Have You Heard?
FS will host its second annual virtual conference and expo on May 19. The theme of the show remains the same as last year — Enlightening, Engaging and Empowering Donors — because that's pretty much what it all comes down to when you're trying to raise money and awareness for your important cause.
Like last year, the conference takes place completely online, and it's still free to register and attend.
You might be wondering how a virtual conference works. It's actually pretty cool. You register ahead of time, then log in to the live event on May 19. Once you're in, you have access to a virtual auditorium where you can take part in the live educational sessions; the trade-show floor where our sponsors will be hanging out to "chat" and provide information about their products and services; and the networking lounge where you can meet up with colleagues. There are even ice cream and coffee breaks, where participants can win free goodies. (OK … coupons for free goodies.)
Most of the sessions are live webinars, where speakers present their materials via audio and PowerPoint presentations, and then the audience can ask questions to be answered in real time. Some are audiochats, where speakers conduct their sessions live over the phone, with no audience participation, and others are pre-recorded webinars that can be accessed at your convenience. The show takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Our opening keynote will be presented by Andrew Bales, chief executive officer of Los Angeles' Union Rescue Mission and FundRaising Success' 2011 Fundraising Professional of the Year. The day ends with a rowdy bunch of fundraising pros — MINDset Direct's Kritstin McCurry, Merkle's Angie Moore, HRC's Ann Crowley, Paradysz's Amy Koop and ALSAC/St. Jude's Brian Cowart — sharing ideas about how nonprofit organizations can realistically benchmark their success.
In between, sessions will include United Methodist Church's Shawn Bakker and McPherson Associates' Carol Leister discussing how to create the right fundraising messaging mix; consultants Pamela Grow and Sandy Rees offering secrets to success in the small fundraising shop; the American Diabetes Association's Molly Duerr and Sybil Freeman discussing charitable corporate partnerships; fundraising guru Roger Craver and his DonorTrends partner Kevin Schulman exploring mobile fundraising; GLSEN's Dane Grams chatting with actual board members about getting the most from your nonprofit board; and a session on retaining the influx of new donors that make contributions after a disaster.
Nearly 3,100 of your colleagues signed up for last year's virtual show, which folks talked about for months after the fact. I really hope you'll join us on May 19 and see what all the fuss is about.
P.S. Did I mention it's FREE? For more info and to register, check out virtualshow.fundraisingsuccessmag.com (also, if you can't make it the day of the event, register anyway and you can access all of the features at your convenience for 90 days afterward).