Your organization has a mission. It’s powerful, it’s important, and it makes the world a better place.

But with the technological innovation happening all around us, it’s important to consider whether your nonprofit is taking advantage of the solutions that can ultimately help power your mission forward. The 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference (#14NTC) kicking off this Thursday is the premier event to help you answer that question.

Here are the 7 ‘can’t miss’ breakout sessions coming up at this year’s #14NTC :

50 Shades of Social Media: Navigating Policies, Laws, and Ethics [#14NTC Shades]

  • When: Thursday, March 13, 10:30-12PM
  • Hosted by: Debra Askanase, Farra Trompeter, Carly Leinheiser, and Ashley Lusk
  • Key Takeaways: Ideas for managing and setting the tone for your social media community and balancing the opportunity of social media with ethical and legal implications.
  • Why I’m excited: This diverse panel includes experience in the nonprofit industry, law, social media, fundraising and communications. Blackbaud hosted an educational webinar with Farra back in June on the effective use of email to Improve Online Fundraising Results that was not only entertaining, but included tons of practical examples and takaways for nonprofit professionals, which you’re sure to receive in this session as well.

The Proof is in the Program Evaluation: Applying the Idealware Program Evaluation Pyramid [#14NTCprogeval]

  • When: Thursday, March 13, 1:30-3PM
  • Hosted by: Elizabeth Pope and Laura Quinn of Idealware
  • Key Takeaways: How to gather data to evaluate your programs and show funders how you’re meeting your outcomes. Idealware will present how their evaluation pyramid sheds new light on the program evaluation process for nonprofits.
  • Why I’m Excited: The importance of measurement, especially when it comes to showing funders how their investment was used to impact your mission, cannot be overstated. Yet, properly evaluating your outcomes within your data is no easy task, no matter the size of your organization. Idealware has really impressed me with the breadth of their research for nonprofits, and hearing first-hand their evaluation strategies will help you tell your ROI story.

Disrupting the Nonprofit Sector [#14NTCDisrput]

  • When: Friday, March 14, 10:30-12PM
  • Hosted by: Allyson Kapin, Sheila Katz, and Amy Sample Ward
  • Key Takeaways: With the growth of the nonprofit industry and so many organizations vying for resources, funding, advocacy, and more, the nonprofit sector needs reevaluating so we can work together to solve the world’s biggest problems.
  • Why I’m Excited: Kapin and Ward wrote a book together in 2013 called “Social Change Anytime, Everywhere: How to Implement Multichannel Strategies to Spark Advocacy, Raise Money, and Engage your Community,” so this is an exciting opportunity to hear these experts discuss social change first-hand. As two of the foremost thinkers in the nonprofit industry, this session will certainly get to the heart of why most of us do what we do: create change, and how we can do that more efficiently and effectively together.

SEO: Nailing the Basics and how to build from there [#14NTCSEO]

  • When: Friday, March 14, 1:30-3
  • Hosted by: Andrew Garberson and Eric Werner
  • Key Takeaways: SEO Crimes and how to avoid them. Content Marketing and Social Media in the context of SEO. What to do when redesigning your website, changing content management systems, or changing your domain name.
  • Why I’m Excited: Many of us either don’t think about SEO when creating content, or let someone else in our organization worry about it. But the reality is that SEO is uncharted waters for many of us, yet it remains a primary way we research online and make purchasing decisions on a daily basis. In light of the boom in mobile technology, and online access nearly everywhere we go, having at least a basic understanding of SEO to make sure your website and content are optimized for success is important for nonprofits in 2014.

The Power of Technology and the Millenial Generation [#14NTCGenY]

  • When: Friday, March 14, 3:30-5
  • Hosted by: Todd Baylis, John Clese, Becky Leven, Mike Rubio, Jason Shim, Caryn Stein
  • Key Takeaways: Why it’s important to understand and engage with Millenials (Age 13-35), and how to use technology to engage them with regards to volunteering, fundraising, and more.
  • Why I’m Excited: I’m a millennial, and I know engaging with my generation is a hot-button issue right now, especially in light of the prominence of mobile and social technology. Blackbaud recently published the next generation of American Giving report which showed that 60% Millenials represent 11% of total giving, and 32.8 million donors in the U.S. While Gen X, Boomers and Mature may represent more than Millenials in terms of total overall giving, don’t sleep on the impact Millenials can make in terms of raising awareness, advocating for your cause, and yes, even fundraising.

The Work Behind Marketing Work: Productivity, Self-Awareness, and Healthy Work Habits

  • When: Saturday, March 15, 10:30-12
  • Hosted by: Stephanie Bowen, Sarah Durham, Nancy Schwartz
  • Key Takeaways: Learn how other nonprofit marketers manage their schedules and gain ideas from experts and peers to take back to your organization, as well as how to find your strengths and use them to your advantage within your own organization.
  • Why I’m Excited: Sarah Durham and Nancy Schwartz are both leading thinkers in the area of nonprofit marketing and communications. Nonprofit Marketers should take notice of this session to learn from them how to not only come up with the creative new marketing and communications ideas, but also how to successfully implement these ideas while balancing your existing responsibilities. As a Marketer myself, this session hits the nail on the head with importance of productivity, self-awareness and healthy work habits in successful Marketing!

Digital Marketing that Gets Results: 30 Ideas You can Use Monday Morning

  • When: Saturday, March 15, 1:30-3:30
  • Hosted by: Rusty Burwell, Cheryl Contee, Lauren Girardin, James Howe, Wendy Marinaccio Husman, Liz Murphy
  • Key Takeaways: Gearing up your digital marketing strategy with 30 ideas and a plan to take back to your organization after NTC, as well as a look at the big 3 platforms in social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, and how to get the most out of those channels.
  • Why I’m Excited: Part of the beauty of NTC is in the practicality of the content. Every big idea or tool is accompanied with the question of how can you use it to better achieve your mission? This session is just that: practical ideas to grow your impact in digital marketing and social media, as well as strategy to help you quickly and efficiently expand your online presence once you’re back at your organization Monday morning.

While these are the 7 session I’m most excited about at #14NTC, the truth is you really can’t go wrong with the lineup of experts and thought leaders NTEN has booked for this week in DC!

In addition to these sessions..

Be sure to take advantage of one of our free 30-minute consultations with Blackbaud experts Raheel Gauba, Frank Barry, and Mike Snuz to help you discover how your organization can use online fundraising, web design, user experience, email marketing, or social media to increase your fundraising.

The free consultations are available at a first-come, first-serve basis, so secure your spot today!

 See you there?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Beahm is Customer Advocate Marketing Manager at Blackbaud and manages the Blackbaud Champions program. In his spare time, Michael is husband, father of two boys, runner, and a coffee-holic. Connect with him on twitter @mabeahm.

Get nonprofit articles, best practice advice, fundraising ideas and invaluable industry reports and webinars delivered for free!