • Leadership in times of crisis
  • Resilience

Additionally, everything will be tailored to fit the state of current events in our world in the hopes that it helps your nonprofit navigate the current operating environment. You’ll walk away from the online sessions, fireside chats, and curated panels with tangible tips on how to sustainably grow your organization and adapt to changing circumstances.

Get ready for a custom curriculum offered by over 50 experts and practitioners that will offer you insights, strategies, and inspiration for 2021 and beyond.

2. 2021 ANA Nonprofit Federation Winter Conference (Virtual)

Date: February 17 to 18

The National Advertisers’ Nonprofit Federation Winter Conference (ANA) made their live conference available to watch on your own time, granting you access to comprehensive marketing solutions to the issues and challenges facing the nonprofit sector today.

This nonprofit conference created a space for fundraising and marketing professionals to come together for collaboration and creativity, as well as for the opportunity to expand their personal networks and advance their growth. Download all available conference presentations and videos now to experience the conversations and benefit from their impact.

What to Expect

The recordings of this two-day nonprofit conference are packed with educational sessions facilitated by over 50 hosts and speakers, each focusing on a particular facet of marketing to help you navigate today’s ever changing environment.

After downloading, you will gain access to discussions on:

  • Creating symbiotic relationships within your fundraising ecosystem
  • Building an effective hybrid event model for future fundraising efforts
  • Evaluating the future of giving based on current economic trends

To complement your learnings from these recorded sessions, download The Nonprofit Digital Marketing Checklist to learn how to audit your existing digital marketing efforts and elevate your current practices.

3. The Nonprofit Marketing Summit 2021 (Virtual)

Date: February 25

The Nonprofit Marketing Summit 2021 offered organizations the opportunity to join forces with powerful storytellers and diverse hand-picked speakers to learn actionable marketing strategies, and network with CMOs, executive directors, and other thought leaders from impactful nonprofits across the world. Missed it? Download the recordings today.

What to Expect

Join over 10,000 other nonprofit marketers in the space who took advantage of 30 high-impact educational sessions being offered at no cost. With speakers from organizations including Facebook, Google, charity: water, and Cancer Research Institute, your nonprofit will be sure to gain valuable takeaways on how to amplify your fundraising.

4. The 2021 Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum Conference (Virtual)

Date: March 1 to 3

Peer-to-peer fundraising has the power to exponentially increase your nonprofit’s reach, funds, and overall return on investment (ROI). The Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum was created to give the nonprofit professionals managing peer-to-peer campaigns and programs the insights necessary to start, sustain, or grow their impact.

What to Expect

A Virtual Conference Recording Pass is available for purchase to give you access to all one-on-one and small group discussions from the live conference right at home. You’ll receive access to new U.S. and Canadian program data to help you benchmark your efforts and set your nonprofit up for success.

Each recorded session will teach you about an important facet of peer-to-peer fundraising, like building an effective influencer-driven fundraising program, leveling up events, or activating your community with unique engagement opportunities. The Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum additionally hosted deep dives into areas like large and small programs, DIY fundraising, cycling and endurance events, and hospitals.

Before diving into these sessions, download our whitepaper, Understanding the True Financial Return of Peer-to-Peer, to uncover the value of a strong peer-to-peer strategy and pro tips to build your programs for maximum success.

5. 2021 Nonprofit Technology Conference (Virtual)

Date: March 23 to 25

The annual Nonprofit Technology Conference (21NTC) is hosted by NTEN as a way to help nonprofit professionals understand the benefits technology has to offer them. Over 2,000 attendees gather each year to get new insights and hone strategies that will help them fulfill their missions, create impactful change, and better serve their communities.

What to Expect

All of the live sessions, about 100 of them, are thoughtfully curated across areas like:

In addition, the agenda will also include space for music, connection, and entertainment. You’ll receive a conference welcome kit in the mail to enhance your virtual experience, whether you choose to attend the sessions live or as your schedule allows. All sessions will be available on-demand after it ends so that you can continue learning for months to follow.

Once you register for the conference, download the Why America Gives 2020 report to prepare for the insightful conversations ahead on how technology impacts annual giving trends.

6. Salesforce.org Nonprofit Summit (Virtual)

Date: April 21

For the first time, Salesforce.org will be bringing their international nonprofit community together for a virtual summit to learn from a number of impressive speakers, industry changemakers, and educational breakout sessions. Registration will grant you access to the latest on digital transformation, optimizing internal operations, and transformational constituent engagement.

What to Expect

Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in over 30 sessions across four tracks led by leaders from nonprofits like UNICEF, Teach for America, CDC Foundation, and so many more. Take advantage of the ample peer-to-peer networking opportunities to hear from those who are experiencing similar challenges, and formulate solutions to the common problems that nonprofits are facing today.

You can expect valuable takeaways from Keynote speakers Leslie Odom, Jr. and Dr. Jane Goodall, as well as product demos and customer interviews to round out your summit experience. Attendees will walk away with insight on how to move the needle forward within your organization, and amplify your impact through personalized interactions with your supporters.

7. International Fundraising Conference (Hybrid)

Date: June 28 to 30 in Minneapolis, MN/Online

Hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and designed specifically with fundraising experts and professionals in mind, the International Fundraising Conference brings together more than 4,000 attendees to discuss, teach, and learn about new strategies for social innovation and community impact.

While the goal is to host an in-person experience at the Minneapolis Convention Center, all registrants can easily transfer their registration from in-person to virtual and vice versa at any time. For those who want to take full advantage of their experience at AFP ICON, there will be the option to register for two additional days of pre-conference workshops immediately preceding the event.

What to Expect

Fundraising will be thoroughly explored in the content tracks about securing gifts, volunteer engagement, and donor research. However, you’ll also get robust programming in areas like leadership and management tactics, ethics, accountability, and professionalism.

8. The Nonprofit Innovation & Optimization Summit (In-Person)

Date: September 21 to 23 in Austin, TX

The Nonprofit Innovation & Optimization Summit (NIO) is designed for those who want to grow their skills in online fundraising and marketing. And where most nonprofit conferences host an open call for speakers to submit an application for consideration, The NIO Summit instead hand-picks experts to teach attendees how to make a bigger impact with their online fundraising growth.

What to Expect

It’s only a two-day conference, but those two days are bursting with new strategies, best practices, and tactics for your nonprofit to grow its online fundraising operations and revenue. You’ll participate in hands-on training sessions with some of the best digital marketing thought leaders, learn how to build a culture of continuous learning, preview new technologies, and network with like-minded people.

9. AFP Conference (Hybrid)

Date: November 7 to 10 in Washington, D.C./Online

Every year, over 6,500 corporate finance professionals attend the Association of Financial Professionals (AFP) annual conference to get their hands on a diverse offering of educational sessions that inspire, teach, and help transform both their career and nonprofit. By registering for the in-person event, you’ll gain access to all networking opportunities, speakers, and solution providers, plus full-access to the virtual offering through December 31, 2021. In total there are eight content tracks that cover capital markets and investments, career development, executive institute, financial planning and analysis, payments, risk management, and treasury management.

What to Expect

One of the biggest value-adds for attendees at the AFP Conference, aside from the sessions, is learning from the keynote speakers. Tony Hawk will be sharing his experiences on founding an award-winning charitable foundation while simultaneously juggling his business empire and skateboarding career. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn how authenticity played such a big role in his success, and how you can apply those lessons to your own organization.

It doesn’t matter what your level of experience is, or what specific function you have at your organization. Nonprofit conferences are crucial if you want to stay at the top of your game. The important part is to choose options that deliver the strongest ROI for you, your organization, and your nonprofit’s future.

Save the Date for the 2021 Collaborative

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