Nearly three years after its last in-person conference, Cause Camp finally welcomed attendees back IRL this May in Grand Rapids, Michigan for their 2022 event. The social impact sector was thrilled to see this conference return—Cause Camp supports its nonprofit audience with targeted sessions across marketing, fundraising, and leadership, and has long been known as a “must-attend.”
This two-day conference from Nonprofit Hub and DO MORE GOOD is about welcoming, inspiring, and energizing current and upcoming leaders and innovators in the nonprofit space. The challenges of creating community during the COVID-19 pandemic have been experienced on a global scale, but have perhaps been felt most acutely within a sector that exists to serve and support communities. The resilient creativity that has sustained nonprofits over the past two years brought heightened energy to this year’s conference and was reflected back by the team that worked tirelessly to achieve a safe, successful, and well-deserved event.
Welcome to the Hybrid Work World
Not only did the Cause Camp team happily welcome in-person guests back to their conference this year, but they also maintained their characteristically inclusive approach by embracing the hybrid conference opportunity, and welcoming virtual guests to the conference as well. Session leaders seamlessly acknowledged both their visible and invisible audience members and addressed the new hurdles of our hybrid future head-on; in fact, the opening session from Mark Ostach completely centered on the challenges of our hybrid workplace and how we can learn new methods of creating connection. The speaker’s call for vulnerability and empathy set the emotional tone for the conference and tied in well to later sessions about bringing authenticity and courage into everything from nonprofit marketing strategies to DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging) programs.
The topic of learning to navigate a half-digital, half-physical world was also inescapable in the mechanics of the conference itself, which offered long-awaited happy hours and networking breakfasts to in-person attendees while also creating an extremely accessible online experience to virtual attendees. As a virtual attendee, session times and agendas were easy to find on the Whova app—speaker live streams had high-quality video and audio, and it was possible to pause or watch sessions asynchronously for those who had conflicting schedules during the workday (and all conference attendees have access to recordings). Best of all, the Whova app still allowed for networking and connection among the virtual cohort throughout (and after) the event.
Choose Your Track
For our nonprofit marketing crowd, there was a surplus of relevant content across sessions. The Cause Camp team offered two tracks to choose between during the first day of the conference, so that organizations could design the agenda that worked best for them: the Forwarding Faith series for Christian organizations and the Practical Marketing Intensive. In addition to the fundamentals offered during the Practical Marketing Intensive, timely lessons about developing online movements were shared by Dana Snyder of Positive Equation; Farra Trompeter of Brooklyn’s own Big Duck discussed building a nonprofit brand identity that really reflects your organization’s core values. Keynote sessions felt relevant to current national conversations in appreciated ways, including Skot Welch of Global Bridgebuilders’ honest examination of why many DEIB programs fail, and the ongoing work needed to bring real change to the nonprofit sector.
Get Ready for Cause Camp 2023
Find other great events for social impact professionals on our 2022 list of top nonprofit conferences, and look out for 2023 updates!