Austin 2015

August 18, 2015 in Austin


Join us in Austin to learn how to leverage social media marketing at your nonprofit to meet your organization’s mission. Speakers will address a variety of topics in a series of short talks and interactive workshops. Session highlights include cutting edge tactics for mobile campaigns, fundraising through social media, tactics for engaging Millennials, and an executive round table to find solutions to your most pressing challenges.



If you are interested in joining us as a keynote, speaker, or panelist please apply online here. Our Leadership Council reviews speaker submissions on a rolling basis. All workshops must be practical and actionable, not conceptual and theoretical, and sessions are 30 minutes long, including Q&A. Please note: we are a nonprofit and do not provide honoraria or travel stipends, as we are committed to accessibility and this is key to keep registration fees as low as possible. Contact Ritu Sharma if you have questions about the process or the application. Apply
Without volunteers, these events could not run as well as we do, and we are very grateful for all our volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering, please complete the following application. We are looking for volunteers for outreach help leading up to the event and also for onsite support.
An investment in Social Media for Nonprofits can allow your organization to connect to our incredible network of nonprofit social media and MarCom practitioners, CEOs, board members, directors, and consultants. #SM4NP participants are the precise decision-makers that sponsors and exhibitors need to reach. Their work ranges from fighting hunger to ending child slavery, but they’re united by a fierce desire to master the resources, tools, and knowledge they need to better serve their community. Apply


Barry Silverberg

Barry brings over 40 years of nonprofit professional and volunteer leadership, management and civic engagement experience focusing on strengthening nonprofit board governance, strategic thinking, boar

Sarah Evans

Sarah joined the world of hydro-philanthropy after having worked for several years in securities law and lobbying in Texas. She founded Well Aware, an Austin-based NGO dedicated to the funding and imp

Tad Druart

Tad Druart has proven leadership experience in developing, executing and sustaining marketing and communications strategies and tactics that shape perception, enhance reputation, build brand, and gene

Mat Hames

Mat Hames applies his experience as an Emmy-award winning filmmaker to digital storytelling for leading non-profits. Mat has created films for the United Way, LIVESTRONG, Movember, the Sundance Preser

David J. Neff

David has been doing things that have never been done in digital strategy for the last 14 years. He wrote his first management book “The Future of Nonprofits: How to Thrive and Innovate in the Digit

Tina Snider

As Director of Communications, Tina is responsible for advancing the mission and brand of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas. Using online and offline strategies, Tina uses the words and

Debra Askanase

Debra Askanase is the founder and Digital Engagement Strategist at Community Organizer 2.0, a strategy firm working with mission-driven organizations and specializing in developing online strategy and

Ritu Sharma

Ritu Sharma has years of experience in event production, event-related fundraising, and social media. She heads up programming and logistics for Social Media for Nonprofits. She has worked with severa

Christian Clarke Casarez

For 15 years, Christian has shared people's stories to help promote big and bold programs, as well as simple services, that are transforming communities and the world. Christian has advised leadershi


8:30 AM

Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM

Welcome & Introduction

Ritu Sharma, Co-Founder & Executive Director Social Media for Nonprofits
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Sponsor Remarks and Welcome:
Barry Silverberg Director, Center for Nonprofit Studies Austin Community College
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9:30 AM

Fundraising Fundamentals for Social Media Campaigns

Sarah Evans, Founder and Executive Director, Well Aware
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While almost all nonprofits have integrated social media into their development strategies, the majority have not yet had notable success using this tool for fundraising. If social media is the number one reason that people in the US use the internet today, shouldn’t there be a better way to grow your organization through this medium? Over the past seven years, Well Aware has raised over $500,000 using social media. We’ll share what we've learned, and why raising funds through these channels is easier than you think.

10:05 AM

Inspiring Your Ambassadors, Leveraging Their Networks

Tina Snider, Director of Communications, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas
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We all have them. Those ardent supporters who help spread the word about our good works. The ones who share our stories by using their voice. It’s essential to recognize their passion while keeping them motivated to continue conversations. In this session, we’ll explore simple, creative strategies to honor our ambassadors who along the way help us build relationships.

10:40 AM

Interactive Activity: Tweet-Out

10:55 AM

Make It Stop: What Donors Really Want from Social Media and Communications

Tad Druart, Vice President - Marketing, Abila
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Donor expectations have changed. According to recent research, nonprofit professionals are 10 times more likely to think they need to communicate more, while donors are claiming nonprofits communicate too much; with more than 30 percent going so far as to exclaim, “Make it stop,” when talking about social media. Are your donors in that one-third? Learn what donors are saying they want from your communications.

11:30 AM

Measuring What Matters: Meaningful Metrics

Debra Askanase, Founder & Digital Engagement Strategist, Community Organizer 2.0
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In the age of information overload, having a social media measurement practice is the key to successful execution of your social strategy. In this session, we'll look at what data points tell you that your community cares and is willing to take action, a methodology to figuring what data is relevant to your outcomes, where to find the metrics that matter, and why setting up the right metrics can make the difference between knowing that people visited a page on your website, and if your social media actions sent them there.

12:05 PM

Break for Lunch, Emails, & Fresh Air

1:00 PM

Solutions Salon: Executive Round Table

In this highly interactive, intimate session, every attendee will not only have the opportunity to introduce his or her work, but more importantly, to identify and meet current needs. Come prepared to discuss your most pressing challenges, and witness the power of community in action as everyone leaves with their needs for resources, contacts, and ideas fulfilled.

1:45 PM

Messages Matter: Share Stories. Build Communities

Christian Clarke Cásarez, Assistant Director of Communications, Dept. of Communications and Community Engagement, Austin Independent School District

Everyone is looking for the next Tweet heard round the world, magical meme or have-to-have hashtag, but every communication begins simply—with a story. Everyone has a story. Communities come together around shared stories. In this session, we’ll examine how nonprofits are using strategic storytelling to build their communities. We’ll review practical tips to help strengthen your own storytelling through meaningful messages that inform and inspire your communities.

2:20 PM

Blowing up the Donor Pyramid: The Future of Fundraising is a Mess

David J. Neff, Digital Strategy Manager, PwC and Founder, Lights. Camera. Help.
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When people think about traditional donor engagement, retention and acquisition, the ancient donor pyramid still seems to float into our heads. However this framework needs to be torn down and rebuilt due to digital and social impacts. In fact it doesn't need to be torn down. It needs to be imploded like the shambling corpse of a building that has no purpose in our modern times. In this demolition session, David J. Neff will take us through a modern POV on donor acquisition, engagement and acquisition, and the role social media fundraising plays throughout. And show us concrete examples of what modern donor acquisition campaigns look like.

2:55 PM

Interactive Activity: Tweet-Out

3:15 PM

Nobody Will Watch Your Video Unless

Mat Hames, President and Creative Director, Alpheus Media
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Can a film help your non-profit? A great video can make you, a bad video can break you, but the most likely scenario is that barely anyone will watch it. That doesn’t have to be the case. We’ll look at the most successful non-profit films, and analyze what worked. We’ll also look at some well-done non-profit films with less of an impact. We’ll see nine themes emerge about successful, impactful videos, and see the best non-profit stories recently told on Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Vine, and other channels.

3:50 PM

Closing Remarks

Ritu Sharma, Co-Founder & Executive Director Social Media for Nonprofits

Marketing toolkit

Help us share the word about the event with easy-to-use images, tweets and posts, like the one below.

Click to tweet: "Can't wait for #SM4NP CA conf on 9/16! For nonprofits needing marketing help, look at @SM4Nonprofits event:"

Austin 2015

Austin Community College, Building 8500 3401 Webberville Rd, Austin, TX 78702, USA

Contact Us

Social Media for Nonprofits 414-839-4190

Austin Conference is Co-Hosted with our Partner:


Registration Rates


Regular Small Nonprofit Registration

  • $175: Small Nonprofit
  • Annual Budget Under $500K


Regular Mid-Large Nonprofit

  • $225: Mid-Large Size Nonprofit
  • Annual Budget Over $500K


Regular For-profit and Consultants

  • $275: Companies and Individuals
  • Corporations & Startups
  • Consultants