Session Proposal Guidelines & FAQs

Are you interested in speaking at the virtual 2021 Nonprofit Technology Conference, March 23–25? The FAQ has the answers you need.

1.Timelines & Deadlines #

Public Proposals: October 16–November 20
Public Community Input: November 30–December 13
Session Advisory Input: November 24– December 13
Advisory Final Review: January 4–10
Session Notifications: January 15

Submit and manage your session proposals starting October 16.

2.Session Selection Process #

  • Proposals: (October 16–November 20) We begin with a public call for session proposals. Anyone from the nonprofit technology community can submit a proposal during the submission period.
  • Community Input: (November 30–December 13) Proposed sessions are reviewed and favorited by the community and the Session Advisory Committee.
  • Draft Agenda: Using the community input as our guideline, NTEN staff draft an agenda that includes various topics across the six category areas (program, IT, leadership, fundraising and development, marketing and communications, and digital inclusion.) If some sessions are very similar in topic and have high community support, we may pick the most supported one or combine the sessions.
  • Community Review: The Session Advisory Committee provides a final evaluation and identifies critical missing topics. NTEN staff will fill the gaps from session proposals or may reach out to potential speakers.
  • Session notifications: (January 15) NTEN notifies session proposers and publishes the final agenda as sessions are confirmed.

3.Guidelines #

Number of Speakers

Each 60 minute 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. 30 minute sessions & workshop sessions can have solo presenters.


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.

Nonprofit Voice

Each 60 minute 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.

Tool Agnostic

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.

Speaker Registration

In recognition of their contribution to the virtual 21NTC, all presenters will receive a free, non-transferable registration.

4.Session Formats #

30 Minute Session 1–2 presenters

Similar to the “Sprint” session of past NTCs, these short sessions are distributed throughout the conference to provide attendees with energizing, fast-paced opportunities to learn from experts in focused topic areas. Do you have a hot take on meeting facilitation? A must-do list for project managers? Top tips for email conversion? Bring a tight, focused presentation with tangible takeaways.

60 Minute Session 2–4 presenters, at least one presenter must represent a nonprofit.

Presenters determine the format and distribution of time. Presenters can collaborate on a single session experience or divide the time to highlight various perspectives and approaches. Think beyond the panel, engage your audience, and send folks off with new ways of approaching their work. Session proposers may submit a session and recruit co-presenters after session acceptance.

60 Minute Workshop 1–3 presenters

You have 60 minutes to help your colleagues kick off their most significant project of the year. What expertise can you share? Organize your proposal around a work product for the audience. It can be a strategy template, project plan, pitch, or another structured tool that you provide the participants. This session should be built around the template so that the audience can “play along at home.” You will guide them in thinking through the big questions and organizing principles that you know are the foundations for success when undertaking a project.

5.Proposal Development Support #

There are several ways to get support for developing your session proposal.

Suggested Topics

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 21NTC suggested topics.

Community Call

Recording of October 15 captioned call.

Additional Support

Please email with any questions.

6.General FAQs #

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.

Digital Inclusion

Digital inclusion sessions address the inequities that are created, highlighted, deepened, or exacerbated by technology. These sessions may feature deep reflections on equity and social justice, highlight programs or practices demonstrated to alleviate inequity, or share analysis of existing and proposed policy changes. Content will range from training for nonprofit staff to broadband access for k-12 students, as well as campaigns to influence legislation and FCC policy.

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?

Our keynote speakers are by invitation only.

How does Community Input work?

Community Input is open to anyone to participate. Individuals may only favorite a particular particular proposal once but are able to favorite as many proposals as they’d like.

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. During the the community input phase, this group also selects the proposals they believe 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 groups, as well as with consideration for ensuring a balanced agenda overall regarding topics.

What happens next?

Notifications will be sent by January 15.

I’m ready! Where do I submit my proposal?

You can submit your proposal by visiting our Session Proposal page between October 16 – November 20.

7.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.

Learn more about this group and view current members.

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