Event Recap: Nonprofit Marketing Summit 2021

by Karen Vela  |   |  Company Culture  |  0 comments

4 min to read ✭ In this post, you will read a brief overview of the Nonprofit Marketing Summit event, including details on some key sessions.

…And that’s a wrap!! The first Nonprofit Marketing Summit of 2021 was a huge success. After countless hours of preparation and planning, our team and our speakers knocked it out of the park.


The idea of hosting a summit stemmed from our desire to help nonprofit leaders and marketers grow their digital presence, online revenue, and social impact. With that in mind, the first inaugural Nonprofit Marketing Summit went live in August 2020 to help educate organizations, build community, and strengthen our brand as a resource to nonprofits everywhere. We were excited at our results of 2,700 registrants, 9 sessions, and 6 hours of content. When we decided to host our second summit, we knew we wanted it to be even bigger and better than before. 

Once we landed on a date, our team went to work on the planning. Deciding how many sessions the summit would have, who would speak, what they would speak about, who would moderate, and what systems we would use to deliver the content were among the challenges we faced when we began the preparation process. It took 28 team members, and about 3 months to pull off, but we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

Run of Show

The 2021 Nonprofit Marketing Summit had 30 sessions that were streamed across 4 rooms, with 46 different speakers presenting valuable content. We set up 3 conference rooms in our office as studios for filming the three moderators as they transitioned from session to session. The morning began with a keynote from our CEO and Founder, Cameron Ripley, as he outlined the state of the nonprofit marketing industry in 2021. From there, the 3 rooms were opened for attendees to choose whichever session they wanted to attend during each time slot.

In addition to the 3 rooms, there was a VIP-only room designed for Q&A and networking with some of our top speakers. The event was 100% free for anyone to attend, but we did include the opportunity to upgrade to a VIP Pass to receive some exclusive perks. These perks included the recordings of all 30 sessions, access to the 7 VIP-Only Networking and Q&A sessions during the live event, our Google Ad Grant Academy course (valued at $499), and a 1:1 digital audit and consulting session with our team.

Session Highlights

The session topics were centered around a few top industry trends that we believed would be the biggest opportunities for nonprofit marketers this year. At the end of the day, we wanted our attendees to leave the event with actionable insights that would save their team hours of strategy and execution time.

Recurring Giving

One of our most popular sessions was a panel titled, “Keys to Scaling Recurring Giving in 2021,” which happened to be the very last panel of the day. The panel featured expert guest speakers like Salvatore Salpietro from Fundraise Up, Lety Martinez Hermosillo from International Community Foundation, Rod Arnold from Soles4Souls, Jason Shim and Naresh de Silva from Pathways to Education Canada. The panel went into detail about just how powerful a recurring giving program can truly be. The data shows that a recurring donor is worth over 3-5 times more than the value of a one-time donor and that 52% of millennials are more likely to give monthly over a large one-time donation. Our world is subscription-based and this trend is here to stay. If you have the recordings, this one is a must-watch.

Facebook & Instagram Ads

Another one of our most popular sessions was hosted by two of our in-house digital marketing experts, Jalina Morgan and Ernad Civic. The session was called, “5 Keys to Successful Facebook and Instagram Ads in 2021.” During the session, our team emphasized that there is no better platform to deliver compelling creative to a hyper-targeted audience like there is on Facebook. In 2020, Community Boost managed over $2 Million in Facebook and Instagram ad spend which made Ernie and Jalina highly credible teachers on this subject from their first-hand, in-platform experience. 


In 2021 creative should be all about your story, and it should aim to spark compassion and desire for connection. We’ve seen a huge rise in video content online and it’s safe to say that creating video for your nonprofit is essential. The session, “Reimagining the Marketing Funnel for Nonprofits,” hosted by guest speaker and Creative Director of charity: water, Tyler Riewer, unpacks the role that the brand and story play in filling the marketing funnel. He gave some noteworthy tips on how to better position creative to maximize results this year.

Google Ad Grants

Including a session on Google Ad Grants was high on our list, so we coordinated with Ad Grant expert Emma Cohen from Google, and our in-house expert, Emily Fisher to bring you, “Google Ad Grants: Trends to Improve Your $10K/mo Free Search Ad Budget in 2021.” If you haven’t utilized Google Ad Grants before, this session covered what they are and how impactful they can be to your marketing strategy efforts.


If you’re in marketing, you’ve definitely heard of SEO before. It may sound intimidating at first, so we created a session to walk you through the basics. Our very own Shukri Mohamed hosted the session, “Intro to Successful Nonprofit SEO,” where she highlighted some key strategies any organization can implement to improve website traffic and organic search results.


Calling this event a huge success would definitely be an understatement. Our original goal was to double our first summit’s registrations with 5,000. We far exceeded our goal and hit 10,000 registrations! It is pretty incredible to think about the fact that nonprofit leaders joined us from all over the world! From across the United States to Canada, Hong Kong, and even South Africa! 

We are blown away by the support and so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share these insights with the nonprofit community. With that being said, mark your calendars for August! That’s right, planning for the third Nonprofit Marketing Summit is already underway and the bar is even higher.

Karen Vela

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