The Nonprofit Innovation & Optimization Summit is the premier conference for nonprofit marketers and fundraisers looking to grow their online fundraising. Rather than have an open call for speakers, we hand-select the leading experts in marketing and fundraising innovation from around the world, and bring them all under one roof to teach us how to achieve real and tangible online fundraising growth.
Over the course of two days, you’ll learn proven and research-driven strategies from these leading experts, participate in hands-on training sessions, and discover all the tools you need to grow your online fundraising and revenue.
Through extensive networking opportunities, you’ll gather new ideas and learnings from a community of nonprofit marketers and fundraisers like yourself who are seeking the most innovative solutions and strategies to grow their revenue.
1. Get inspiring new ideas from bleeding-edge digital marketers. Every year we go to the top marketing conferences around the world to find the best digital marketing thought leaders to invite to NIO. This year, we’ve secured some of the most talented forward-thinkers to inspire you with breakthrough ideas to help give your nonprofit organization an edge.
2. Learn secrets to building a culture of perpetual learning and performance improvement. The key to consistent growth of your fundraising program is creating a culture of innovation and optimization. At the NIO Summit, you will learn secrets from other nonprofit executives that have cracked the code of cultural transformation so that you can motivate your staff to continually push for better and better results.
3. Preview new technology solutions in a no-pressure, sales-free environment. Nobody likes to pay to attend a conference only to be forced to sit through sales pitch after sales pitch from the main stage. Yet, as an innovative executive you need to constantly stay on top of what is new in the world of technology. To solve this, we have created a special “Innovation Showcase” that is located in a private lounge within the main venue. You can pick and choose which technologies to review in a no-hassle, comfortable, intimate setting.
4. Network with fellow innovators from both the nonprofit and for-profit space. One of the best parts of the NIO Summit is the built-in networking opportunities throughout the conference. Because this event is only for nonprofit innovators and marketing thought leaders, you will have the opportunity to meet and engage with people that share your passion for leadership, new ideas, and market disruption.
1. Learn advanced marketing ideas to accelerate your growth. The NIO Summit is the place where you’ll find proven fundraising strategies, the latest marketing innovations, and the essential tools to help your nonprofit achieve major online fundraising growth. Take in over 16 powerful and practical, action-oriented sessions on email marketing, copywriting, landing page creation, content marketing, analytics, social media marketing, online advertising, marketing automation, and of course, testing and optimization.
2. Discover what works and what doesn’t in online fundraising. Gain insights from over 1,000 online fundraising experiments to get quick wins for your online fundraising program that will impress your boss and raise more money for your organization.
3. Fast-track your way into testing and optimization. If you have ever wanted to move into the exciting world of conversion rate optimization, this is your chance! The entire NextAfter team will be available to you to help you with everything from developing a strong, testable hypothesis, to getting up and running on a testing platform – we’ll even help you set up and run your first test from the floor of the conference.
4. Get instant free access to your own experiment research library. Every attendee of the NIO Summit will get access to the newly designed Winston Experiment Research Library. Winston easily integrates with all major testing platforms and will enable you to monitor, document, and share the results of all of your experiments from one centralized, beautifully designed interface.
5. Meet and network with marketing thought-leaders and fellow nonprofit innovators. Imagine the opportunity to attend a nonprofit conference where meeting new people doesn’t feel like work. That’s because the NIO Summit has been engineered to provide you with natural opportunities to connect and network with other nonprofit attendees, speakers, and subject matter experts so that you have people you can turn to for inspiration, new ideas, or even your next career move.
1. The venue is a Meso-American work of art. If you have ever wondered what it would be like attending a conference at a venue that feels like it’s straight out of an Indiana Jones film, this is your chance. The historic Aztec Theatre, right in the vortex of the downtown San Antonio Riverwalk, is an experience you will talk about for years to come with your friends.
2. The speakers will blow your mind. We literally travel to marketing conferences around the world to find the absolute best expert speakers we can find. You will be inspired, challenged, entertained, and of course equipped with killer ideas that you are guaranteed not to find at any other nonprofit conference this year.
3. Killer swag. Instead of crappy tote bags jammed with marketing propaganda, we’ve created a sweet Swag Shop where you can trade in the tokens for the coolest nonprofit conference swag you’ve ever seen. Earn tokens by participating at the Summit, and you’ll be able to cash in on Bison coolers, boot-leg T-shirts, temporary tattoos, and other swag that literally says, “Punch Best Practices in the Face.”
4. Money-back Guarantee. We are so confident that you will LOVE the NIO Summit, that we will 100% refund your money if you don’t.
Dark, dingy ballrooms. PowerPoint presentations that seem to never end. Forced ‘networking’ time. Unrelenting sales pitches from the stage. More achievement ribbons available than a human could possibly ever earn or wear. And, perhaps worst of all, speakers repeating the same ‘best practices’ that you’ve already heard a hundred times — maybe even from them.
This is how most nonprofit conferences go. And we’re not saying they’re bad…we’re just saying that the NIO Summit is pretty much the complete opposite.
The NIO Summit brings together the best and brightest minds and industry leaders to give short, focused, research-backed presentations over two jam-packed full days with two goals:
Nowhere else in North America – dare we say, the world – can you find all of this in one room…
If you don’t have a great time and walk away with a notebook full of new ideas that you can apply right away, we’ll give you your money back. Our goal is not to take your money, but to give you ideas and insights that will help you raise more money for your cause.
This year we’re pulling up the stakes and moving NIO Summit to the historical city of San Antonio. If you’ve never experienced this town, you’re in for a treat. The nation’s seventh largest city is full of one-of-a-kind sites and attractions.
Nicknamed the River City, the defining landmark of San Antonio is the meandering River Walk on the San Antonio River. The River Walk is a verdant oasis of cypress-lined paved paths, arched stone bridges and lush landscapes surrounded by fabulous dining, unique shopping and unforgettable sights.
As for historical significance, there aren’t many more iconic symbols of Texas than the Alamo. Make sure to find time to tour the mission that helped spawn a republic. As you tour the site where 200 defenders held out before succumbing to the Mexican army, you’ll likely hear echoes of the chant “Remember the Alamo!” that inspired the Texans to victory in the Battle of San Jacinto.
The 2018 NIO Summit will be held in the unique, historic Aztec Theatre. Founded in 1926 and located just a few short steps from the River Walk, the theater boasts design elements that mimic ancient Mexican temples with massive columns and polychrome murals. You’ll be dazzled by the three-ton chandelier that is two-stories tall and twelve-feet wide…the largest in Texas at the time it was installed.
There’s not a bad seat in the house, and you’ll be sure to have a great view of the huge screen and gigantic stage from one of three seating options. This year you’ll be able to take in the proceedings from classroom-style tables, standing high-tops or theater seats in the balcony.
Our official event hotel is located diagonally across the street from the theater. Located in the ex-confines of the Alamo National Bank, the Drury Plaza hotel is a 24-story renovated skyscraper featuring 50-foot ceilings, travertine flooring and stained-glass windows. Amenities include:
To book your room, please call 800-325-0720 and use Group number 2318503.
Here’s the simplest answer: wear whatever you think will make you have the greatest conference experience you’ve ever had. There’s really no dress code but just in case ‘no dress code’ stresses you out, here’s a quick do and do not guide:
Basically, wear what you feel most comfortable in, and be yourself.
If you really want to get into the spirit of the conference, I mean… you are going on a grand adventure to the Aztec Theatre. We don’t think there are any pitfalls, booby traps, or giant boulders to run away from. But just in case, you may want to bring your adventurer’s gear….
If you have more questions on the dress code, you’re probably missing the point. If you decide to email us about it, we’ll probably say something like “Wear something comfortable. And don’t wear a tie.”
We’ve traveled to marketing conferences around the world to find the most innovative, sought-after, and engaging speakers who can provide practical insights that will help you grow your online fundraising and digital marketing. Every speaker is hand selected to make sure that every session is valuable and exciting – even if you’ve attended the summit in the past.
While the full speaker list is still under wraps, you can review the speaker line-up from NIO Summit 2017 below to get a taste of what this year’s sessions will be like.
Co-Founder at KIVA
Jessica Jackley is a Founder and former Chief Marketing Officer of KIVA, the world’s first peer to peer microlending website. KIVA lets users lend as little as $25 to poor entrepreneurs around the world, providing affordable capital for them to start or expand microenterprises. Named one of the top ideas of 2006 by The New York Times Magazine, and praised by Oprah, Bill Clinton and countless others, KIVA is one of the fastest-growing social benefit websites in history. Jackley was also recently praised by Forbes, named as one of 5 rising stars in Healthcare, Education, and the Environment. She is the author of the book Clay Water Brick: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least (Random House), which the Financial Times called “so thoroughly well meaning and engagingly put it is too magnetic to put down.”
Principal of Marketing Insights at Salesforce.com
Mathew is Principal of Marketing Insights for Salesforce.com, and regarded as one of the top minds on the future of Marketing. A consummate researcher and thinker, Mathew’s work is often cited leading publications such as Mashable, VentureBeat, PCWorld, CMO.com, Information Week, Forbes, and Huffington Post, and numerous others. Mathew is a frequent speaker at conferences around the world and routinely works with the worlds largest and most well respected brands including: NATO, MIT, UPS, Home Depot, NASCAR, Verizon, and Dell.
A consummate writer, he authors a columns for multiple publications, such as Moz, Mashable, DemandGen Report and his work is often quoted in books including “The Digital Marketer”, “The ReTargeting Playbook”, and wrote the forward to “The Complete Guide to B2B Marketing”. Mathew also is the author of Marketing Automation for Dummies, with his next book “Context” due in Q2 of 2017 published by Harvard.
Chief Innovation & Optimization Officer at NextAfter
Tim Kachuriak is the founder and Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer for Next After, a research and consulting firm that works with businesses, nonprofits and NGOs to help them grow their resource capacity.
Prior to founding NextAfter, Tim served as Senior Vice President of Innovation and Optimization for The Pursuant Group, and Vice President of Digital for KMA Direct Communications.
During his career, Tim has consulted with a number of national and international nonprofits including The Heritage Foundation, Prison Fellowship International, Doctors Without Borders, Wycliffe Bible Translators, The George W. Bush Presidential Center, Moody Bible Institute, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, as well as others.
A nonprofit thought leader, Tim is the lead researcher and co-author of the Online Fundraising Scorecard, a contributing writer for Fundraising Success, CO+OP, and Outcomes magazines. Tim has trained organizations around the world as far away as Bangalore, India and Oslo, Norway and is a frequent speaker at national nonprofit conferences including Social Media for Nonprofits, Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Direct Marketing Association Non Profit Federation, the National Religious Broadcasters association, Missio-Nexus, and the Christian Leadership Alliance.
Tim is also the co-founder of Online for Life where he currently serves a Vice Chairman, co-founder and managing partner of Flux Analytics and Donor ID, and is on the MECLABS Advisory Board for Optimization.
A Western Pennsylvania native, Tim and his wife Rebecca currently live in Prosper, TX with their four children Max, Charlie, Gracie, and Joey.
Co-Founder at Online Dialogue
Bart is a worldwide renowned consumer psychologist. He devotes his career to finding the true drivers and influencers of humanity’s (online) behavior, and making this knowledge available for everyone. Bart co-founded the CRO agency Online Dialogue in 2009, is an active board member within the Dutch Psychologists Institute (advisory board for its magazine), chairs the EU-advisory group on ‘Internet & Psychology’, was the main character in the documentary “What Makes You Click?”, and is renowned for his practical and mind-disturbing keynotes, as well as his blog and online course at wheel-of-persuasion.com.
Founder at Annielytics.com
Annie Cushing lives for data. By day she gathers it, gives it a good home, and makes it runway ready. By night she dreams about her next fix. The only thing that thrills her as much as getting knee deep in data is teaching other marketers how to sexy up their data. But she sometimes she takes her sexy data analogies too far.
Copywriter, Consultant & Speaker at Write With Influence
Amy Harrison is a copywriter, content trainer and owner of Write With Influence: an online resource that helps business owners write better marketing content faster and easier. She is also the host (and many of the characters) of AmyTV: an online comedy sketch show all about writing compelling business copy.
Associate Vice President, Partner Solutions at MECLABS Institute
Austin McCraw joined the MECLABS research team in 2007 after graduating from University of Florida’s college of Journalism and Communications. Since then, he has reviewed over 2,500 experiments, written over 300 hours of training, and developed five professional certification courses on the topics of Offer Response Optimization and Value Proposition. Currently, he travels around the country helping Fortune 50 companies and enterprise startups discover and optimize their company’s Value Propositions. He lives in Florida with his wife and four sons.
Founder at CXL
Peep Laja the founder of CXL, one of the leading conversion optimization experts in the world. He’s been doing digital marketing for over 15 years in Europe, Middle East, Central America and the US. He has extensive experience across verticals: in the past he’s run a SaaS company in Europe, an SEO agency in Panama, a real estate portal in Dubai and worked for an international non-profit.
Director of Data-Driven Marketing at Barkley
Jessica is one part massive email marketing nerd and one part permission-marketing evangelist. She’s stimulated ROI in customer- and data-drivenmarketing for a diverse clientele, including Dairy Queen, Spirit Airlines, Wingstop, Beauty Brands, Hostess, Water.org, Farmland Foods, Hallmark Baby, Banfield Pet Hospitals, SelectQuote, and Boulevard Brewing Company, among many more.
As an evangelist, Jessica also spread the good word of great email marketing from the stage. Over the last 4 years, she’s lead trainings and spoken in front of audiences from dozens to over 300 from Las Vegas to New York City to SXSW Interactive in Austin in 2013. In 2016, she joined the Barkley team as Director of Data-Driven Marketing, implementing the best practices she preaches for Barkley clients.
Co-Founder at Online Dialogue
Ton is the co-founder of Online Dialogue – thought leaders in evidence based growth – and is also the founder of one of the biggest Online Optimizers Meetup groups in Europe, hosting Digital Data Tips Tuesdays and the famous Conversion Hotel conference in the Netherlands. Ton has almost 20 years of experience in Digital Optimization and with his team he helps and trains companies throughout the world to be effective at data-driven growth. Besides being a consultant and a entrepreneur, he is also recognized worldwide as a influential thinker, writer and public speaker on conversion optimization and A/B testing.
Senior Vice President of Optimization at NextAfter
Jeff Giddens is obsessed with optimizing online fundraising through rigorous testing and innovation. He’s helped clients like Hillsdale College, Feed the Children, Prison Fellowship International, Hoover Institution, Dallas Theological Seminary, and CaringBridge find innovative ways to acquire more names, donors, and dollars.
Jeff began his career in alumni fundraising for a family business before transitioning into the broadcast media world to lead digital marketing for Mark Cuban’s television network AXS TV. He then returned to fundraising, working within and alongside nonprofit organizations before joining NextAfter in January of 2014.
A Tennessee native, Jeff has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Abilene Christian University. He and his family live in the Lake Highlands area of Dallas, Texas.
Founder and Owner at KristinaCutura.com
Currently the owner and founder of a search marketing consulting firm, Kristina Cutura is a pioneer of Google AdWords. Starting as a Google employee in 2002, she was one of the first three members of the company’s AdWords optimization team, where she developed and tested optimization strategies that are still widely used in the industry. Kristina also created and delivered all optimization-related trainings for internal Google employees, external clients and agencies that manage AdWords accounts. During her tenure, she trained hundreds of Google employees and dozens of AdWords resellers, and developed online training resources.In addition to running training programs, she managed and optimized Google’s highest revenue clients.
After leaving Google in 2009, Kristina started her own consulting company, KristinaCutura.com, where she is using the skills she acquired at Google to advise a variety of clients on search engine marketing efforts. Kristina has worked with national and global businesses in a variety of industries and sectors, ranging from multi-million dollar corporations to small, family owned businesses and nonprofits. She is a premier Google Partner and published author.
Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker at B2B Lead Blog
Brian Carroll knows what drives buyers. As the founder of Markempa and the B2B Lead Blog, a researcher and lecturer, and leader in empathetic marketing, he’s at the epicenter of the shifting marketing landscape. Brian is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale (McGraw-Hill). He is also the founder of the B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 19,615+ members.
Brian is the former Chief Evangelist at MECLABS (parent company of MarketingSherpa) and is now back to helping marketers understand and execute modern demand generation and empathetic marketing. He’s spoken to audiences on four continents, and he’s quoted in numerous publications such as BtoB Magazine, Selling Power, Entrepreneur, Target Marketing, Inc. magazine, Marketing News, DM News, MarketingProfs, and CMO. He and his wife Amy live in Circle Pines, MN.
Director of Optimization at NextAfter
Courtney’s extensive non-profit background fuels her desire today to help non-profits recognize the value they add to people’s lives. She’s created marketing strategies for state and national government initiatives in Minnesota and North Dakota and cultivated a new direction for how religious organizations market themselves during her time at a multi-site mega church in Chicago.
Courtney loves to help nonprofits innovate and optimize their fundraising and marketing—which led her to NextAfter. Before she joined the team, she led the digital marketing and fundraising for a $110MM radio, publishing, and education nonprofit.
Senior Vice President of Data & Strategy at NextAfter
As Senior Vice President of Data & Strategy, Kevin works directly with many different nonprofit organizations helping them to raise more money and acquire more donors. Using his background in data analysis and digital marketing, Kevin works with NextAfter clients to create long term fundraising strategies based upon historical data trends and through rigorous testing and continuous optimization.
Prior to joining NextAfter, Kevin served in a variety of capacities ranging from digital strategy, web development, and data analytics. This included the management of a team of web developers and data analysts as well as overseeing the strategic fundraising programs of many nonprofit organizations such as Washington National Cathedral, the Chronic Disease Fund, and Buckner International.
Kevin has his undergraduate degree in Computer Science and has a masters degree in Education, both from Texas A&M University. He holds certifications in Email Optimization, Landing Page Optimization, and Online Testing from MECLABS.
Kevin, his wife, and two children reside in Frisco, TX.
CEO at LifeThrive
Chuck Coker is one of America’s most sought after experts in the field of
Personal Formation, Human Capital Management and Talent Management.
His unique slant on how to use “Human Factor” data in all phases of the
employment cycle have spawned state-of-the-art approaches for maximizing
employee potential. Validity of the effectiveness of his processes has been
documented by university research studies on multiple continents.
Chuck’s most recent book, Profit Through Your People, is accepted by both
nationally and internationally as the cutting-edge process of using human
data to maximize productivity and profitability.
Senior Director of Research and Education at NextAfter
As Senior Director of Research and Education, Jon is wholly focused on taking everything the NextAfter team is learning and transforming it into insightful, practical and immediately actionable advice for marketers and fundraisers, regardless of their organization size.
Jon knows firsthand the challenges marketers face: he has experience building an entire digital marketing department from scratch as Director of Digital Marketing at B+B SmartWorx and has more than eight years of hands-on marketing optimization experience gained through managing hundreds of A/B and multivariate tests at the MECLABS Institute.
In addition, Jon has already conducted multiple in-depth meta-analyses of the thousands of case studies that are held in the research library of MECLABS Institute, one of the largest independent databases of experiments for marketing and sales in the world.
Finally, he is no stranger to public speaking. He has previously spoken about messaging, value proposition and email optimization at events like Dreamforce, the DMA Annual Conference and Exhibition as well as MarketingSherpa summits. In both 2013 and 2014, attendees gave him the highest rating of 100+ speakers at Salesforce Connections (formerly known as ExactTarget Connections), one of the nation’s most important digital-marketing events.
Journalist, Author & Speaker at DevinThorpe.com
Devin is a journalist, author and speaker. He calls himself a champion of social good. He travels extensively as a volunteer doing service, as a journalist finding heroes and as a speaker sharing what he’s learned. As a Forbes Contributor he covers social entrepreneurship and impact investing, reaching an audience of over 1 million people. He’s produced over 800 episodes of his Your Mark on the World show featuring luminary change agents. A bestselling author, his books—read over 1 million times—help people use money for good. To tell stories, he draws on his entrepreneurial finance experience as an investment banker, CFO, treasurer, and mortgage broker. Previously he worked on the U.S. Senate Banking committee staff and earned an MBA at Cornell.
If you are looking for an opportunity to showcase your products or services to the nonprofit fundraising community, the Nonprofit Innovation & Optimization Summit could be a good fit for you. Learn more about how you can get involved and become a sponsor »