Co-Presented By

The World's Most Scrumdiddlyumptious Event

For Online Fundraising
& Digital Marketing

Austin, TX
Sept 21–23, 2021


Get $400 Off Tickets NOW Through july 30th


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About NIO Summit

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.

Here's a Taste of What NIO Summit is Like.


Why Attend NIO 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.


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.


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.


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


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.


Gain insights from over 2,000 online fundraising experiments to get quick wins for your online fundraising program that will impress your boss and raise more money for your organization.


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.


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.


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.

3 Reasons Why Everyone Will Love the NIO Summit


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.


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 beverage tumblers, boot-leg T-shirts, notebooks, sun-glasses, and more.


We are so confident that you will LOVE the NIO Summit, that we will 100% refund your money if you don’t walk away with new ideas to grow your fundraising and marketing.

2021 Main Session Speakers

Wil Reynolds

Founder of Seer Interactive

Wil likes helping people and businesses grow. A former teacher with a knack for advising, he’s been helping Fortune 500 companies develop SEO strategies since 1999.

His methods have shaped the search industry worldwide, and he speaks regularly at marketing conferences across the globe.

Tim Kachuriak

Chief Innnovation & Optimization Officer, NextAfter

Tim Kachuriak is the founder and Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer for NextAfter, a fundraising research lab and consulting firm that works with businesses, nonprofits, and NGOs to help them grow their resource capacity.

Amy Harrison speaking at NIO Summit

Amy Harrison

Copywriting Consultant and Coach

Amy Harrison is a copywriter based in Brighton in the UK. Originally she trained as a screenwriter and then took those skills into business storytelling and marketing. Amy has been running Harrisonamy offering copywriting, consultancy, and training since 2008.

Chris Mercer - speaker at NIO Summit 2019 - photo

Chris ‘Mercer’ Mercer


Chris “Mercer” Mercer is considered an authority in helping marketers know their numbers in an easy-to-understand manner.

Apart from training people how to measure and improve their sales funnels, he is a top contributor and speaker at multiple analytics and optimizations conferences and blogs like ConversionXL, Content Jam, DigitalMarketer, Traffic & Conversion Summit, Social Media Examiner and more.

Brian Miller

Author, Speaker, and Accomplished Magician

Brian Miller is an accomplished magician, corporate keynote presenter, and youth motivational speaker who shows his audience the ways magic can teach us to connect deeply with others.

Michael Norton

Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School

Michael I. Norton is the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He has studied human behavior in domains such as love and inequality, time and money, and happiness and grief.

He is the co-author – with Elizabeth Dunn – of the book, Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending. In 2012, he was selected for Wired Magazine’s Smart List as one of “50 People Who Will Change the World” and his TEDx talk, How to Buy Happiness, has been viewed more than 4 million times.

Peep Laja

Founder and Principle of CXL

Peep’s unusual name (to most people) is actually pronounced ‘Pep Laya’. He is from Estonia, but lives in Austin, TX (still spends his summers in Europe to escape the Texas heat).

Peep is an entrepreneur and a conversion optimization champion. He is passionate about driving change and growth through digital optimization.

He spends most of his time today on making top 1% marketing know-how available for everyone through CXL Institute.

Courtney Gaines, NextAfter - NIO Summit Speaker

Courtney Gaines

Vice President at NextAfter

Courtney Gaines serves as Vice President of NextAfter. Courtney’s extensive non-profit background fuels her desire today to help non-profits recognize the value they add to people’s lives.

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. She has developed and directed multiple innovative, multi-channel fundraising and content marketing campaigns and led an enterprise content strategy.



Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and internationally bestselling author of Contagious, Invisible Influence, and Catalyst

Dr. Berger is a world-renowned expert on change, word of mouth, influence, consumer behavior, and how products, ideas, and behaviors catch on. He has published over 50 articles in top‐tier academic journals, teaches Wharton’s highest rated online course, and popular outlets like The New York Times and Harvard Business Review often cover his work. He’s keynoted hundred of events, and often consults for organizations like Google, Apple, Nike, and the Gates Foundation.



Anthony Jones is the Director of Digital Media & Marketing for Ducks Unlimited, the world’s leader in wetland and waterfowl conservation. For the last 19 years, he’s led a team responsible for the organization’s website, social media, email marketing, online fundraising and mobile applications.

Anthony is also a highly recognized face on LinkedIn. Since 2016, he’s worked to build his brand through a unique content marketing strategy. He now shares many of these tips for free on his LinkedIn profile. He also provides consulting and coaching services, helping people transform their profile pages into powerful brands for themselves and their organizations.

Anthony graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2001 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He is an avid outdoorsman, hunter and conservationist and enjoys passing down those values and traditions to his two young sons.



Ben’s entrepreneurial journey began when he co-founded one of the first Millennial-focused research and strategy firms in 2009. In 2015, Ben launched The Smithee Group, a Digital Growth Agency with a mission to empower entrepreneurs and businesses to dream bigger and achieve multi-generational integrity.

Ben has spoken to audiences around the world in over 20 countries, across 6 continents. He’s regarded as a go-to expert in digital marketing, the future of retail, and the Millennial and Gen Z consumer segments. He’s the recipient of the American Marketing Association’s Marketer of the Year Award and has hosted top-rated weekly TV segments on WFAA’s Good Morning Texas, and The Broadcast.

He is most passionate about the work he does on the Board of Trustees for Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC where he currently resides with his equally-ambitious wife, Nicole. He has been matched with his Little Brother, Evin, since 2015.

Ben currently serves as an Advising Partner to Aquilla Educational Resources, creating innovative approaches to CTE curriculum that prepares HS students for today’s dynamic business environment. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Jewelry Association, as well as Gem Legacy, which supports the artisanal mining communities in East Africa with education, training, childcare, healthcare, and business opportunities. When not in the business and non-profit worlds, you can find Ben on the track racing cars, on the slopes snowboarding, or on the links playing golf.


President at NextAfter

As President of NextAfter, Jeff is responsible for leading client relationships by growing the capacity and effectiveness of their digital fundraising programs. Since joining NextAfter in 2014, he’s helped lead research efforts to produce large conversion increases for more than 40 nonprofit clients.

Before NextAfter, Jeff lead the digital marketing department for Mark Cuban’s television network, HDNet (later AXSTV). He also ran marketing and membership at North Texas Public Broadcasting, Dallas’ triple-affiliate public broadcasting station.

In his decade-long nonprofit career, Jeff has consulted with a number of organizations such as Compassion International, Mercy Ships, Feed the Children, Hillsdale College, Dallas Theological Seminary, CaringBridge, and many others, helping grow digital fundraising programs and attract new supporters, donors, and dollars.

Jeff has spoken at a number of national nonprofit conferences including TEDx, the Direct Marketing Association Non Profit Federation, Association of Fundraising Professionals International, DonorDirect, Missio Nexus Conference, and the National Catholic Development Conference, among others.

Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Jeff, his wife, and four kids live in the Lake Highlands area of Dallas, Texas. Jeff is a graduate of Abilene Christian University, where he majored in communication.


Co-Founder at HigherU

Following a decade running marketing for NYC Internet startups, Boulden received a “green MBA” on full scholarship from George Washington University. Upon graduating with honors, she co-founded IdealBite in 2005, a daily email dedicated to “light-green living.” The digital media venture grew rapidly by leveraging private equity capital, good business & branding sense, email list building techniques and a deep passion for building a movement. Within 3 years, Ideal Bite was acquired by The Walt Disney Company. After serving as a Vice President at Disney for several years, Boulden shifted gears to have 2 legged and 4 legged babies on her farm. She believes her greatest contribution is to work with promising leaders who can be a counterforce to our outmoded capitalistic structure via ‘conscious capitalism.’ Her commitment to pitch-perfect messaging and email marketing is now at the cornerstone of HigherU.


Co-Founder at HigherU

Amanda’s founded multiple businesses in finance, media, and politics. In 1999, she launched her first digital agency serving progressive non-profits and mission-based businesses. In 2009, she founded DailyWorth, a startup focused on women’s financial prosperity. As CEO of DailyWorth, she raised $9M in venture capital and grew its audience and email list to 1.2M email subscribers. DailyWorth was acquired by HerMoney Media in 2017 Amanda then joined Revolution Messaging as CFO/CRO through its sale to Upland Software. Most recently, Steinberg led digital fundraising for Marianne Williamson for President. She’s a graduate of Columbia University with a degree in Urban Studies. Based in Philadelphia, she’s raising two teenage children while caring for two large, orange Maine Coon cats. Amanda’s expertise growing social movements through digital mastery is now leveraged by all at HigherU.

Brady Josephson, NextAfter - NIO Summit speaker

brady joSEphson

managing director at nextafter institute

Brady Josephson is a charity nerd, entrepreneur, digital marketer, professor, and writer. He’s on a mission to see more people giving and more causes thriving. At NextAfter, Brady focuses on business development and partnerships, content creation, and marketing.

His work and writing have been featured in CBC, Christianity Today, NPR, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy among others. He has also been a speaker and presenter at conferences in Canada, the US, and Europe including Social Media for Nonprofits, AFP Congress, CyberGrants Conference, RaiseNow Inspire, and BBCON.

Nathan Hill, NextAfter - NIO Summit Speaker

nathan hill

marketing director at nextafter

Nathan is the marketing director at NextAfter and is singularly focused on equipping nonprofit marketers and fundraisers with tested and proven strategies to increase their reach, revenue, and impact.

Prior to joining NextAfter, Nathan worked on the digital marketing and fundraising teams for a major Chicago-based nonprofit including coordinating and executing online fundraising and marketing initiatives for multi-million dollar giving campaigns.



Roger Craver is a disruptor and challenger of the status quo. A pioneer in direct response fundraising in the 60’s, telemarketing in the ’70s, online information services in the ’80s, multi-channel fundraising and communication in the ’90s, and donor-designed strategies today, he brings an experienced and critical eye to the greatest problem faced by today’s nonprofits: donor retention.

Roger, who today edits the daily Agitator ( , helped launch some of the household names in the nonprofit advocacy sector: Common Cause, Greenpeace, the National Organization for Women, World Wildlife Fund, Habitat for Humanity, and Amnesty International. He helped revitalize and grow older organizations–the ACLU, the NAACP, Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, League of Women Voters, Heifer Project International, and Planned Parenthood.

He has conducted capital and annual fundraising campaigns, advocacy and membership drives in the U.S., Canada and throughout Europe.



Back in the 1960s, conservatives – whether political candidates, policy groups, or activist organizations – had no way to get their message past the filter of the liberal mainstream media and into the hands of the American people.

At that time young conservative activist Richard Viguerie discovered that political candidates had to register their campaign donors with state offices ⎯ information that was in the public domain. Collecting those names and addresses by hand, state-by-state, was the beginning of what is now the largest list of active charitable and conservative donors in the world: Viguerie Political Lists.

Starting in 1965, Richard Viguerie grew his list from 12,500 conservative donors to 125,000 – a 1,000% increase – in just one year. Before long, Viguerie’s direct mail agency and lists enabled conservatives to bypass the mainstream media and connect with tens of millions of Americans on a “personal level” regarding issues they cared passionately about.

Viguerie’s “secret weapon” soon had a major role in reshaping America’s political landscape.

As Viguerie’s lists continued to grow, they helped trigger major political upset wins for conservatives⎯most famously the 1980 Reagan Revolution, along with the 1994 conservative sweep of Congress, and the 2010 “shellacking” of the Obama administration and Reid/Pelosi Congress.

Through his direct marketing agency, American Target Advertising, Inc., Viguerie was not only the first in political direct mail fundraising, but is still the proven leader at building large organizations rapidly.


Coming Soon!

More speakers coming soon!

get 5 fundraising tips

from some of the best-ever nio summit speakers

See what kinds of marketing and fundraising insights are in-store for you at the NIO Summit by getting 5 tips from some of the best NIO Summit sessions of all-time.

In this free eBook, you’ll get tips on copywriting, building trust with donors, the importance of humanizing your fundraising, and more.

5 Breakthrough Marketing Tips for Nonprofit Fundraisers

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Innovation Showcase Speakers


CIO at Fundraise Up

Salvatore joined Fundraise Up after first being a customer who fell in love with the product, then as an investor, and then joining team.

Salvatore served as Digital Director in a nonprofit with $50M annual budget and managed their online giving. His prior experience includes co-founding a startup that reached $1M in ARR without venture funding.

Sal’s superpower is bridging the gap between the tech and human worlds. Developers love and respect Sal for his technical expertise as do the customers who appreciate his ability to explain complex tech in human language having been a digital director himself.

Sal spends his day educating potential nonprofits about the product, onboarding customers, and developing and executing technical integration plans. He travels with Peter to conferences, meeting customers and promoting the product. Sal speaks fluent Italian and Spanish.



Gabe Cooper is the founder and CEO of Virtuous Software, the responsive CRM and fundraising platform that helps your nonprofit easily create personalized donor experiences at scale that build lasting relationships with all their donors.

After serving in a leadership role at a large nonprofit in the early 2000’s, Gabe went on to help build a series of successful products in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors including multiple Apple award winning mobile apps.

His drive stems from a passion to create market-defining software and help charities reimagine generosity. He frequently writes and speaks about empowering nonprofits to grow generosity through technology and is the co-host of The Responsive Fundraising Podcast.



Shawn is the Chief Executive Officer of boodleAI, which finds the best prospects in any contact list. It leverages proven AI/machine learning to rapidly model the untapped data sitting in organizations, along with billions of third party data points, to help organizations
achieve significant lifts in conversion, engagement, and retention rates through predictive analytics.

Shawn started his career on active duty in the 82nd Airborne Division, he was medically discharged due to an injury sustained during a parachute operation, Shawn transitioned to the private sector as a logistics operations and technology strategy consultant. Shawn then helped to found a wireless media solutions company and served as the Chief Operating Officer. After September 11th, 2001
Shawn chose to return to the government sector and worked for the U. S. Department of States’ Office for Counter-Terrorism where he spent time in Southwest Asia as well as Africa. Shawn then transitioned back to the private sector working with PRTM Management Consultants (acquired by PwC). Shawn helped found and build PRTM’s private equity practice.

Shawn was then recruited by TAQA, a $30B Abu Dhabi Sovereign Wealth Fund with investments across the energy value chain and in ten countries and four continents, to serve as the Chief Procurement Officer. Shawn then co-founded and served as the Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of The Belleau Wood Group. LP, a merchant bank headquartered in Dubai with offices in Istanbul and Baku.

For over a decade Shawn also dedicated his free time to the National Collegiate Conference Association, which is a 501(c)(3) NonGovernmental Organization of the United Nations. Shawn is the President Emeritus of the Board of Directors. Shawn also spent
more than a decade serving on the Board of Directors for the National Guard Youth Challenge Foundation. The Foundation which is a 501(c)(3) operates in over 25 states and has worked with troubled high school drop outs for the past 20 years. Shawn is also the
Founder and Chairman of the Veterans for National Service Foundation, a 501c(3) which supported veterans on a nonpartisan basis who sought the opportunity to continue their public service. Shawn also serves on the Board of the Code of Support Foundation a
501c(3) which leverages its proprietary Patriot Link to help veterans in need.

In 2020, Shawn was appointed and currently serves as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army. Shawn graduated from the United States Military Academy with a BS in Computer Science. He earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. He also earned his Juris Doctor from the Northwestern School of Law.

Coming soon


More speakers coming soon!

Coming soon


More speakers coming soon!

NIO Sponsors

The companies below are helping to make NIO Summit 2021 the most unforgettable nonprofit event you’ve ever attended. Check them out, give them some love, and don’t forget to say hi to them in the exhibition hall at the summit.

Co-Presenting Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Exhibiting Sponsors

Additional Sponsors

Become a NIO Summit Sponsor

NIO Summit Location:

The Palmer Events Center

900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

Located within downtown Austin, yet cradled by Butler Park, Auditorium Shores, and Lady Bird Lake near downtown Austin, the Palmer Events Center is easily accessible from Barton Springs Rd or Riverside Dr by car or public transportation.


Embassy Suites | Austin Downtown South Congress

300 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704

Aloft | Austin Downtown
*Sold Out*

109 East 7th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Element | Austin Downtown

109 East 7th Street
Austin, TX 78701