A Guide to bbcon 2021 Virtual for K–12 Schools

  • September 16, 2021
  • by Danielle Wood

bbcon2021_300x188bbcon 2021 Virtual, happening October 13–15, will bring together tens of thousands of social good professionals for three days of cutting-edge thought leadership, virtual peer networking, and unforgettable experiences. There will be opportunities to collaborate with your K–12 peers from across the U.S. and globally, including those who work in development, membership, finance, marketing, executive leadership, and more. You won’t want to miss it! 

While we encourage you to choose from the plethora of sessions available, we wanted to highlight sessions we’ve specifically designed for K–12 schools and what you can expect to learn.

Highlighted bbcon Sessions for K–12 Schools

For a dose of thought leadership and to learn about sector trends:

  • K–12 Super Session: Travis Warren, president and general manager of Blackbaud K–12 Solutions, is joined by Vicky Wong, University School, Pam LaBove, Saint John's High School, and Sue Gagné, St. Mark's School, for an engaging discussion as they share fundraising stories and strategies for future challenges.
  • Trends in Raising Major Gifts Post-COVID-19: Loual Puliafito, chief advancement officer at Saint Peter’s Preparatory School, and Lauren Barker, senior solutions engineer at Blackbaud, analyze major gift trends for K–12 schools and share how analytics can help keep the fundraising momentum going.
  • The Art of Communicating the Soul of Your Organization: Scott Allenby, director of communications and strategic initiatives at Proctor Academy, will help attendees dissect their organization's mission and understand their varied constituents and their value proposition to each before developing a content strategy that will communicate their organization's soul in a way that generates more revenue and clarifies the mission to future constituents.

To learn fundraising and marketing best practices:

To learn about analytics:

  • Best Practices in Major Gift Portfolio Management: In fundraising, classic prospect research and management is the process of moving a prospect through the lifecycle of major gift solicitation. But there is often little discussion of how portfolio management strategies can impact an officer’s ability to successfully take the prospect through the journey from qualification to solicitation to stewardship. In this session, learn portfolio management practices such as hygiene, coverage, churn, composition, and review.
  • Expanded Gift Capacity: Find More Donor-Advised Fund and Family Fund Donors with Analytics: If you're looking to expand the giving capacity of the individuals in your database, you'll need to locate more donor-advised funds (DAFs) and family fund donors. This learning session provides step-by-step guidance to identify DAF and family foundation donors through innovative research and analytics solutions including WealthPoint, Affluence Insight, and ResearchPoint.  
  • Insights, Actions, and Lessons Learned: Takeaways from Collaborative Benchmarking: When organizations gather each year for donorCentrics collaborative benchmarking meetings, they review key changes across metrics such as revenue, new donors, and retention rates. This session will focus on the key lessons and insights gleaned from some of the largest national direct marketing programs with an emphasis on how they weathered the effects of COVID-19.

To learn better financial management practices:

Getting Organized for bbcon 2021 Virtual

With more than 100 breakout sessions, it can be challenging to prioritize sessions. Here are a few tips to help narrow your options to the sessions that will be the most impactful for your work:

  • Picking your sessions: Don’t just limit yourself to the sessions classified as part of the K–12 track! Try filtering based on job type or solution to find all the sessions relevant to you. Our end goal is to provide a variety of presentations that pique your interest and leave you with actionable insight to take back to your school.
  • Map out a session grid: Take a moment to take stock of what you want to get out of bbcon—this will help you pick your sessions. Do you want to hear about technology? Do you want to hear from peers? Deciding what’s valuable to your work versus what’s just interesting will help you narrow down your choices.
  • Be prepared: Make the most of your sessions by having any items you may need during a session within reach. These could include: your favorite caffeinated beverage, snacks, and a notepad to jot down new ideas.
  • Block time off on your calendar: Once you’ve determined which sessions you want to attend, reserve that time on your calendar. This will help mitigate conflicts and last-minute changes.
  • Embrace virtual networking: Throughout the conference, there will be plenty of opportunities for attendees to network with peers and with Blackbaud staff. Remember, you can also schedule one-on-one time with attendees, speakers, and sponsors using the networking feature in the virtual platform.
  • Take advantage of the break times: Get up and stretch or take a short walk. Use that break time to refresh so you are ready for your next session.

This year may look different, but you can expect an exciting and thought-provoking conference! I hope you are as excited as we are for bbcon 2021 Virtual and we’ll see you there!