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Opt In: Nonprofit Communications Conference

2019 Breakout Sessions + Topics

Participants will select the breakout sessions they wish to attend on the day of the conference. New and updated session descriptions are being added each day.

Read about our 2019 Presenters + Volunteers.


Organizational Names in the News: Manage Yours
Presenter: Roland Adams, Communication for Results

Even in the digital age, which has brought so much greater capability for nonprofit organizations of every resource level to directly reach those they need to engage every day, independent third-party news coverage still has major potential impact for such organizations, for better or worse — as many nonprofits find every year. Regardless of resource level, every nonprofit should have, as one element of its communication efforts, regular pursuit of news coverage that contributes to achievement of its mission.

This session will go over the basics of how to be proactive rather than reactive, and how to manage the ways your organization’s name shows up in the news, as well as what to do after that happens. We’ll also talk about how to scale those efforts to your resource level.

Topics covered will include:

  • Story Spotting: Finding what has potential for coverage by general-interest news organizations.
  • Pitching: When and how you present your possibilities can determinate whether they get “play” or “the spike”.
  • Capitalizing on Success: You won! Great coverage! Go home and celebrate, right? Wrong. How to maximize impact.

Intended Audience: Staff involved with public and media relations for their organization. Geared toward novice and intermediate levels.


Email Marketing for Nonprofits: A Case Study with Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland
Presenters: Jeana Roth, Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland + Suzanne Madore, ARLGP Volunteer

During this session, attendees will be brought up to speed with email marketing best practices, including deployment options, frequency, subject lines, and more. Local nonprofit and email marketing superstar, Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, will share their email strategy, wins, losses, and what they’ve discovered since they first hit “send.” Attendees will walk away from this session inspired to reinvigorate their email programs with tactics they can start implementing immediately.

Intended Audience: Communications or development staff; anyone involved with marketing for their organization. Geared toward novice and intermediate levels.


Using Special Events + Anniversaries to Leverage Your Mission

Full description coming soon!

Intended Audience: Executive Directors, Development staff, volunteers


To Boost or Not to Boost: Facebook Advertising for Nonprofits
Presenter: Hannah Richards, Ethos

In recent years, social media has grown to be a part of everyday life where users can connect with friends, family, and organizations, including your nonprofit. However, the days of simply posting to Facebook and having users see and engage with your content, are over. Facebook has led the pay-to-play model, changing this community-based platform to an advertising hot-spot. With diverse targeting options, Facebook is a cost-effective way for your nonprofit to advertise. This session will walk attendees through best practices to maximize the return on investment to ensure that goals are reached compared to dollars spent.

Intended Audience: Staff or volunteers who manage their organization’s social media or anyone looking to learn more on this topic.


Brand Identity: A Case Study with the Portland Public Library
Presenters: Kristen Smith + Heather Wasklewicz, Portland Public Library

Full description coming soon!

Intended Audience: Communications staff, executive directors, development staff, anyone interested in exploring the process of rebranding and brand identity.


Nonprofit Guide to Using Social Media
Presenters: Suzanne Madore + Hannah Richards, Ethos

Social media is here to stay but how it works and how we use is it is constantly evolving. In this session, attendees will be brought up-to-speed on the current best practices for social media’s top players and given a number of strategies to maximize the value of their efforts without feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the social media-sphere. Attendees will have the opportunity to break out into brainstorming sessions as well as ask questions to help overcome their unique social media challenges.

Intended Audience: Staff or volunteers who manage their organization’s social media or anyone looking to learn more on this topic. Geared toward novice and intermediate levels.


Website Development + Design for Nonprofits
Presenter: Peter Anania, Anania Media

Full description coming soon!

Intended Audience: Communications staff, anyone involved with the web development for their organization or business. Geared toward novice and intermediate levels.


Share Your Mission Message: Less “Pitching,” More Connecting
Presenter: Kendra Rand, Kendra Rand Communications

This breakout session will go beyond the “elevator pitch” to explore and practice those public and interpersonal interactions where you aim to truly connect with listeners and advance your cause. Make a lasting, personal impression in the moment; gain new supporters.Key focus areas:

  • Knowing your audience/conversation partner
  • Listening
  • Dispelling myths about charisma and perfection
  • Practicing
  • Setting and meeting communication goals

Participants may gain ideas for wider marketing and messaging purposes, including print, web, and social media content. However, this session will focus on in-person communication. Spoiler: sometimes the most introverted and reluctant team members make the best communicators, and everyone can benefit from these strategies. Join in, see how, and practice.

Intended Audience: Staff, board, or volunteers that want to practice their in-person communications


Video Content for Your Organization: Lessons from Speak About It + Knack Factory

Full description coming soon!

Intended Audience: Staff or volunteers involved with communications/marketing; anyone curious to learn about creating video content


PR Campaign Case Study: How Two Nonprofits Earned National Coverage by Finding the Right Story
Presenters: Sarah Delage, University of New England + Marnie Grumbach, Fluent IMC

How does a local nonprofit’s story earn national coverage? This breakout session will take you behind the scenes of a unique co-branded communications campaign launched by Hospice of Southern Maine and the University of New England. Speakers Marnie Grumbach, Founder of Fluent IMC, and Sarah Delage, Director of Public Relations at UNE, will walk us through “Clay” — the virtual reality simulation of the dying process — from the PR perspective.

From a collaborative strategy and planning a variety of media events to capturing the interest of local and national journalists including NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe and more, Marnie and Sarah will tell the story of how earned media coverage of this remarkable project has (and still is!) increasing visibility for both mission-driven organizations.

Intended Audience: Executive directors, board members, communications staff, development staff