With January coming to a close, it's time to start planning your spring conference attendance. Below you'll find a list of U.S.-based and international conferences taking place in April and May of 2016. Note that a few of the conferences are closed to the sponsoring organization's members.
- Create Good, April 4-5, 2016, Raleigh, NC: "Create Good was designed to inspire the nonprofit communicator to try new ideas, complete current projects, and find like-minded, awesome professionals. This fun, informative conference will spark ideas and recharge your engine to keep doing good every day. This year the conference is a full day with a half-day workshop the day before, April 4th, with Kivi Leroux Miller."
- Global Philanthropy Forum, April 4-6, 2016, Redwood City, CA: "Entitled PEOPLE ON THE MOVE, the 2016 GPF Conference will focus on the three conditions under which migrations occur. In the first instance, people are moving to cities in search of economic opportunity. In India, China and other fast-growing economies, millions are experiencing economic and social mobility for the first time and are changing their habits, hopes and ways of living. Inventive and productive, they are not staying put. Many, newly aware of the opportunities that await, are moving to cities in search of jobs.Others still are in search of safety, having been forced to flee persecution, violent conflict or state failure. They need shelter, food, education and livelihoods, and assurances of both physical and human security. Many fall victim to human smugglers and prejudice. Providing for their safety and well-being is an urgent necessity. Building the conditions for their integration or return is a collective responsibility. And, third, even those who stay put may be in search of meaning. Restless young men (and some women) may feel unanchored. They wonder whether their values are shared and identity is respected. Often alienated and isolated, they can be vulnerable to the appeal of extremist ideologies that offer a sense of belonging and purpose, even when that purpose is destructive."
- The Council on Foundations Annual Conference, April 8-12, Washington, DC: "This year's conference theme, The Future of Community – Identity. Purpose. Place. will frame the three days we spend together sharing critical insights, engaging in realistic conversations, and realizing that the challenges we face also unite us. Every foundation is in some way concerned with the future of community. The strategic grants, investments, and collaborations of today inform the communities of tomorrow. The future of community is dependent on our shared leadership."
- Cause Camp, April 10, 2016, Lincoln, NE or online: "Cause Camp 2016 is unlike any conference you've ever attended. Our presenters are ready to give you real talk, actionable takeaways and ideas you've never dreamed of. This is your chance to meet, interact with and learn from the best of the nonprofit best in fundraising, marketing and more."
- Digital Leadership Forum 2016, April 11-12, 2016, Keble College, Oxford, UK: "A two-day professional development workshop where participants will learn how to become better leaders and help guide their organisations through digital transformation."
- Africa Grantmakers' Affinity Group April 2016 Annual Retreat "Responding to the Challenges Facing African Communities: Listening, Learning, Taking Action." April 13-15, 2016, New Brunswick, NJ: "The 2016 Retreat theme – 'Responding to the Challenges Facing African Communities – Listening, Learning, Taking Action' will frame and connect the conversations from the opening dinner to the closing plenary. Funders who care about Africa should not miss one of the few opportunities to be among colleagues working in Africa. Lend your voice — and your ears — and be a part of this unique annual event."
- GHIC 2016: Global Health & Innovation Conference, April 16-17, New Haven, Ct: "The Global Health & Innovation Conference (#GHIC) is the world's leading and largest global health conference as well as the largest social entrepreneurship conference, with 2,200 professionals and students from all 50 states and more than 55 countries. This must-attend, thought-leading conference convenes leaders, changemakers, and participants from all sectors of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship. Attend social innovation sessions by the CEOs and leaders of innovative organizations. The conference also includes cutting-edge ideas in development presented in innovative social enterprise pitch sessions."
- Just Giving Conference, April 19-21, Berkeley, CA: "Less a conference than a facilitated retreat, the 2016 gathering will encourage the active and full engagement of all participants. Traditional workshops will be replaced by ongoing “engagement lab” discussions led by members of our community, together with many of our most inspiring and thoughtful civil society partners....Join us to rethink, resist, and restructure as we reorganize within philanthropy to ‘build the new.’"
- National Nonprofit Leadership Conference, April 20-22, Tysons, VA: "Welcome to the Center for Nonprofit Advancement's inaugural National Nonprofit Leadership Conference. We are delighted to collaborate with so many of our peer associations to bring you and all of our leaders three incredible days of learning and networking. We knew that we could accomplish more together and that our shared priorities for professional development, capacity building and collaboration all stem from the same goal - increased outcomes for people and communities."
- Conference on Diverse Philanthropy & Leadership, April 21-22, 2016, Chicago, Illinois: "The conference concentrates on emerging philanthropic markets (i.e., ethnic, LGBT, young alumni) in advancement, while exploring minority wealth, philanthropic behaviors and diverse engagement strategies. The program also features sessions on enhancing management and leadership skills for advancement professionals of diverse backgrounds."
- YTH Live, April 24-26, 2016, San Francisco, CA: "YTH Live is the premier conference for trailblazing technology that advances youth health and wellness. Each year the brightest minds in youth advocacy, health, and technology gather at YTH Live to showcase what works, share ideas and learnings, and launch new collaborations."
- ICSW 2016, April 25-28, 2016, Bogata, Columbia: "CIVICUS is honoured to invite you to join us for civil society’s premiere global gathering of inspired thinkers, innovation leaders, and influential organisations. International Civil Society Week 2016 (ICSW) will be co-hosted by Confederación Colombiana de ONG (CCONG) in Bogotá, Colombia from 25-28 April." ICSW will provide an open space for CIVICUS, CCONG and our partners to deliver a series of conferences, workshops, training sessions, volunteer initiatives and cultural experiences under the banner of 'Active Citizens, Accountable Actions.'"
- Data Analysts for Social Good: Do Good Data, April 27-29, 2016, Chicago, IL: "Do you believe data can help make the world a better place? Are you wondering how your organization can more effectively harness and gain value from your data? Are you constantly thinking about how to gain the information you need to improve your program? Then Do Good Data is for you. Join us April 27-29 and connect with nearly 1,000 of your peers. Whether you work in Government, at a Nonprofit, or inside a Foundation, there will be content focused on how to help your organization use data better."
- Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (Geo) 2016 National Conference, May 2-4, 2016, Minneapolis, MN: "GEO’s 2016 National Conference offers participants the opportunity to explore the most relevant topics in the philanthropic field, hear new ideas for smarter grantmaking practices that enable nonprofits to grow stronger and achieve better results, and engage in meaningful discussions with peers."
- Frontiers of Social Innovation, May 3-5, Palo Alto, CA: "On May 3-5, 2016, Stanford Social Innovation Review will host leaders from around the world at its inaugural Frontiers of Social Innovation forum to discuss the best ways to build a more inclusive society. Foundation presidents, scholars, social entrepreneurs, government officials, NGO leaders, philanthropists, and business executives will convene at Stanford University to discuss the most recent research and thinking on the causes of social inequities, and, importantly, the approaches and programs that are proving to be most effective at creating a more economically just world. It will be a lively and thought-provoking conversation. We hope you will join us."
- AWID's 13th International Forum, May 5-8, 2015, Bahia, Brazil: "A historic global gathering of women’s rights and social justice activists and movements. A collective space to break silos and join together as we re-imagine and co-create our futures. Celebrate our gains and analyze the lessons; assess our realities; inspire and renew ourselves; and strategize across movements to strengthen solidarity and leverage our diverse, collective power.Not just an event – a process to seize the moment, disrupt oppression and advance shared visions for a just world."
- Women Deliver 2016 Conference, May 16-19, 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark: "The focus of the 2016 Conference will be on how to make development matter most for girls and women, with a specific focus on health, rights, gender equality, education, and economic empowerment."
- Drive/conference, May 17-18, 2016, Bellevue, WA: "Drive/ is the preeminent event for professionals who are determined to be subject matter experts in the fields of data, reporting, information, analytics, modeling, visualization and beyond. This thought-provoking experience is held annually and is a must-attend event for those looking to leverage the latest innovative thinking and network with thought-leaders from the world of data. At DRIVE/ you’ll learn new skills, participate in technical deep dives and be inspired by world-class keynoters while interacting with professionals from high tech, higher education, philanthropy, government, professional sports and beyond."
- European Foundation Centre Annual Conference, May 26-28, 2016, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: "Philanthropic actors must actively engage with other sectors in the imagination of the future to find new ways to invest in effective and innovative solutions to social issues. The 2016 EFC AGA and Conference will therefore focus on exploring the following sub-themes:1) Responsibilities Imagining the future requires a keen eye on the evolution of social issues and a careful consideration of philanthropy’s potential role in addressing them. We are faced with urgent themes such as mass migration, food and nutrition security and climate change, within all-embracing concepts of intergenerational solidarity and justice. How can philanthropy stage an effective dialogue with society clarifying expectations and boundaries to make the right choices? 2) Opportunities In response to emerging challenges boundaries between civil society, government and corporate sectors are shifting. New actors and partnerships committed to finding shared solutions present themselves, as well as alternative funding mechanisms. Phenomena like the participatory society, social entrepreneurship and the sharing economy take shape. What partnerships, technologies, methods and tools are most apt to broaden philanthropy’s scope and raise its effectiveness? 3) Skills Operating in ever evolving landscapes foundations continuously strive to become more responsive, professional and adaptive organisations. Leaders and staff must push themselves to acquire or engage additional competences and foster an open attitude towards issues such as evaluation, accountability and transparency. What may serve philanthropy to substantially improve capacity in areas such as innovation, repositioning, talent development and organisational change?"
Additional Resources for Conference & Events
The websites below maintain calendars of upcoming conferences and events for the nonprofit sector.
- The Ultimate 2016 Nonprofit Conference Calendar at impactism.org
- Philanthropy News Digest Events Calendar at philanthropynewsdigest.org
- The 2015-2016 Best Nonprofit Conferences on the Everyaction blog
- Global Conference Calendar on Alliance.com
- 65+ Great Nonprofit Conferences in 2016 posted on the blog of Whole Whale