9 Tips for Surviving Your Next Nonprofit Conference


Have an upcoming conference scheduled? We got you covered! Here are some tips to help you make the most out of the experience. In case you missed it; check out the top nonprofit conferences of 2019.

Before the Conference:

1. Pre-Networking

Networking isn’t just for the event itself! There will likely be a published list of people and organizations attending the conference. If there’s somebody on the list you know you’d like to connect with; shoot them over a message on LinkedIn!

2. Make a Game Plan

It won’t be possible to make it to every session or speaker. Do some research ahead of time to make sure you hit the events you really want to see. Going with your coworkers? Divide and conquer!

3. Stay Within Budget

Conferences can be expensive! It is important to plan far enough in advance so you can get the best rates on flights and hotels. This is another thing to keep in mind when choosing which sessions or meet-ups to attend.

During the Conference:

4. Network!

One of the most important parts of the conference! Take advantage of the environment and try to make a connection with as many people as you can. Be sure to have a supply of business cards on hand! Also, don’t limit your networking to people in your same line of work. This is a great opportunity to meet people working in different parts of the sector. You never know when a connection will come in handy!

5. Take Notes

You’ll learn a lot of great industry tips and trends while you’re at the conference; make sure you can share this information with your nonprofit when you get back! Stay organized by taking notes and grabbing handouts so you can most effectively share your knowledge with the people back home.

6. Get Some Downtime

Conferences can be exhausting! If you’re too tired, you won’t be making the most of the experience. Make sure to get enough sleep, and go take a few minutes to relax if you need to!

After the Conference:

7. Follow Up

You likely made a lot of great connections during the conference, don’t let it end there! Follow up with your new connections via email or LinkedIn as soon as you return home. This is a great way to thank this person, and make sure you remain top of mind once they’re back home as well!

8. Present to the Team

This is a great opportunity to put together an informal presentation to share your new findings with the team. What did you learn? Who did you meet? What can be applied to your nonprofit?

9. Evaluate for Next Year

Do this while the conference is still fresh in your mind! Decide if this is a conference you should return to next year, or maybe it’s time to choose a different one. Determine if your organization sent too many, or too few, staff members. Think about these points immediately after you return and jot down your thoughts to reference next year!


If you have more questions about nonprofit strategy you can always reach out to the DipJar fundraising experts for help. It's what we love to do!