2022 Top Nonprofit Conferences that COVID *probably* won’t ruin

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Nonprofit conferences are finally coming out of the ZOOM rooms and the 2022 season for conferences are now being announced and planned.

2022 is a unique time for conference-goers. While in-person events are beginning to open up again, many have pivoted to a hybrid learning environment. In-person attendance is becoming both available and optional. It’s great to have options. However, even the best conferences take up work hours, often require travel, and are always associated with hard costs. If you want to get a full lie of the land, scroll down to access our full database of conferences. These cover all areas of the nonprofit sector, in the US and abroad. And, if you just want the highlights, our top 8 picks are below.

Top 8 nonprofit conferences for 2022

ANA DC Nonprofit Conference (formerly DMA: Washington Nonprofit Conference)

  • When: Feb 9-11th, 2022
  • Where: Washington, D.C. & Online (Hybrid)
  • Website: https://www.ana.net
  • What: Nonprofit fundraising and marketing conference
  • How much: $99-$999
  • Audience size: Around 200
  • Who attends: Professional fundraisers, nonprofit communications teams, and tons of vendors.

Hosted by ANA (Association of National Advertisers), which acquired DMA Nonprofit Federation, this multi-day conference offers plenty of fresh ideas and expertise. Networking is encouraged during breaks, and there is also a reception. At the 2022 ANA Nonprofit Federation Winter Conference, presented by Data Axle, you’ll hear case studies and success stories from experts and industry leaders that offer you actionable solutions to the issues and challenges you face in 2022’s challenging and dynamic environment.

The conference will bring together fundraising and marketing professionals to exchange innovative ideas and generate creative strategies that can help you build and strengthen your relationship with your donors.

SXSW Civic Engagement & Climate Change + SXSW EDU

Note: We combined our summaries for the SXSW bonanza because, Texas.

  • When: March 11-20, 2022 (Civic Engagement, Climate Change & more), March 7-10, 2022 (SXSW EDU)
  • Where: Austin, TX & Online (Hybrid)
  • Websites: https://www.sxsw.com/conference/; https://www.sxswedu.com/
  • What: Mega-marketing and tech conference. These tracks cover innovation, activism, comms, education and tech. So much tech. 
  • How much: Registration opens in late summer 2021. Stay tuned for more information.
  • Audience size: 15,000 (SXSW EDU); 37,000 (SXSW)
  • Who attends: Professional fundraisers, nonprofit communications teams, and tons of vendors. And, everyone else. SXSW EDU is more focused to educators, government and people working in the ed space. 

If you’re the kind of person that thrives in crowds, parties, and socializing, this is your home. You must attend this conference. SXSW’s Civic Engagement & Climate Change tracks are hosted under SXSW at large. These could be particularly interesting for nonprofit professionals, but many other tracks are offered that could also prove to be valuable. These include Advertising & Brand Strategy, Startups, Tech, Media and more. The main issue here is that socially conscious programming competes with the broader SXSW circus, including celebrity mainstages and a dizzying amount of vendors and exhibitors in the main hall (which is more like an airport hangar). 

SXSW EDU is a more focused conference in the lead-up to the main event. If the ed space is where you live, the exposure to the newest concepts and lessons from case studies is excellent. The exhibit hall and networking parties don’t get started until the main conference on March 11, so if you’re shelling out for this, make sure you love the session topics.

Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC)

  • When: March 23-25, 2022

  • Where: virtual conference

  • Website: https://www.nten.org/ntc

  • What: The longest-running, nonprofit-focused tech conference in the US

  • How much: $400 (depending on timing and NTEN membership)

  • Audience size: around 2000

  • Who attends: Nonprofit communications teams, techies, and some fundraisers

We LOVE the community around this conference. The sessions are well-curated, with specific tracks and great opportunities for networking. There are parties thrown by vendors plus a larger gathering hosted by NTEN. NTEN programmers carefully choose their venues with accessibility in mind, and the whole event is planned with great attention to inclusivity. Be sure to do your homework on the sessions you go, to as some may feel like they’ll require advanced research. Make sure you save time for the sponsor exhibit hall. 

The Collaborative (Classy)

  • When: June 15–16, 2022
  • Where: In-Person in Philadelphia, PA & Online on Classy Live
  • What: Nonprofit marketing, fundraising, and leadership conference
  • How much: $320-$499 for In-person; Online event is free
  • Audience size: 1,000 in-person attendees; 3,000 online attendees
  • Who attends: Anyone in the nonprofit or social enterprise space looking to learn more about fundraising and technology best practices, Classy platform features, leadership lessons, and insights on how to grow your organization. 

Collaborative, brought to you by Classy.org, is a two-day experience dedicated to nonprofit professionals. With fundraising and technology at the forefront of the conversation, we’ll explore best practices and learn how to leverage the latest technology to raise more. Extend the experience by attending our new User Conference bonus day for Classy customers. Don’t want to travel? Join us for Collaborative: Virtual Sessions and on Classy’s virtual event platform, Classy Live.

 

Cause Camp

  • When: May 2-3, 2022
  • Where: DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, MI
  • Website: https://www.cause.camp/
  • What: Nonprofit marketing, fundraising, and leadership conference
  • How much: $249 individual ($99 to stream)
  • Audience size: Typically 300, Open
  • Who attends: Nonprofit story tellers, executives and fundraisers

Cause Camp features a small audience and presenters with a high amount of polish. The content is carefully curated and well paced. Networking happens between sessions and at an opening-day party. The community is very welcoming and it is clear why many people return year after year.v

 

AFP ICON

  • When: May 2-4, 2022
  • Where: Las Vegas
  • Website: http://afpicon.com/
  • What: The largest conference in the world for fundraising professionals
  • How much: $499–$1,499  (depending on timing and membership)
  • Audience size: around 4,000
  • Who attends: Professional fundraisers, nonprofit communications teams, and tons of vendors

Hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, this is the Super Bowl of fundraising conferences. Representation from all of the main players in the CRM and donation platform games are here. Content is focused on the trends and tactics in fundraising with a lot of time (we’re talking hours a day) is allocated to the sponsor exhibit hall. Big points for networking and parties, which are thrown by the conference and sponsors. Remember when going that this is a group of fundraisers: Their job is to raise money. Game. On.

Engage For Good

  • When: May 17-19, 2022
  • Where: Atlanta, GA
  • Website: https://conference.engageforgood.com
  • What:  Nonprofit and Corporate Social Responsibility conference  
  • How much: $445–$1,395
  • Audience size: Around 300
  • Who attends: CSR professionals, nonprofit marketers, executives, cause marketers  

Formerly known as the Cause Marketing Forum, this focused audience works (as the original name would suggest) in the cause marketing ecosystem. Content sits at the intersection of purpose and profit, featuring case studies of successful partnerships. Networking happens between sessions and at the opening day after-party. This is a great conference to learn from experts about smart earned-revenue models, and about how the CSR world at for-profit companies operates. 

National Conference of Volunteering and Service: Points of Light

  • When: July 13-15, 2022
  • Where:Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort or virtually
  • Website: https://www.pointsoflight.org/conference/
  • What: The world’s largest conference focused on volunteer and service, bringing together more than 2,000 nonprofit, government, business, and civic leaders to gain and share the knowledge, resources and connections..
  • How much: $199
  • Audience size: around 2,000
  • Who attends: Volunteer coordinators, nonprofit communications teams, gov’t and social entrepreneurs and vendors. Many organizations involved in the old Hands-On Points of Light and AmeriCorps networks.

This multi-day conference offers plenty of breakouts and practical, learning-driven tracks with an eye towards cross-sector collaboration. Service and volunteerism are a core theme, with many sessions focused on utilizing AmeriCorps and corporate volunteers. Networking is encouraged during breaks, however there isn’t a main reception for dedicated networking. Plenty of vendors are on-site to share insights and exhibit their work.

Upswell

  • Where: Online
  • When: November 15th, 2022
  • Website: https://www.upswell.org/events/upswell-summit-2022
  • What: Nonprofit fundraising and marketing conference
  • How much: TBA, but hosting free pop-up events now through the Fall
  • Audience size: Open
  • Who attends: Professional fundraisers, nonprofit communications teams, and tons of vendors.

“The Virtual Upswell Summit will be a one-day event where we will convene thought leaders, inspired innovators, and powerful creators through a series of Main Stages, workshops, and small-group networking events. Scheduled one week after the Midterm elections, we will amplify the learnings and reflections from the previous Upswell events, tackle what the political landscape means for our communities, and look ahead to 2023.” .

If we missed any quintessential nonprofit conferences or you would like to add your conference to the list, please add it below:

Also, just in case you are in charge of planning a conference, we love presenting and sharing our knowledge with the sector. Here are the topics we like to present around.

And here’s our podcast on how to effectively attend a conference with Social Media for Nonprofits

Bonus!

#Empower2022: Reimagine

Full-Day Virtual Conference for Nonprofits & Charities.
9AM – 6PM EST, January 26th, 2022