Marketing for nonprofits and higher education comes with its unique challenges, like needing to market the mission and to a complex range of donor profiles. Luckily, professionals in these areas also have access to some great opportunities for learning and networking. If you’re looking for the best nonprofit or higher education marketing conferences, this complete list should give you some great places to start.
Each of these marketing conferences aimed at fundraising, enrollment management, institutional advancement and other subjects is packed with informative sessions and valuable opportunities to help you gain new insights that will benefit your organization and further your career.
As of the most recent update, we’ve identified 18 intriguing marketing conferences. Do you have a favorite for higher ed or nonprofit professionals that’s not on our list? Please let us know so we can keep updating this article. We’d also love to hear from conference organizers with future dates to announce.
Nonprofit marketing conferences
Learn and grow with other nonprofit marketing professionals at these great events.
The American Marketing Association holds a number of conferences throughout the year, but nonprofit marketers should definitely take note of this one. The AMA brings together some of the sharpest marketing minds in the nonprofit world for keynotes and informative track sessions, and numerous breaks throughout the day provide networking opportunities.
There are also several pre-conference tutorials on topics like “brandraising” and customer experience.
In 2017 the conference will be held in Washington, DC from July 10–12.
Put on by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), MMCC helps association and nonprofit professionals sharpen their marketing skills. The 2-day event is packed with keynote speakers from both the nonprofit and corporate worlds, as well as multi-track Learning Labs for digging deeper into marketing topics. In the Expo Hall, attendees can test out software solutions.
The 2017 event is happening from May 2–3 in Washington, DC.
Cause Camp is put on by Nonprofit Hub and promises to be an inspiring educational experience. It is a one-track conference, which means you won’t have to miss any of the great speakers, and you’ll have plenty to talk about during the networking sessions. The entire conference is also live streamed, so even if you can’t make it, you can still benefit.
The conference for 2017 took place March 27–28 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Details have not yet been posted for 2018.
Telling your nonprofit’s story is critical to growing your membership base and engaging donors. That’s where the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference comes in. Each day has a different focus: Day 1 is on the fundamentals of storytelling, Day 2 focuses on practical applications and Day 3 is all about finding new donors.
This year’s conference runs from November 9–11, 2017 in San Diego, California.
Put on by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the International Fundraising Conference will feature over 100 educational sessions, plus a number of pre-conference 1- and 2-day professional development workshops. Networking sessions and social events throughout the weekend help you connect with others in your industry.
In 2017, the conference will take place in San Francisco, California from April 30 to May 2.
Nonprofit donor base software company Bloomerang hosts BloomCon, bringing together donor and marketing professionals from across the nonprofit sector to discuss research and best practices for spreading and supporting your organization’s message. It’s a quick, 1-day event designed to inspire and motivate you to get you back to work with a new outlook.
The conference for 2017 was on February 13 in Orlando, Florida. Details for 2018 have not yet been posted.
Billing itself as the premier global leadership gathering for foundation and nonprofit leaders, the ComNet17 connects leaders from around the world for educational sessions and networking. Attendees also get a chance to meet one on one with companies serving the nonprofit space for demonstrations of tools to facilitate communication.
The 2017 event runs from September 27–29 in Miami Beach, Florida.
Committed to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of social marketing, as well as nurturing good practices, the World Social Marketing Conference brings together nonprofit marketers for breakout sessions, engaging keynote speakers, and intensive pre-workshop programming.
WSMC takes place every two years in a different world city 2017’s gathering will take place in Washington DC from May 16–17.
If you’re looking for something a little more hands-on, Create Good is the conference for you. Their mission is to provide a creative space for nonprofit communications professionals, mixing inspiration with “a dash of roll-up-your-sleeves.”
In 2017, the conference will be held from April 17–18 in Durham, North Carolina.
This cause marketing conference is for people who “work at the intersection of profit and purpose.” It covers topics like building corporate alliances, social impact in politically charged environment and nonprofit and business leadership.
In 2017, Engage for Good is scheduled for May 31-June 1 in Chicago.
Higher education marketing conferences
Each of these conferences is focused on issues specific to higher education marketing and education technology. Get inspired to learn.
The American Marketing Association’s 2017 Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education promises to bring together marketing experts and higher education leaders to discuss strategies for engagement, fundraising and brand building.
The 2017 event will take place November 12–15 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Travel schedule already filled? Fast-paced online higher education marketing conferences are an option. This one features a dozen 10-minute sessions presented by higher education professionals, along with a general Q&A at the end. From social media to brand storytelling, the sessions will cover everything higher ed marketers need to know about creating compelling content.
It’s happening on April 26, wherever you are.
The go-to conference for higher education marketing, communications, IT and other digital professionals, eduWeb Digital Summit focuses on integrating the digital marketing presences of colleges and universities. Expert presentations and a series of pre-conference workshops led by industry leaders make it worth the trip. The exposition area offers higher ed marketers an opportunity to check out different edtech solutions.
In 2017, the conference will be held in Boston, Massachusetts August 7–10.
This conference puts the focus on the unique content challenges faced by higher education marketing professionals. Attendees get two days of focused talks from content marketing professionals, along with an optional 1-day hands-on workshop to share ideas with other participants.
The 2017 conference will take place November 6–8 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Focused on recruitment marketing, the Carnegie Conference is for marketing professionals and staff at all levels of higher education institutions. You’ll find interactive sessions, breakouts and engaging keynote speakers discussing the integration of traditional and digital marketing strategies — oh, and it takes place at Walt Disney World’s Yacht Club Resort.
The 2017 conference was in Orlando, Florida, from February 1–2; in 2018 it will be held January 17–18.
Many higher education marketing conferences are starting to incorporate more inbound marketing content. Think of it as “inbound recruiting.” Converge is an annual event that boasts interactive workshops and presenters from institutions such as Harvard, UNC Chapel Hill and Temple.
In 2017, the conference took place February 21–23 in Rancho Mirage, California; 2018 details have not yet been announced.
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) puts on this annual conference to help higher ed marketers keep up with the fast-paced world of social media marketing. Offering insights from strategic storytelling to social engagement, this conference is designed for enrollment professionals, alumni engagement professionals and others.
The 2017 event happened March 13–15 in Los Angeles, California; details for 2018 have not yet been released.
Digital higher education marketers can dig into search marketing and search engine optimization at SMX London. It’s put on by Search Engine Land, and offers sessions aimed at a diverse range of audiences from advanced SEM marketers to newcomers.
In 2017, SMX London will take place May 23–24 in — you guessed it — London, England.
Did we miss any of your favorite conferences? Let us know in the comments.
Guest AuthorJessie Kwak is a freelance writer living in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not working with B2B marketers to tell their brand’s story, you can find her scribbling away on her latest novel, riding her bike to the brewpub, or exploring the Pacific Northwest. She specializes in strategic marketing content including white papers, thought leadership articles and customer case studies. Beyond working with B2B clients over the past six years, her resume also includes stints as a catalog copywriter, brew pub waitress, tractor driver and mechanic, carpenter, theater house and stage manager, and a popcorn-movie slinger. She likes writing best.