Is creating a virtual conference in your future for 2015?
Virtual conferences are a strategic way nonprofits are turning to Information Technology to create awareness and improve outcomes and services. An article published on BizBash shares how the nonprofit Educause used hybrid conferences to grow its audience. The association of technology leaders added a virtual component to their annual conference in 2009, and grew attendance by nearly 1000 guests.
For over a decade, iCohere has been helping nonprofit organizations and government agencies advance their missions through multi-day virtual conferences. Due to budget
and staff limitations, smaller nonprofit service organizations often have not been able to provide their volunteers and public audiences with the benefits of a major virtual event. For this reason, in 2014 iCohere launched the Serving Those Who Serve Others grant program. Each year, the program provides pro-bono virtual conferences to two nonprofit service organizations, enabling these organizations to reach expanded national and global audiences.
In a collaborative process with iCohere, the selected organizations develop the content and handle the publicity and marketing of these multi-day events and iCohere provides the design and technology. The submission deadline for 2015 applications is February 25, and can be submitted through http://icohere.com/servingothers.htm.
Take a look at the 2014 grant recipients!
U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC): For over 35 years, the FMC Congress to Campus program has allowed former members of Congress to interact with and educate college students about the legislative branch. Using the Serving Those Who Serve Others award, the FMC brought the Congress to Campus event online. Students from ten college campuses were able to interact with panels of former members of congress on topics including U.S. foreign policy, the 2014 elections, and the state of the U.S. economy. This online webinar series provided FMC with a more affordable channel for its Congress to Campus program without sacrificing interaction between students and panelists. According to Pete Weichlein, CEO of FMC, it was the largest and most significant webinar series in the non-profit organization’s history.
Inheritance of Hope (IOH): The IOH provides literature, college scholarships, counseling, and tools to help young families facing the loss of a parent. Using the Serving Those Who Serve Others award, the IOH launched a Legacy Lunch webinar series. The program brought families in need together with high quality speakers covering a variety of important topics, such as finance, health, and helping children cope with the loss. Using a webinar platform enabled the IOH to reach a broader number of families and created organizational assets that can be reused for many years. (Read the IOH case study here.)
What ways could your nonprofit improve services and grow awareness by offering a virtual conference? Share your story and submit the Serving Those Who Serve Others grant application by February 25, 2015.