Session Proposal Guidelines & FAQs
Thank you for your interest in speaking at the annual Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC), which will be held March 24-26 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD!
1.Timelines & Deadlines
Public proposals: July 8 – August 11
Community Input: August 19 – August 30
Session Advisory Committee Input: August 19 – September 12
Final Review: September 16 – September 27
Notifications: September 30
Submit and manage your session proposals starting July 8.
2.Proposal Development Support
There are several ways to get support for developing your session proposal.
We have worked updated a list of suggested topics for each topic category based on attendee feedback, Session Advisory Committee input, and ongoing community feedback. View the list of 20NTC suggested topics.
On July 9, NTEN will host a community call in which we will explain in detail the session proposal process. Anyone interested in learning more is welcome to join, there is no commitment. There will be ample opportunity to ask questions about the process or about your particular proposal idea.
Recording of Community Call – Recording link
Slides (No Audio)
Open Office Hours
Drew Pizzolato, NTEN’s Senior Education Manager and Ash Shepherd, NTEN’s Chief Program Officer, will hold drop-in office hours in an open video hangout to offer support and answer questions.
Open Office Hours #1
Date: July 18, 2019
Time: 11 am PT (1 hr)
Open Office Hours #2
Date: August 6, 2019
Time: 11 am PT (1 hr)
Community members are encouraged to join our online proposal prep group to request and provide feedback on their proposal drafts during the session submission period.
To request feedback
- Submit your session draft through the NTC site.
- Join the proposal prep group.
- Create a new discussion post in the session feedback group (if requesting feedback on multiple sessions, be sure to create a separate thread for each one).
- Use your session title as the subject line.
- Paste the link to your session from the NTC site, add any notes and post.
- Give suggestions on other sessions while you wait for feedback on yours (optional).
To give feedback
- Join the proposal prep group.
- Look through the subject lines for a session title that matches your interests.
- Join a discussion and reply publicly with your feedback.
- Keep your comments constructive and actionable.
- We’d like everyone who requested feedback to receive at least one response, so try to prioritize posts with no replies.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with additional questions.
Number of Speakers
Each breakout session will have at least two presenters and no more than four who represent different organizations, to ensure a diverse range of voices and perspectives are represented in each session. Note: this does not apply to Sprint sessions or Ignite talks.
NTEN has made a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and every session is expected to follow this commitment. Sessions proposals are strongly encouraged to reflect this value in their descriptions and feature diverse presenters.
Each session is expected to incorporate a nonprofit voice within the lineup of presenters. If a session is selected and you are unable to find a presenter from a nonprofit, NTEN and the NTC Session Advisory Committee can offer assistance in finding an appropriate match. The only exception to this rule is the Sprint sessions, which can be led by a sole presenter.
NTC sessions should be tool agnostic, as is all of NTEN’s educational content. Specific tools can certainly be shared as resources, but a session should not focus on one particular tool or service provider. This ensures each session focuses on strategies, best practices, and resources that are applicable to a wide range of participants.
There are three formats for sessions.
Standard sessions are 75 minutes long and will run once during the conference. The specific format of a standard session (panel, workshop, etc) should be driven by the desired outcomes of the specific session and clear to attendees from the session description.
Sprint sessions are 30 minutes long and will be run each day after lunch during the conference. These sessions are expected to have 1 to 2 presenters and a very heavy focus on practical application and tangible takeaways. Given the time constraint, these sessions should reflect more of a presentation/interactive format. Panel and workshop formats will not be allowed.
Ignites are part of the main stage program. They are 5 mins long and have exactly 20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds. This is your opportunity to share your insights and passions with the NTC community from the main stage.
All presenters are expected to register for the conference. There are three different options available:
- Discounted full registration: nonprofit rate $299/for-profit rate $399
- Presenter scholarships: limited number available for those from nonprofits
- Free session only: for those only attending their session to present
How are sessions organized at the NTC?
Based on feedback from past attendees, we don’t organize the conference by track. We create a programming lineup that represents a healthy balance of sessions categorized around the following themes.
Marketing and Communications
These sessions focus on ideas and examples to help spread the word about your work and build and strengthen relationships with your community. In these sessions, participants should have a chance to learn about successful (and failed) efforts to integrate new communications technologies and tactics while also receiving tangible guidance and inspiration for their own communications programs.
These sessions are designed to help attendees learn about such topics such as which fundraising technologies are working (and not working), how to evaluate and select fundraising tools and CRM systems, best practices in using and supporting fundraising tools and systems, or new ideas and trends.
These sessions are for staff and consultants who manage and support technology infrastructure. This is a resource-sharing track for all nonprofit techies, so no matter how they arrived at their roles, participants are looking to share success stories and challenges, voice concerns, and glean wisdom from one another.
These sessions are for attendees both in leadership roles or aspiring to leadership roles within their organization. What role does technology play in our organizations? How can NTC attendees help their organizations reach that vision? What frameworks will help them make smart tech decisions and manage change? Participants in these sessions will have a chance to grapple with these questions and more.
These sessions are designed for individuals on the front lines, serving their communities. Introduce them to some of today’s cutting-edge applications or methodologies—from location-based services to effective strategies for tracking and using data for organizational impact—and help them better understand how technology can increase not only their efficiency but also their effectiveness.
The Sprint sessions can fall across any of the other categories. Attendees will leave these sessions with practical, actionable skills that they can use in their work. These sessions are unique from other categories and the different aspects should be reviewed below before sharing a proposal.
What makes Sprint sessions unique?
- 30-minute sessions that are run twice in a row in a single time block (no room change)
- Solo presenter allowed (nonprofit or not)
- Very strong focus on immediately applicable skills and tips
- Learning outcomes are not separate and should be covered in the description
Ignites are a unique opportunity for community members to be part of the main stage programming. Presenting to 2,300 of your peers. Focus is on igniting others passion rather than an educational or sales presentation.
What makes Ignites unique?
- Take place as part of the main stage program during the general session on day two
- Unique format: 5 minutes long, 20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds
- Internal review only, no community input
- Proposals should align with the identified theme for the year
Who can submit a proposal?
Everyone is encouraged to submit a proposal. Submissions are open to the public, regardless of membership status or previous roles within the community. In particular, individuals and organizations that have not presented previously at an NTC event and those from underrepresented communities and perspectives are encouraged to participate.
Can I propose a keynote address?
Thanks for your interest! Our keynote speakers are by invitation only.
How does Community Input work?
Community Input is open to anyone to participate. Individuals are limited to only one vote on a particular session but unlimited votes overall.
The Session Advisory Committee is a group of leaders within the nonprofit technology community who are representative of the larger community and their respective category areas. In addition to the community voting, this group votes on what sessions should be included on the agenda.
The Session Advisory Committee voters will keep the following questions in mind when considering sessions:
- Is the proposal content of current interest or on an emerging topic?
- Does this proposal support NTEN’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion?
- Has the proposal content been implemented?
- Is the proposal an innovative solution, or does it offer a fresh treatment?
- Does the proposal address or support solving significant problems in nonprofit technology?
- Are the learning objectives clearly defined so that the audience knows what they’re leaving with?
- Do the session designer and speaker(s) have expertise on this topic?
Final selection is based on the combined results of both voting groups, as well as with consideration for ensuring a balanced agenda overall regarding topics.
What happens next?
Notifications will be sent at the end of September regarding the status of proposals.
I’m ready! Where do I submit my proposal?
5.Session Advisory Committee
The NTC Session Advisory Committee is a group of experts, thought leaders, and champions in nonprofit technology. They provide input as part of our community-driven process to develop the high-quality educational agenda for the Nonprofit Technology Conference.