16 Nonprofit Conferences Every Nonprofit Should Attend in 2020

16 Nonprofit Conferences Every Nonprofit Should Attend in 2020

Nonprofit conference 2020

Does your organization regularly attend nonprofit conferences? If you’ve not been to one before, you may not realize the significant benefits that they can bring.

Conferences can provide learning and networking opportunities that aren’t possible through content. They’re also perfect for networking. This can help your organization find new ways to further your cause and reach more donors.

Not sure which conferences could be a good choice for your organization? We’ve rounded up some of the best in this blog post, but we recommend doing more in-depth research into any that appeal. This means you can be sure your organization is making the best use of its budget.

Note: Find our updated list of conferences nonprofits should attend in 2021 here : 14 Top Conferences that Nonprofit Professionals Should Attend in 2021.


The Benefits of Attending Nonprofit Conferences

Not sure what your organization can gain from regularly attending nonprofit conferences? Here are some of the significant benefits:

  • Nonprofit conferences can help nonprofit professionals stay up-to-date with knowledge and trends and learn new ways to engage with donors and grow your organization.
  • As a nonprofit professional, you can sharpen your skills and knowledge that can make you more effective in your role.
  • A change of environment can encourage your creative juices to flow better. It’s very easy to get stuck in a rut with your ideas when you usually spend so much time in one place. Taking a little bit of time away from the office in this way can be highly productive for your organization.
  • Encouraging you to break away from your comfort zone and network (even if it feels very unnatural to you) is another way to move away from static thinking.
  • High-profile speakers and innovative discussions can help your organization gain a fresh perspective on delivering your mission.
  • Being around like-minded nonprofit professionals who are equally committed to driving change and learning new ways of doing things can be highly energizing.
  • Networking with other nonprofit professionals can build relationships that can help your organization to grow.
  • The opportunity to meet with vendors and sponsors who can help your organization fulfill specific needs and gaps. Often, these will be cutting-edge solutions that haven’t made it to wider public attention yet.

16 of the Best Nonprofit Conferences to Attend in 2020

In no particular order, here are 16 of the best nonprofit conferences to attend in 2020.


1. AFP Icon

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Where: Baltimore, MD

When: March 29th-31st, 2020

What: AFP Icon is the largest conference for fundraising professionals. Topics for 2020 include:

  • Integrated fundraising
  • The next generation of volunteer leadership and major gift donors
  • Making successful donor calls
  • Building an engaging nonprofit brand
  • Best practices for strong donor relationships

Audience profile: Nonprofit fundraising professionals and nonprofit communications professionals

Price: $289 to $1649

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


2. 2020 ANA DC Nonprofit Conference

Where: Washington, DC

When: February 19th-21st, 2020

What: The 3-day conference is hosted by the Association of National Advertisers. Building your supporter base and maintaining stronger relationships with donors are key topics at the 2020 ANA DC Nonprofit Conference. Nonprofit professionals in marketing and fundraising roles can learn new ways to engage donors and be more creative when it comes to fundraising.

For 2020, some of the conference tracks include:

  • Donor analytics
  • Direct response fundraising
  • Digital fundraising
  • Messaging
  • Navigating disruption
  • Program lifecycle

Audience: Fundraising professionals and marketing professionals

Price:

  • Client-Side Tier – $649
  • Platinum Tier – $649
  • Gold Tier – $849
  • Silver Tier $909
  • Individual – $949
  • Nonmember – $949

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


3. Nonprofit Technology Conference

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Where: Baltimore, MD

When: March 24th-26th, 2020

What: NTC is the longest-running nonprofit tech conference in the US. It’s an ideal opportunity to discover the many ways that technology can help your organization to deliver on your mission.

In 2020, there will be over 200 sessions on a wide range of tech topics, including:

  • Technology management
  • Service delivery
  • Fundraising
  • Digital communications/marketing

Audience: Nonprofit communications/marketing professionals and fundraising professionals.

Price:

  • Members – $749
  • Non-members – $1049

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


4. Cause Camp

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Where: Lincoln, NE

When: April 20-21st, 2020 (plus a separate Cause Marketing Bootcamp on April 22nd)

What: This two-day conference describes itself as a “boutique conference” and aims to inspire nonprofit professionals. Forbes has named it as a “must-attend nonprofit conference,” largely because of the thought leaders it attracts and the opportunity to talk to industry experts.

This year’s discussion topics include:

  • Strengthening fundraising relationships
  • DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion)
  • Building a more sustainable organization
  • Making the most of human connections in your fundraising

There’s also a Cause Marketing Bootcamp to help organizations create an effective marketing plan. This runs a day later and isn’t included in the ticket price.

If you can’t get there in person, there’s the option to watch the online stream of the conference.

Audience profile: Nonprofit marketing professionals, nonprofit fundraising professionals, and nonprofit leaders

Price:

  • Individual Online Stream Ticket – $99
  • Team Online Stream Ticket – $199
  • Individual In-Person Ticket – $375
  • Team In-Person Ticket – $700
  • Strategic Marketing Workshop – $650

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


5. Engage for Good

Where: Austin, TX

When: May 27th-28th, 2020

What: The Engage for Good conference has a focus on social impact. It’s not only for nonprofit professionals — plenty of well-known brands attended in 2019.

The 2020 program is currently TBC, but for 2019, it included sessions on:

  • Empowering consumers to take action
  • Securing social impact partnerships
  • Becoming a more confident and empowered leader
  • Influencer campaigns
  • Attracting diverse industries to your cause

Audience profile: Nonprofit professionals; Corporate Social Responsibility professionals; cause marketers; nonprofit leaders

Price: $395- $445 for workshops, and $995 to $1245 for the conference

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


6. Nonprofit Innovation and Optimization Summit

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Where: Austin, TX

When: September 29th- October 1st, 2020

What: If your organization wants to be more innovative with your marketing and online fundraising, this summit is a great choice. Leading experts in marketing and fundraising come together for innovative sessions. Attendees can benefit from receiving proven strategies to improve their fundraising success and get hands-on training.

Audience profile: Nonprofit marketers and nonprofit fundraisers

Price: $1295 (Standard Registration) – $1595 (Standard Registration and Pre-Summit Workshop).

Until April, there is a $550 discount on Standard Registration and Standard Registration + Pre-Summit Workshop tickets.

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


7. Fundraising Convention

Where: London, UK

When: July 6th-8th, 2020

What: As the largest professional fundraising conference in Europe, Fundraising Convention sees thousands of nonprofit professionals gather in London to share knowledge and expertise.

Audience profile: Nonprofit professionals

Price: TBC

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


8. Bridge Conference

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Where: National Harbor, MD

When: July 15th-17th, 2020

What: Integrated marketing and fundraising are hot topics at the Bridge Conference. 2020 topics are yet to be confirmed, but last year’s sessions included:

  • Leveraging partnerships between boards, CEOs, and development staff,
  • Maximizing matching gift offers to build donor trust
  • Accessorizing your messaging
  • Engaging donors through gratitude
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising

Audience profile: Nonprofit fundraising professionals, nonprofit leaders, and nonprofit marketers

Price: $400 to $1155

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


9. The Nonprofit Alliance Fundraising and Marketing Conference

Where: Boston, MA

When: April 21st-23rd, 2020

What: Aimed at seasoned nonprofit professionals, this conference is brand new for 2020. Planned sessions include:

  • Catholic fundraising
  • The influential role of women in philanthropy
  • Taking the guesswork out of acquiring new donors
  • Creating and sustaining a major gift program
  • Engaging with donors across multiple channels

Audience profile: Nonprofit professionals

Price: There is a waiting list for tickets, with Advance Registration prices available until March 16th, 2020.

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


10. FIA Conference 2020

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Where: Brisbane, Australia

When: February 26th-28th, 2020

What: If your organization is based in Australia (or you have lots of donors based here), the FIA conference is a good one to add to your list. It gathers together like-minded nonprofit fundraising professionals to share achievements and learn from each other’s successes.

Planned sessions include:

  • Innovation in fundraising
  • Successful growth
  • Creating a more philanthropic culture in your organization
  • Corporate partnerships
  • Developing and refreshing your regular giving program
  • How to make your phone calls support your organization’s individual giving program

Audience profile: Nonprofit fundraising professionals

Price: $695 to $2810

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


11. Social Innovation Summit 2020

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Where: Washington, DC

When: June 2nd-3rd, 2020

What: Thought leaders from around the world come together to kickstart about how to innovate change for organizations. The Social Innovation Summit markets itself as “business innovation meets social transformation.”

The program for 2020 is yet to be finalized, but 2019 sessions focused on topics such as:

  • Leading with purpose
  • Corporate social impact and advocacy
  • Media and entertainment to inspire impact
  • Building inclusive communities

Audience profile: Nonprofit leaders and nonprofit professionals

Pricing: $1295 to $1895

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


12. 2020 Nonprofit Storytelling Conference

Where: Chicago, IL

When: October 29th-31st, 2020

What: The Nonprofit Storytelling Conference is the ideal platform for learning how to craft and tell compelling stories and engage donors.

2019 sessions included topics such as

  • Personal impact stories
  • Using your database to engage donors
  • Including fundraising stories in grant applications
  • Instagram for cause marketing

If you can’t attend the conference in person, video access is available.

Audience profile: Nonprofit fundraising professionals and nonprofit communications and marketing professionals

Pricing: $695 to $845. Early Bird discount of $400 ends on March 31st, 2020, after which the regular ticket price will apply.

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


13. Collaborative

Where: Boston, MA

When: June 9th-11th, 2020

What: The 3-day Collaborative conference is hosted by Classy and is intended to give nonprofit professionals and social impact leaders a platform to get inspiration and new ideas. You can learn best practices around using tech and data, raising funds, and marketing to grow your impact.

Audience profile: Nonprofit fundraising professionals; nonprofit communications and marketing professionals; nonprofit leaders

Pricing: $350 for team tickets and $395 for individual tickets

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


14. Nonprofit Learning Labs – Advance Your Skills in Fundraising, Social Media, Board Development and Nonprofit Marketing

Where: Las Vegas, NV and Newport News, VA

When: March 11th. 2020 (Las Vegas) and March 20th, 2020 (Newport News)

What: The Nonprofit Labs are a deep-dive day of networking and learning best practices to take back to your organization. The day focuses on providing practical strategies to help nonprofits be more effective in fundraising, communications, board development, and management.

Audience profile: Nonprofit fundraising professionals, nonprofit communications and marketing professionals, nonprofit board members, and nonprofit leaders

Pricing: $80 to $99

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


2020 Nonprofit Conferences for Specific Causes


15. Better Together 2020

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Where: Chicago, IL

When: April 22nd-25th, 2020

What: Better Together 2020 is The Salvation Army’s quadrennial National Advisory Organizations Conference (NAOC), and it’s aimed at Advisory Organizations Members, Community Relations & Development, and Emergency Disaster Services professionals.

Over 150 workshops are delivered, including sessions on:

  • Fundraising
  • Marketing
  • Corporate partnerships,
  • Public policy and advocacy
  • Emergency disaster services training, best practices, and strategic partnerships

Advanced Tracks include major gifts, planned giving, AND digital fundraising.

Audience profile: Nonprofit professionals in advisory organizations, community relations, and emergency disaster services

Price: $450 until January 31st, 2020. This rises to $500 until March 20th, 2020 and $525 after April 25th, 2020.

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


16. NACCDO-PAMN Annual Conference

Where: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

When: May 18th-21st, 2020

What: Marketing, communications, and development professionals from cancer-related organizations come together to share ideas and gain new ideas about delivering on their mission. It’s a unique opportunity to network with people from similar organizations and with a shared mission.

Audience profile: Nonprofit professionals from organizations involved in the fight against cancer.

Price: $275 for 1-day attendees to $800 for non-members attending the full conference.

Please be aware that pricing is correct at the time of publication and may change as the conference approaches.


How to Get the Most From Nonprofit Conferences

Attending a nonprofit conference for the first time can be scary, especially if you’re not confident about networking. If you’re well prepared and have already laid the groundwork, nonprofit conferences can be highly rewarding.

To get the most from any nonprofit conference, put these tips into practice:

  • Look at the speakers and sessions that are lined up and make sure they resonate with your organization’s mission and objectives.
  • Have an “elevator pitch” prepared in case you get nervous or are stuck for what to say in a specific situation, but don’t rely on it too heavily.
  • Get out of your comfort zone and initiate conversations with speakers and other attendees. You never know where they might lead!
  • Take business cards with you and swap them with people to follow up with them later on.

For more tips on how to make conferences work to your best advantage, check out our detailed guide on networking at nonprofit conferences.


Over to You

Nonprofit conferences can be a great platform for expanding your knowledge about best practices in the nonprofit sector. They can also help your organization find new ways to connect with donors.

There are plenty of conferences to choose from, which can make it challenging to pick one that you’ll get the most from. The right nonprofit conference(s) for your organization can depend on your budget and what you’re hoping to get from it.

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