A nonprofit professional takes notes while listening to a virtual conference session.

How Nonprofit Professionals Can Get the Most Out of Fundraising and Leadership Conferences

Attending a conference — online or in person — can involve a significant investment of time, money, and energy. As a nonprofit professional, you want to make the most of time spent away from your mission. So, if you’ve been Googling “best nonprofit conferences 2022” and adding dates to your calendar, follow these five small but significant steps to maximize the value you get out of any nonprofit leadership, fundraising, or management conference you attend this year.

1. Plan ahead

The last thing you want after any nonprofit conference is to leave wishing you’d gone to different sessions. Do your research ahead of time to narrow down the keynotes, breakouts, and other presentations you simply can’t miss. If you have friends or colleagues who are attending the same conference, divide and conquer by creating a note-sharing system. It’s also worth checking whether any sessions will be recorded and viewable later, as this will allow you to benefit from them even after the conference is over. 

2. Connect before you go 

Conferences provide a unique opportunity to make meaningful connections with peers and experts. For nonprofits, these connections can often lead to valuable partnerships. If there’s an individual or organization that you especially want to connect with at a conference, don’t leave it up to chance. Consider reaching out on LinkedIn ahead of time to see if they’re interested in grabbing a coffee between sessions. Share a little context about why you want to meet — if it’s a partnership that will be mutually beneficial to your organizations, they’ll likely be thrilled to add the meeting to their conference schedule. 

3. Network, network, network

You never know when a connection made at a conference will pay off in an unexpected way. Take advantage of the opportunity to fill your network with like-minded people by joining some or all of the networking events on offer, even if these are virtual. If you are attending from home, aim to be an active participant by asking questions and sharing your thoughts, as this is a great way to start conversations with other attendees. 

4. Take notes 

With so many new names and insightful tips to remember, it’s crucial to take notes during any conference. For in-person events, aim to pack a notepad, a few pens, and a tote bag to store pamphlets and business cards (if you forget, don’t worry: you may be able to snag some handy free swag). You can also connect with people you meet on LinkedIn to ensure you don’t lose track of them after the conference. 

5. Don’t be afraid to take a break

Nonprofit conferences are exciting, but they can also be exhausting. While taking breaks may feel counterintuitive when you’re trying to get the most value from a conference, stepping away when you need to will prevent your energy levels from waning. That way, you’ll be more alert and engaged in the sessions that will benefit your nonprofit the most.

Enjoy the best of nonprofit conferences in 2022

There are lots of great nonprofit conferences in 2022. Whether you’re attending in person or online, follow these tips to ensure you leave feeling energized and inspired.

Interested in connecting with LinkedIn for Nonprofits at nonprofit conferences in 2022? Follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date about the conferences we’re sponsoring and attending!

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