A Guide to bbcon 2021 Virtual for Nonprofits

bbcon 2021 Virtual, happening October 13–15, will bring together tens of thousands of social good professionals for three days of cutting-edge thought leadership, virtual peer networking and unforgettable experiences. There will be opportunities to collaborate with your nonprofit peers from across the U.S. and globally, including those who work in development, membership, finance, marketing, executive leadership and more. You don’t want to miss it! 

While we encourage you to choose from the plethora of sessions available, we wanted to highlight some of the ones we’ve specifically designed for nonprofits and what you can expect to learn. 

Highlighted bbcon Sessions for Nonprofits

For a dose of thought leadership and to learn about sector trends… 

  • Beth Kanter, nonprofit thought leader, virtual facilitator, and author of the Happy Healthy Nonprofit, will deliver our Super Session this year on sustaining wellbeing for remainder of the pandemic & beyond. Beth is an internationally recognized thought leader in digital transformation and wellbeing in the nonprofit workplace. Named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company, she has over three decades of experience in designing and delivering training and capacity-building programs for nonprofits and foundations. She will deliver an interactive session on how to build your personal resilience and calm and will answer your specific questions to help you succeed despite COVID. 
  • Ashley Thompson, Managing Director at Blackbaud Institute, will dive into the trends that can help us better understand how philanthropy weathers change. Using data as a guide, Ashley will uncover clues to illuminate the contemporary nonprofit’s journey. You will hear how philanthropy performed during past economic downturns and natural disasters, providing necessary context as we shape a prosperous path forward. 

To learn fundraising and marketing best practices… 

  • Tom Coussens, Senior Charity Partner Manager at London Marathon Events, will present a case study from London Marathon Events during the pandemic, including insights and impact from cancellations, embracing virtual events and why they are going hybrid (in-person and remote) in the future. Tom will analyze demographic, fundraising and finisher data from the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon which has been awarded the Guinness World Records title for most users to run a remote marathon in 24 hours. 
  • Bri Seoane MPA, VP of Development & Strategic Partnerships at Ronald McDonald House Charities Bay Area, will share the strategy, technology, and execution that helped turn a $1M deficit into a $1M surplus in two years. Learn how to get laser focused on making each ask count, cut out the noise, and revolutionize your current fundraising strategies. 

To learn about analytics… 

To learn better financial management practices… 

  • Stephanie Skryzowski, Founder & CEO at 100 Degrees Consulting, will present on how to manage cash flow in uncertain times. This session will help nonprofit leaders understand the ins and outs of managing cash, showcase a monthly process for keeping track of inflows and outflows, and explain how to build a multi-year cash flow forecast to see into the future of your organization and make decisions now. 

Getting Organized for bbcon 2021 Virtual

With more than 100 breakout sessions, it can be challenging to prioritize sessions. Here are a few tricks to help narrow your options to the sessions that will be the most impactful for your work: 

  • Picking your sessions: Don’t just limit yourself to the sessions classified as part of the nonprofit track! Try filtering based on job type or organization type to find all the sessions relevant to you. Our end goal is to provide a variety of presentations that pique your interest and leave you with actionable insight to take back to your organization. 
  • Map out a session grid: I recommend that you ask yourself what you want to get out of bbcon. This will help you pick your sessions. Do you want to hear about technology? Do you want to hear from peers? Deciding what’s valuable to your work versus what’s just interesting will help you narrow down your choices. 
  • Be prepared: Make the most of your sessions by having any items you may need during a session within reach. These could include: a water bottle, your favorite caffeinated beverage, snacks, and a note pad to take notes! 
  • Block time off on your calendar: Once you’ve determined which sessions you want to attend, reserve that time on your calendar. This will help mitigate conflicts and last-minute changes.  
  • Embrace virtual networking: Throughout the conference there will be plenty of opportunities for attendees to network with peers and with Blackbaud staff. Remember, you can also schedule one-on-one time with attendees, speakers, and sponsors using the networking feature in the virtual platform. 
  • Take advantage of the break times: Get up and stretch or take a short walk. Use that break time to refresh so you are ready for your next session. 

This year may look different, but you can expect an exciting and thought-provoking conference! I hope you are as excited as we are for bbcon 2021 Virtual and we’ll see you there!