Cause Camp was recently named by Forbes as one of the Top 10 Nonprofit Conferences. Held at the Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, it did not disappoint. (Neither did the famed local Hurts Donut or Honest Abe’s Burgers, but that’s a story for another day.) If you don’t want to schlep to Lincoln, you can stream the event for $99. (I did that last year to see if it was worth going. It was. Donuts and burgers notwithstanding.)
Sponsored by Nonprofit Hub, Cause Camp draws about 400 people/year to Lincoln for both lecture-style and breakout sessions. There are parties and lots of local beer, too, but in Lincoln they call that networking so it’s all very legit.
My favorite thing about Cause Camp was the intimate size of the crowd and conference space. There were plenty of opportunities to get to know your seat neighbor or lunchmate. And lots of non-structured time allotted for, you know, being human with each other.
My second favorite thing about Cause Camp was the speaker lineup. Truly fantastic, engaging, and actionable information presented by every single speaker. And because the crowd was an intimate group, you actually had time and opportunity to chat with the speakers one-on-one. That’s unusual in conference-land.
Here’s (just some of) what I learned from the experts at Cause Camp.
On Saying Thank You
Steve Shattuck from Bloomerang gave a fantastic talk on the importance of thanking donors and thinking about thanking strategically. I think this info applies to for profit entities as well. Thanking the customer is a lost art in modern sales. Check out these stats:
On Donor/Customer Retention
Speaker Rachel Muir is my new best friend. She just doesn’t know it yet. (Is that weird? IDK.) A “recovering nonprofit executive,” Rachel is a renowned fundraising consultant. Just a few of the fascinating things Rachel taught us:
Here again, Rachel Muir and others wowed us all. The power of video is undeniable. I’m working on a video content to do list for Blue Fox as we speak. Highlights:
Just kidding. As with #19NTC, there were NO sessions on finance. I guess I will just have to apply to speak next year?!
This year’s Cause Camp was pretty well focused on storytelling and fundraising, and as you can see it was fantastic content. (I have 11 pages of notes – this blog just scratched the surface.) Maybe that will change in the future. But if not, I think if you do or implement just one of these takeaways from Cause Camp, you will be advancing your mission.
My favorite quote from the conference is an old proverb: The knowledge of fire does not keep you warm.
How often do we know things and not do them? So get going. Do the things. Try the things. Think about the things. And let us know if we can help.
Resources: Speakers and their Twitter feeds teach us a lot. Julia Campbell and Kishshana Palmer’s tweets and Insta posts (Kishshana's) make me either think or LOL almost every day!
About: Our team at Blue Fox provides customized, boutique financial and back office services for social impact organizations. Services range from standard bookkeeping and payroll services, to coaching and consulting, to full-blown virtual CFO services. Our mission is to disrupt the traditional accounting model through technology, innovation, and a radically client-focused approach that truly empowers nonprofits and social enterprises. For more information call (321) 233-3311, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit www.YourBlueFox.com.
Author: Founder & CEO, the Original Blue Fox, Chantal Sheehan, MS, CFP(r)
Welcome to the Blue Fox Blog! A fairly entertaining source of info and news related to our company, nonprofits, social sector trends, and, of course, accounting. Enjoy!
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