The Essential Event for Online Fundraising and
Digital Marketing


Aztec Theatre
San Antonio, TX

Sept. 27-28, 2018

16 Speakers
500 Tickets

Grow Your Online Fundraising and Become an Innovative Digital Marketer

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.


Why should I attend the summit?

4 Reasons a Nonprofit Fundraising Executive Should Attend

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.

Peep Laja3. 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.

5 Reasons a Nonprofit Fundraising Practitioner Should Attend

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.

4 Reasons Why Everyone Will Love the NIO Summit

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.

NIO swag2. 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.


How is it different from other nonprofit conferences?

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.

A Nonprofit Event You’ll Actually Be Glad You Attended

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:

  1. Grow your online fundraising.
  2. Have an absurd amount of fun.

Nowhere else in North America – dare we say, the world – can you find all of this in one room…

  • 16+ world-renowned marketing innovators, focusing all of their insights around online fundraising growth
  • The most forward-thinking ideas on nonprofit digital marketing in a gorgeous amphitheater referred to as a “Meso-American architectural work of art.”
  • Hands on optimization workshops to help you improve your donation pages, emails, landing pages, advertising, and more.
  • The coolest swag in the known universe. Period.
  • A free concert by the Spazmatics, along with other super fun networking events, food, beverages, and entertainment.

Money-Back Guarantee

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.


Where is the summit?

The City: San Antonio – old town charm in the big city

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 Venue: The Aztec Theatre – landmark in the heart of San Antonio

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.

The Hotel: The Drury Plaza Hotel – luxury rooms in a historical venue

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:

  • A rooftop pool with two whirlpools
  • Free hot breakfast from 6:00 to 9:30 am
  • Free nightly drinks and snacks between 5:30 and 7:00 pm in the lobby
  • Free wi-fi throughout the hotel
  • Free soft drinks and popcorn from 3:00 to 10:00 pm in the lobby
  • Free business center access

Additional Info:

  • Room Rates: $139 per Single / $149 per Double / $159 per Triple / $169 per Quad
  • Room Block Cut-Off Date: Tuesday, September 4, 2018
  • Cancellation Date: 12:00 pm on the confirmed date of arrival to avoid a fee equal to one night plus tax
  • Check-In Time: 3:00 pm
  • Check-Out Time: 11:00 am
  • Parking: Valet parking at $23.00 plus tax per vehicle per day

To book your room, please call 800-325-0720 and use Group number 2318503.

What should I wear to the summit?

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:


  • Wear shoes that you would be comfortable standing in for hours on end (but don’t worry, you won’t have to.)
  • Wear that t-shirt from that team building exercise in 1996 that you absolutely love.
  • Wear something that allows you to breathe even after eating unending delicious Texas cuisine.


  • Go out and buy something just for the summit. Just keep it casual.
  • Wear things restrictive around your neck…like a tie…that could get caught in a lawn mower and kill you (*NextAfter and the NIO Summit are not liable for any freak lawnmower accidents.)
  • Overthink it.

Basically, wear what you feel most comfortable in, and be yourself.

A Visual Guide

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.

Jessica Jackley

Co-Founder at KIVA

Mathew Sweezey

Principal of Marketing Insights at

Tim Kachuriak

Chief Innovation & Optimization Officer at NextAfter

Bart Schutz

Co-Founder at Online Dialogue

Annie Cushing

Founder at

Amy Harrison

Copywriter, Consultant & Speaker at Write With Influence

Austin McCraw

Associate Vice President, Partner Solutions at MECLABS Institute

Peep Laja

Founder at CXL

Jessica Best

Director of Data-Driven Marketing at Barkley

Ton Wesseling

Co-Founder at Online Dialogue

Jeff Giddens

Senior Vice President of Optimization at NextAfter

Kristina Cutura

Founder and Owner at

Brian Carroll

Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker at B2B Lead Blog

Courtney Gaines

Director of Optimization at NextAfter

Kevin Peters

Senior Vice President of Data & Strategy at NextAfter

Dr. Chuck Coker

CEO at LifeThrive

Jon Powell

Senior Director of Research and Education at NextAfter

Devin Thorpe

Journalist, Author & Speaker at