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See How NIO Summit is Different


Past Sessions



Here’s a list of the most common questions we get asked about NIO Summit. We hope this helps. If you have questions that are not answered here, please give us a shout at 888-846-4866 or send an email to

We hear this all the time. And we get it. NIO Summit is not cheap and manynonprofits don’t have extensive training budgets. But this is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill event. Compared with many of the events in our space, we pour an enormous amount of resources into producing the best possible event we can…the best speakers and thought leaders, quality food and meals, eye-popping decorations, top-notch stage and video production and much more. All of this is geared toward making sure that you, the attendee, have an incredible experience and leave with actionable ways to raise more money for your organizations. That’s why we have a 100% money-back guarantee. If you don’t leave knowing that NIO Summit was well worth your time and investment, we’ll refund every penny of your registration cost.

NIO Summit is a deep-dive into online fundraising and how to build and optimize a digital-first fundraising program for you organization. In short, how to acquire more supporters, convert more donors and unleash the generosity of your audience. 

At NIO Summit, you’ll discover how to write better copy, design better landing pages, run more effective social campaigns, track and analyze results, and much more. This is not the place to learn about tactics for grant-writing, major gifts or direct mail. That having been said, we do have attendees every year that operate in these and other channels. Why? Because a lot of the content you’ll learn is principle-based. The ways we communicate and connect with donors in the online world are very similar to the ways we connect with people in other areas. 

You’ll also learn a lot about testing and optimizing and the impact that can have for your cause. The innovation and experimentation  mindset is a gamechanger, not just for digital fundraisers, but in every aspect of your organization.

We’ll admit it…we lean in hard to our themes every year. We’ve done The Greatest Showman, Willy Wonka and The Wizard of Oz with full-on, immersive experiences from décor, to t-shirts, to acting on stage and more. While it may have started as just a way to be more fun and memorable, what we’ve realized is that our themes have become integral to the event. They inspire creativity and help spur ideas and excitement at NIO and beyond. This year we’ll put a fundraising spin on  the world of the classic game shows. We hope you’ll “buzz in” with us and join in all the fun. 

In short, we concentrate on quality rather than quantity. There is one speaking track with 16 keynotes along with some shorter, tactical sessions on the main stage. All speakers are carefully selected to deliver the content we feel will be the most impactful for our attendees. We have a large speaking budget and are not afraid to invest in bringing the best thought leaders from around the world to our event. 

While some events will boast of a 100+ person speaking slate, is it really possible to take in 100 sessions during the span of a conference? We think this is unrealistic. With over 150 requests to speak each year, we could easily fill out a huge slate. But we think this would detract from the overall learning experience and water down the content. We’d rather be super-selective and produce a single track of speakers that make every session worth the price of admission.

NIO Summit attracts a highly diverse audience…both in type and size of organization and also in the title level of individual attendees. We’ll have a mix of the largest international nonprofits and some of the smaller, more regional or local organizations. We’ll have C-Suite attendees and copywriters. There is something for everyone to learn if they come with an open mind and an optimizing mentality. 

It’s also important to note that this event is about innovation and optimization in the fundraising arena, not the causes themselves. Although we won’t all see eye-to-eye on every cause or issue, we can all work together to unravel the miracle of generosity and what inspires people to support whatever cause they are passionate about.

NIO Summit is a chance for you to get out of the office and relax. For many of us, these opportunities are rare in our busy schedules, so we suggest you wear whatever makes you comfortable. For most people at NIO Summit, this means jeans and t-shirts. In fact, that’s exactly the “uniform” our staff will be wearing for the entire event. But if you just can’t get comfortable without your three-piece suite and bow-tie or power business skirt and blazer, more power to you. Our best advice? You be you.

You won’t go hungry (or thirsty) at NIO Summit. From the opening bell, we’ll provide lots of food and drink options for all attendees. There is an opening party on Tuesday night with heavy appetizers and an open bar. During the summit days, we’ll provide breakfast, a morning break, lunch and an afternoon break. On Wednesday night there will be a cocktail party with open bar and hors d’oeuvres, followed by the official event party with more cocktails and snacks. Bring your appetite!

Great question! We realize that not everyone can make the trip, so we want to provide a way for everyone to take part in the awesome content. But the truth is, much of the magic of NIO Summit comes from interacting with all of the incredible people in attendance. And it’s just not quite the same experience when viewed from a TV screen or computer monitor. If it’s not in the cards for you to join us in-person, we understand. But by all means, if at all possible, come join us in person…you won’t regret it!

Quite simply, there are no breakout session because we think the experience is better without them. With breakout sessions, there is usually anxiety about choosing the right sessions to attend and the feeling you’re missing out on something. We want to avoid that. We also think there is something cool about everyone being on the same journey together. We’ll all learn together, discuss together, dine together and have a LOT of fun together.  

Many people ask this question, with good reason. Content at events can be repetitive. Will we repeat some of the main themes every year? Absolutely. But there are foundational pillars of content – like testing and humanizing your communications – the we feel form a solid basis for all effective digital fundraising programs. What we hear over and over again is that repeat attendees love to hear about the foundational principles again they provide a fresh focus and a reminder about what is truly important. And we always layer enough new content on top of this to make every year unique.

In addition, there are always new people to meet and new products and services to evaluate. We’ve got a lot of NIO Summit super-fans that come every year to refill their tanks, learn from the speakers and their fundraising colleagues, and get focused on the year ahead.

Of course! One of the most common comments we hear every year is, “I wish the rest of my team was here!” Why? Because it’s hard to bottle all of the energy, excitement and new information you’ll learn at NIO and get your team back home as excited about it as you are. We get it, bringing a large team is expensive. But we’ve never had a single group complain that it wasn’t worth it. There’s nothing quite like getting away from the office together and working as a team to envision a new future for your fundraising program.

See How NIO Summit is Different