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TopNonprofits Virtual Summit Interview

· 1061 words · about 5 minutes

I have the pleasure of delivering the keynote presentations for TopNonprofit's Virtual Summit for Nonprofit Changemakers #TNPNC20. If you are looking for fundraising strategies in challenging times, this summit is for you! My topics are:
Sept. 15 – Donor Engagement: Connect, Cultivate & Close
Sept. 17 – Virtual Leadership: Creating a New Culture

I interviewed Amy DeVita, host and COO with TopNonprofits. I hope you enjoy the interview! The link to register for the summit is located at the bottom of the page.

Can you tell us about TopNoprofits and the services you provide?

Sure! The mission of TopNonprofits is "To equip nonprofit professionals with practical insights from top organizations and leaders." Launched in 2011, the idea was to leverage collaboration through the internet to share ideas, best practices, and advice.

Over the years we have continued to grow our offerings. We started with lists that helped fill some voids and really put us on the map. From there we continued to share content and create unique content as blog posts, a newsletter with a roundup of great information from a variety of sources. And, in more recent years, we have produced a podcast, webinars, virtual workshops, and ....coming soon: the Virtual Summit for Nonprofit Changemakers!

How has TopNonprofits assisted clients during the pandemic?

We've just continued to do what we do. Our business has always operated virtually, so transitioning to #WFH didn't phase us at all and we've continued to serve both our audience and sponsors without sacrificing any quality.
Further, we are seeing that even the most dedicated "we need to be in the office"-types are, out of necessity, adjusting to remote work and learning. On our site, Under the "Resources" tab, you'll find that we are continuing to offer free and On-Demand webinars, connections to a database of nonprofit experts, whitepapers, podcasts, and a list of books intended to provide opportunities for professional development.
And, I think that now is definitely the right time to offer the Virtual Summit. More people are more comfortable with ZOOM meetings and distance learning combined with the facts that travel and large gatherings are really not possibilities.

Can you tell us what brought about the idea of hosting the Summit for Nonprofit Changemakers?

Funny enough, it goes back to the very impetus to my launching Third Sector Today, which eventually merged into TopNonprofits. Back in 2012/2013 I would go to industry conferences and witness the excitement and enthusiasm of the attendees. I'd attend sessions and find some so packed that many attendees were sitting on the floor or standing. I would think about how many people would not be able to attend these conferences - and how many of those folks really need this knowledge. After all, attendees' organizations would need to shell out money for relatively expensive registration fees, travel and hotel costs, and all of that time out of the office! Don't get me wrong- I think face to face and in-person events are vitally important, but I also think that increasing accessibility by virtue of cost or convenience is vital to the sector. And, due to COVID-19 those IRL opportunities are just not a reality right now.

And, finally, it goes far to serve our mission: to equip nonprofit staff with practical insights from top organizations and leaders.

The greatest challenge was curating the right mix of experts. I think we succeeded on that end! There are 24 experts--including you, Kristal!-- who will be presenting live and online, over the course of the two-days. I am very thankful to the colleagues who helped connect me to such great experts!

What can attendees expect to learn and take away from the conference?

Well, I would like to think there is something for everyone here. First of all, we focused on 3 primary topics that are important to every organization: fundraising, marketing, and leadership. After that, we made sure that we weren't repeating learning objectives. So, as an example, planning for board succession is very important, but we don't want to have 4 speakers present on it. I am really grateful for the colleagues who helped connect me with so many amazing experts; without that, I think I would've had a potential problem of staying in my safe space with only voices I knew. This is so much more interesting!

And, of course...this isn't just about Nonprofit it is about Changemakers. What does it mean to be a changemaker? Very clearly, this is a time in the US (and elsewhere) where discussions around race and equity aren't just important; they are mandatory. There is a movement going on around us right now that demands we quit sweeping those discussions under the rug and start having some real and probably uncomfortable conversations. Change needs to happen. Our speakers and attendees want to be an agent of change for the greater good.

Is there anything else you would like us to know about your organization?

Although this is live and online, as a trained educator, I am fully aware that distance instruction is different!
Our speakers are prepared to present via Zoom and they all have varied approaches, styles, and tools. In other words, this is not going to be one Powerpoint presentation after another.

In addition, we have added some really fun elements, too! Thanks to the our sponsors, we have been able to engage a visual recorder, who will summarize key points of sessions into a really cool graphic representation and we have added a conference App that will increase networking opportunities (especially for a virtual event!) and a lot more bells and whistles like allowing you to select the sessions most important to you and import right into your calendar so you don't miss it! There will also be giveaways, at random times during the summit we will randomly select a winner who is in attendance.

And, last but not least, CFRE has approved the summit for up to 18.75 CE units.

So, I think what we are offering here is a tremendous value on every possible front: learning, networking, and earning professional development credits. I hope that your network of nonprofit professionals will join us for what promises to be a spectacular opportunity- especially the TWO keynote addresses you'll be making!

Any questions? Contact Amy@TopNonprofits.com


Register for the 2 day conference: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/topnonprofits-virtual-summit-for-nonprofit-change-makers-registration-101839057362?aff=ChangemakerSpeaker&afu=175528032139

Summit Information: https://nonprofitchangemakers.com/speakers/

Press Release: https://nonprofitchangemakers.com/kristal-m-johnson-to-deliver-keynote-address-for-nonprofit-changemakers-summit/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Nonprofit-Changemakers-101592331590664/