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  • Incorporate service into your conference agenda

    Conferences are a time for networking and learning, but they can also be a great opportunity to give back to the community you’re visiting. Learn more about how to add a service component to your upcoming conference.

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    Organization/people involved

    Cheryl Hanback, consultant
    NTEN's Nonprofit Technology Conference

    What they did

    Each year, the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), a nonprofit supporting the tech needs of the sector, puts on a conference. Since 2000, they’ve included a service component: attendees who want to arrive a day early can serve in the community where the conference is taking place, and enjoy the added benefit of getting to know their fellow conference-goers ahead of time. Cheryl Hanback was involved for many years in the organization and execution of NTEN’s day of service programming.

    How you can do it

    While this example is specific to tech in the nonprofit sector, a day of service can be organized at any conference. Cheryl shared some suggestions with us:

    Impact

    For Cheryl, the impact of a day of service was felt most when good matches took place and nonprofits were well served. Impact could also be seen when volunteers kept up relationships with the nonprofits they helped, or when they formed relationships with other volunteers.

    Big takeaways

    Cheryl says: start slowly and simply, with large group events—then build up to a place where you’re matching volunteers and nonprofits, and managing more moving parts.

    Photo credit: Beth Kanter

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