Why Foundations and Grantmaking Professionals Can’t Miss bbcon 2021 Virtual

As Blackbaud’s second virtual bbcon event approaches, we’re very excited about the fantastic session topics and speakers we’ve lined up within the Foundations track. To-date, close to 14,000 people are registered, and we’re expecting over 1,000 of your foundation and grantmaking peers to attend the event on October 13-15 this year.

For those of you who may not know, bbcon 2021 Virtual is a FREE, exclusive, online-only event that will once again unite the social good community for three days of cutting-edge thought leadership, inspiration, virtual networking, and unforgettable experiences!

We’ve got a mix of sessions for grantmaking, fund accounting, marketing & CRM professionals at community, independent, and family foundations of all types and sizes, and many of them will address the thought leadership and Blackbaud solution-specific topics you would expect to see and hear at this annual event. But this year’s agenda also brings content based on what we’ve all learned in the past 18 months that has caused us to “Rethink Change”—a term we’ve coined at Blackbaud to reflect the gear-shifting that foundation, and all nonprofit, professionals have had to do in the now-normal.

Allow me share with you an overview of the sessions within the Foundations Track at bbcon 2021 Virtual:

  • Our SUPER SESSION — Foundations Forward: How Sustainable and Strategic Giving Helps Us All


    • Page Bullington – President & GM of Blackbaud Foundation Solutions and Blackbaud Healthcare Solutions
    • Rachel Hutchisson – Blackbaud’s Vice President of Global Social Responsibility
    • Satonya Fair – President & CEO of PEAK Grantmaking
    • Tonia Wellons – President & CEO of the Greater Washington Community Foundation

This session will feature a discussion between two of our Blackbaud leaders and two prominent leaders in the foundation world, about where things stand today in grantmaking, and how foundation practices have changed throughout the past year in the face of the dual pandemics of COVID and racial equity. Satonya and Toni will also be asked how they are thinking about ESG, SDGs, impact investing, and the technology they need to manage their evolving grantmaking practices.

  • Sessions specifically for community foundations:
    • Igniting Your Impact: Why Moving Your Community Foundation to the Cloud is Right—Right Now

Three members of the Blackbaud Foundation Solutions teamGreg Sheppard, Dan Bowman, and Alison Madrigalwill provide an overview of the strategy, solutions, and partners powering the our cloud solutions for community foundations, highlighting outcomes from current Blackbaud customers and will showcase capabilities to help you amplify your mission maximize your impact.

  • NPact Presents: Taking Your Community Foundation to the Cloud with Blackbaud and NPact

Amy Strom, NPact’s Director of Client Delivery will provide community foundations currently running on FIMS–as well as those running on the classic versions of Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge & Financial Edge and NPact’s GrantEdge solutions–with an overview of the Blackbaud and NPact solutions for community foundations. Amy will also provide an overview of NPact’s GE NXT grant management software, NPact’s Spectrum NXT donor portal, Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT®, and Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT® — and how they integrate with one another.

  • Grantmaking-Specific Sessions:
    • Blackbaud Grantmaking, Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT and Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT: A Throuple for the History Books

Blackbaud Product Marketing Manager, Alexis Fish, joins two prominent Blackbaud customers Hillary Murphy of Phoebe Health and Courtney Foy-Baldwin of the Denver Health Foundation will share what information is best shared with the databases within each of these solutions to ensure consistency and accuracy. They’ll show you what will give each department in your organization holistic and role-appropriate insight into your operations of fundraising, grantmaking, and financial management, as well as the “must-haves” for your auditors.

  • A Grantmaker’s Guide to Trust-Based Philanthropy

Shaady Salehi, director of the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project teams up with two foundation leaders (also Blackbaud customers), Lauren Scott of the Harris & Eliza Kempner Fund, and Philip Li of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation to share how trust-based philanthropy has gained sector-wide attention as a strategy to alleviate power imbalances between funders and grantee partners. Driven by the central philosophy that funders should approach grantee relationships as learning partnerships, a trust-based approach encourages multi-year unrestricted funding, streamlined reporting, and transparent and responsive communication. You will see and hear a discussion on the purpose, process, and impacts of embracing trust-based culture and practices at your foundation.

  • Beyond Grantmaking: Telling Your Impact Story

Peter Panepento, co-Founder of Turn Two Communications, along with two Blackbaud customers, Elyse Hammett of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, and Stephanie Swanson of the Oregon Community Foundation, will share how foundations face an array of challenges as they attempt to show their impact and build support. The public and the media are questioning the value of endowed philanthropy, and distrust of established institutions is growing. As a result, foundations are being challenged to show their impact in order to maintain their relevance and build the support necessary to drive sustained change. This session will outline the real challenges foundations are facing in the court of public opinion, offer practical strategies for facing these challenges, and provide real-life examples of how foundations can show their impact and sway opinion.

  • Private Foundation IRS Requirements & Accounting Practices

Chris Petermann and Tom Blaney of national accounting firm, PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP will share the history of the 990PF, along with key items to focus on when reviewing the form, common mistakes made when preparing it, and potential future changes to the document. You will also learn methods used for managing and tracking how they the five per cent requirement is met and hear a discussion on the sustainability issues private foundations face meeting the requirement.

NOTE: In addition to the above, there are additional grantmaking and awards management sessions offered within other tracks at bbcon. Simply visit the Sessions page on the bbcon web site, and then select “Filter By Solution Focus.”

If you are not already registered, I hope that this information entices you to register today.

Oh, and I did I mention the superstars joining us for the Keynote and Mainstage events? Award-winning actor, producer, and activist Laura Dern will be joining the bbcon 2021 Virtual mainstage for a keynote conversation, and… actor, director, educator, and Grammy® Award winner LeVar Burton will share a can’t-miss conversation on the bbcon mainstage!

Get ready to connect virtually with thousands who are changing the world for good.

On behalf of my Blackbaud colleagues and I… we hope to see you online on October 13-15!