Pre-Conference Day

Join us at the 19NTC Pre-Conference Day on Tuesday, March 12. Bring your questions and get ready to take a deep-dive into Drupal, WordPress, ActBlue, IT Security, or Salesforce.

New for 2019! We have reserved at least 8 sessions for the NTEN Drupal and WordPress communities to use how they wish. Sessions created by these groups will be added to the agenda in the coming weeks. We’d also like to acknowledge and thank Message Agency who has generously given 2 of their 4 sponsored Pre-Conference sessions to the Drupal community!

Pre-Conference registration is $20 and can be purchased when you register for the NTC.


Sessions are still being added, so please check back here for updates.

MythBusters: WordPress Edition (WordPress session)

Presenter: Cornershop Creative
Session time: 9:45a – 10:45a

We’ve heard it all. From dirty rumors about insecurity to warnings of lack of support, WordPress faces a litany of accusations. And for good reason. WordPress is so popular, it’s no wonder there are so many rumors floating around about it. We’re here to set the record straight. Come get the facts from WordPress experts. We’ll talk about which rumors are true, which are not, and how you can run the most effective WordPress site on the internet.

The Very InFORMative WordPress Form Session (WordPress session)

Presenter: Cornershop Creative
Session time: 11:00a – 12:00p

Have you ever found yourself in this situation? You just need a simple form on your website. But then you start thinking about how that form should look, exactly what data it should collect, and what kinds of notification emails should be sent… and then someone asks how you’re going to get the data into your CRM, and the next thing you know, your head has exploded from all the open questions and options.

This very inFORMative session will put your head back together, equip you with a fresh perspective on planning and developing your form creation strategy, and give you easy tactics and tools to make sure everything works just as you need it to. You may have only FORMative knowledge of forms, but you’ll leave this session with FORMidable knowledge.

How to Build a Strong Digital Fundraising Program (ActBlue sessions)

Presenter: ActBlue
Session times: 9:45a – 10:45a & 11:00a – 12:00p

Online charitable giving is more important than ever as people around the country look for an easy way to make an impact in these tumultuous times. This means nonprofits need to be prioritizing strong digital fundraising programs. Not only do online donations make it easier for donors to support your cause, but they can help you spread out your fundraising over the year and build a more sustainable organization. We’ll show you how anyone can use ActBlue’s simple but powerful online fundraising platform to build beautiful contribution forms, increase your monthly donors, and make data-driven decisions.

Responsible Tracking: Learning from your users without being creepy (Drupal + WordPress session)

Presenter: Kanopi Studios
Session time: 9:45a – 10:45a

As site owners, it’s impossible for us to serve our users better without knowing a little bit about them — what’s working for them, and what isn’t. There are a number of high-impact but unobtrusive ways to learn more about how users interact with your site and your brand. In fact, you might be surprised at the information you can learn about your users with nothing more than Google Analytics.

This talk will expose some touchpoints that can help you learn about your users and how they interact with your site. We’ll discuss tools that move beyond just your analytics platform to help you gain access to these insights, and we’ll walk through some core features of Google Analytics that you may not be aware of.

Leaving this session, you’ll have a better understanding of the types of tracking tools, the information you can glean from them, and how to ensure your data tracking is responsible, transparent, and accessible.

Checking under the hood: Auditing your website for a smooth ride (Drupal Session)

Presenter: Kanopi Studios
Session time: 11:00a – 12:00p

We often talk about websites the way we talk about cars. Are you driving a flashy sports car or a stable hatchback? And is yours a lemon, no matter how pretty the paint job? And if you just got one used, what’s going on under the hood? There’s a way to address these questions about your website, and it’s called a technical audit.

The vast majority of site owners live in fear of the day their site “breaks down.” Performing a site audit can ensure you understand the current state of your site, from the back end code level to the front end performance. It can also help you see potential problems when it comes time to add features (like that sweet audio system).

People attending this session will learn the basic building blocks of performing a technical audit.

  • Approaches for auditing different aspects of your Drupal site: custom code, theme and front-end functionality, back-end configuration and modules, accessibility, etc.
  • Tools that can be used to run these tests
  • Tips on what to watch for when managing a Drupal website over time

Developing a Website RFP? Tips on Getting the Responses You Want (WordPress Session)

Presenter: Kanopi Studios
Session time: 1:00p – 2:00p

Nobody loves writing or responding to request for proposals (RFPs) but it is often a necessary process. In this session, we will discuss the steps it takes to write a good website RFP, but also how to attract the right vendors to bid and what to do to make this process an educational and meaningful experience.

In this tactical session you will learn:

  • How to get accurate requirements
  • How to navigate stakeholder needs/voice/wants
  • How to organize your budget
  • How to attract the right respondents
  • How to choose/evaluate proposals
  • What reference questions to ask
  • How to create clarity in the contract

Inclusive Content Strategy

Presenter: Kanopi Studios
Session time: 2:15p – 3:15p

Inclusivity is at the heart of an effective content strategy. Accessible code may be imperative for inclusion, but all the code in the world doesn’t do any good if the content is not meaningful to our readers. Studies have shown that job postings can be unintentionally exclusive depending on how they are written.

In this session, we’ll go over what we can do as content authors to ensure our readers feel that we are speaking with them, not at them. We’ll look beyond the semantic markup and structured content to see the strategic value of inclusive, well written content.

Discussion points will include:

  • What makes content inclusive? Including: definitions, clarifications, and real-life examples
  • Why is inclusive language important?
  • How we can embrace accessibility for those with every sort of ability
  • Why awareness and acceptance isn’t enough — how to shift to being more process oriented

Assessing Accessibility: How to Create Inclusive Digital Products (Drupal + WordPress Session)

Presenter: Message Agency
Session time: 9:45a – 10:45a

Does your website create an inclusive or exclusive environment for users? Does your digital strategy incorporate web accessibility standards? Are you not sure? Let’s have a conversation and find out!

This session details how to start, develop, manage, and get buy-in for creating inclusive digital products. We’ll cover topics like:

  • An introduction to web accessibility
  • Inclusive design and UX principles
  • Business and social cases for compliance
  • Strategies and tools for incorporating web accessibility in every project phase
  • Interim repairs and communication tactics

We’ll also do a comparison of how Drupal and WordPress, the two most popular open source content management systems, stack up in terms of accessibility out of the box.

Got a CMS? Got Salesforce? You’ve got Power! (Drupal + WordPress + CRM Session)

Presenter: Message Agency
Session time: 11:00a – 12:00p

Drupal and WordPress are powerful tools on their own, but when they are integrated with a contact relationship management (CRM) system like Salesforce, it can have an exponential impact on how you track users, transactions, and interaction.

Integration doesn’t always have to be a complicated or expensive endeavor, either, and no one approach is the right solution for everyone or every case. There are a number of ways you can benefit and a range of strategies—from self-service web-to-lead forms, to plug-ins and modules, to web services, to third-party platforms. This session will help you make sense of what’s available and which option makes sense for your needs.

In this session, we’ll explore:

  • Why you might want to integrate
  • Examples of ways you can leverage these tools
  • The methods available for each CMS
  • How to evaluate what you can do on your own vs. with the help of a developer

Data Security, Privacy, and GDPR for Nonprofits 

Presenter: Microsoft
Session time: 9:45a – 12:00p

Join us for a half-day interactive workshop where experts from Microsoft and Tech Impact will walk you through the basics of Data Security, Data Privacy, and GDPR. We’ll talk through a do-it-yourself assessment of your organization’s Data Privacy and Security practices. Experts will then help you prioritize your organization’s next steps to keep your constituent, volunteer, and donor data secure. You’ll also have an opportunity to view the latest technologies to help keep your data safe on-premise and in the cloud.

Azure and AI for Nonprofits

Presenter: Microsoft
Session time: 1:00p – 3:15p

Join us for a half-day interactive workshop geared toward nonprofit leaders and staff who either currently use or are considering Azure to streamline operations, increase capacity, and integrate end-to-end data intelligence to power deep organizational insights. We will explore AI technologies that are relevant for all nonprofits, and experts will help you prioritize your organization’s next steps to successfully use AI tools in your own programs.

Capture, Manage & Make Data Actionable Across Programs and Fundraising

Session time: 9:45a – 10:45a

Wherever you are on your journey to digitize your mission, CRM can help you work smarter. This session will share how the Oregon Museum of Science went through a digital transformation across fundraising and programs, and share how the BOMA Project is ending extreme poverty through performance insights. will also share other customer examples and recent research on what many other nonprofits are doing from best practices on undergoing this transformation, to how to get ready for Artificial Intelligence.

Building Relationships Using Voice (Drupal + WordPress Session)

Presenter: ThinkShout
Session time: 9:45a – 10:45a

As many as 51% of those 55 and older use voice-activated speakers such as Alexa; citing “it empowers me to instantly get answers and information.” These breakthrough technologies are not just for millennials and early adopters, they’re for the majority of your donor file. Just under 50 nonprofits are registered with Alexa, so far reporting varying degrees of success with the tool. But technology like this will hit a tipping point, and it will happen faster than we can predict. Will you be present to meet your donors where they are, in the moment they’re ready to support you? This session will cover how to prepare your website and content for voice technology, and some interesting ways organizations are using Alexa Skills to build relationships.

Building scalable websites with Drupal: A Bene Case Study (Drupal Session)

Presenter: ThinkShout
Session time: 11:00a – 12:00p

In partnership with a local Portland nonprofit, we’ll talk through how they utilized the open source distribution, Bene, to tell their story and effectively engage users on their site. We’ll discuss the flexible page building tools, the design process, and content migration. In addition, we’ll explore how to keep your site compelling, effective, and secure after the initial launch. This session is for growing nonprofits who need the building blocks for a solid website that evolves over time without all the complexities of a fully custom Drupal site.

Community Session: Everything You Need to Know About Drupal 8

Presenter: NTEN Drupal Community
Session time: TBD

Drupal 8 has been out for a few years, and with Drupal 7 support ending in 2021, you might be wondering—is Drupal 8 right for me? This session will cover the information you need to know as an accidental techie evaluating the next version of Drupal.

Attending this talk will teach you:

  • The changes you should expect between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8
  • What skills and concepts you need to learn to maintain a basic Drupal 8 site
  • Example situations that may cause your upgrade path to be smooth or bumpy
  • How your website strategy needs to adapt after you launch a Drupal 8 site

When you leave this session, you’ll have the information to decide whether Drupal 8 is the right platform for your nonprofit’s next website. In addition, you’ll understand how your organization needs to adapt its website strategy to take advantage of the recent developments in the Drupal ecosystem.

Community Session: An Introduction to Drupal 8 Theming
Presenter: NTEN Drupal Community
Session time: TBD

Drupal 8 provides robust tools for theming that simplify the process and expand the capabilities for front-end developers as well as content authors.

In this session we’ll present an overview of enhanced features that make it easier to build pages in a modular fashion with pre-defined templates and D8 building tools. We’ll teach you how to leverage these tools to enhance design options, speed process and improve site performance. Our presentation will focus on a real-life demonstration of this modular-based approach, focusing on the strategy of building a landing page system with the help of Paragraphs module and providing plenty of time for Q&A.

Community Session: Migrating to Drupal 8 with Confidence

Presenter: NTEN Drupal Community
Session time: TBD

Drupal 8 is a powerful platform, with features many nonprofits are using to deepen their impact. However, migrations to any new platform can be hard. Fortunately, Drupal 8 comes with a suite of migration tools built-in, helping organizations migrate their website from previous versions of Drupal or any other source. As of Drupal 8, Drupal has also changed its development process so that features are continually added and upgrades to future versions will no longer require migration, so this may be the last migration you need to do!

We’ll walk through what is needed to effectively prepare for a migration, touching upon the specifics for WordPress and Drupal 7. Using real world examples, we’ll then look at what migrating users, blog posts and other content looks like. The session will wrap up with important “gotchas”, a list of further resources and time for Q&A. By the end you’ll have the tools and resources needed to migrate confidently.

Community Session: Nonprofit Case Studies: Integrating Drupal with Salesforce and CiviCRM

Presenter: NTEN Drupal Community
Session time: TBD

This panel will use a case studies to explore different ways nonprofits are integrating Drupal with their Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) database. We’ll hear from Bitch Media on how their Drupal and Salesforce integration has driven dramatic growth in their membership program over the past few years. The San Francisco Zen Center will discuss how they have moved beyond just development to using Salesforce as data sharing repository. Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites will discuss how they use CiviCRM and Drupal to manage membership and events all across Georgia. We’ll also have some space for audience conversation, so bring your own experiences about integrating Drupal with other CRMs.

Community Session: Nonprofit Case Studies: Accessibility in Drupal

Presenter: NTEN Drupal Community
Session time: TBD

The web removes barriers to resources and communication in the physical world. However, poor design and can exclude audiences from engaging in your nonprofit’s programs and furthering your mission. In this panel featuring representation from the National Foundation for the Blind and the American Foundation for the Blind,  we will touch on Drupal’s accessibility features and how 8 builds on 7’s standards. We’ll discuss common pitfalls in development and content creation – also touching on accessibility in social media (or lack thereof). We will demystify user testing, and automated testing. We’ll share opinions, approaches, and answer your questions too.

Whether you are a marketer, program manager, or developer, this discussion will be accessible to you.

Community Session: Drupal Community Breakouts

Presenter: NTEN Drupal Community
Session time: TBD

This session at the Pre-Conference Day will provide opportunities for members of the nonprofit community using Drupal to share knowledge with each other. We will have small discussion groups and/or lightning talks on a variety of topics, which may include diving deeper into themes from earlier sessions (e.g., CRMs, Drupal 8 adoption) or exploring new topics (e.g., improving the content authoring experience, best practices for security, getting started with Drupal).

Community Session: WordPress is a Banquet

Presenter: NTEN WordPress Community
Session time: 9:45a – 10:45a

There are as many ways to contribute to WordPress as there are dishes in a feast! Hear from Andrea Middleton, a lead organizer of the global WordPress community, as she teaches us all about the amazing WordPress community and the many paths to successful contributions. There’s room for you at this table — join us!

Community Session: WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg, and the New Block Editor

Presenter: NTEN WordPress Community
Session time: 11:00a – 12:00p

Starting with version 5.0 in November 2018, WordPress will never be the same. Come get an introduction to the new “block editor” interface, hear from people in the NTEN community who are already using it, and bring your questions to ask the panel about this new world of WordPress.

Community Session: WordPress Lightning Talks

Presenter: NTEN WordPress Community
Session time: 1:00p – 2:00p

Hang onto your seats for fun and fast-paced lightning talks from members of the WordPress community. Want to do a quick presentation, share some knowledge, rant about Gutenberg, or just give a shoutout? Here’s your chance.

Community Session: WordPress Community Helpdesk Hangout

Presenter: NTEN WordPress Community
Session time: 2:15p – 3:15p

Bring your WordPress questions, knowledge, and laptops if you have them. We’ll all gather all together to meet members of the NTEN WordPress community, share our knowledge and expertise with those who need it, and get help with our websites!


Pre-Conference Day Sponsors