mcon14

Every spring I get excited about an event that has been circled on my calendar for the past 11 months. MCON15 is right around the corner, and it’s a conference you can no longer afford to miss.

Here are five reasons fundraisers should attend the upcoming MCON15:

1) It’s not a conference for fundraisers

Tired of hearing the same speakers give the same fundraising advice? Too often this sector operates inside a bubble, without taking into consideration the best practices of other sectors.

Yes, the well-known civic and cause activists will be there. But MCON also brings together designers and artists, journalists and media professionals, and for-profit business leaders. Their perspective will open your eyes to new ideas that can inform your fundraising practices in ways you never thought possible.

2) Look at these speakers

Seriously, look at the diversity of speakers:

  • Daniel Lubetzky, KIND Healthy Snacks – the fastest-growing snack company in the U.S.
  • Steve Alfaro, Voto Latino – a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing civic participation within Latino youth.
  • Alexandra Cart, Madeira Global – a premier investment and advisory firm.
  • Carol Coletta, Knight Foundation – which supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts.
  • Stephanie Cordes, Cordes Foundation – which advocates for women and girls empowerment, specifically looking at market-based innovations in supply chain, fashion, and women’s entrepreneurship generally.
  • Vicki Escarra, Opportunity International – which provides access to savings, small business loans, insurance and training to nearly 12 million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world.
  • Tyson Gersh, Michigan Urban Farming Initiative – a startup nonprofit based in Detroit’s North End Community that uses urban agriculture as a platform to promote education, sustainability, and community.
  • Sarah Urist Green, The Art Assignment – an educational video series produced by PBS Digital Studios that introduces you to alternative approaches to art-making and the most innovative minds in art today.
  • Fagan Harris, Baltimore Corps – which recruits results oriented professionals, locally and nationally, to scale the impact of leading social change organizations in Baltimore.
  • Amy Hood & Jennifer Hood, Hoodzpah Design Co – a Newport Beach creative firm that has worked with brands and companies like Google, Hot Wheels, the Tribeca Film Festival, The History Channel and Stella Artois
  • Brady Josephson, Chimp – a unique Canadian startup that lets you create a savings account for charity and gift funds to a friend who then can donate to a charity of their choice (kind of like your own private foundation).
  • Stephen Kenn, Artist – he uses sustainable materials and practices responsible manufacturing to create unique furniture and travel accessories.
  • Peter Koechley, Upworthy – whose foundation has dedicated nearly 2 billion minutes of attention to important stories for a better world, ranging from the criminal justice system to advertising’s adverse effects on body image to clean energy.
  • Daniel Lee, Levi Strauss Foundation – which advances pioneering social change in the areas of HIV/AIDS, worker rights and well-being, asset building and social justice in communities touched by Levi Strauss & Co.’s business.
  • Karen Martell, Square – the payments startup whose mission is to make commerce easy.
  • Jonathan Neman, sweetgreen – a culinary lifestyle brand dedicated to smartly sourced seasonal food and the balance between work, life, food and community.
  • Anna Palmer, Fashion Project – a powerful movement turning closets into cash for charities around the world.
  • Bryan Papé, MiiR – an outdoor lifestyle brand that, since 2010, has provided over 40,000 people with access to clean water from Laso to Liberia.
  • Jessica Prois, Executive Editor of Huffington Post Impact
  • Nicholas Tedesco, Senior Philanthropic Advisor in the J.P. Morgan Philanthropy Centre

To get a sense of the type of content to expect, you can check out video from MCON13 and MCON14 sessions here.

3) The online livestream is free

If you can’t make it in person (hey, it can be tough if you aren’t close to Chicago), you can watch the livestream for free.

Yes, for free.

All that great content at no cost. The organizers sure would appreciate if you got in on the conversation via social media as well!

4) Early access to 2015 Millennial Impact Report

If you buy the In-Person Premium ticket, you get access to a ton of cool stuff, not the least of which is early access to 2015 Millennial Impact Report. These reports are chock-full of unique insights. The 2014 report focused primarily on millennials’ preferences in the workplace — how they engage with their company and what they look for in corporate cause work, while the 2015 report will focus on the relationships and experiences between millennial employees and their managers.

MCON2015_Foodlife

5) Chicago

Chicago is pretty nice. The event is being held the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, right in the heart of downtown. Premium ticket buyers get lunch each day at Foodlife, which is like a gourmet food mall and is really the only reason that I’m going. That description doesn’t do it anywhere near the justice it deserves.

So what are you waiting for? At least sign up for the free livestream. It’s kind of a no-brainer.

Are you planning on attending MCON15? Have you attended in the past? Let me know in the comments below. And if you see me at the event, say hi!

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Steven Shattuck

Steven Shattuck

Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang
Steven Shattuck is Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang. A prolific writer and speaker, Steven is a contributor to "Fundraising Principles and Practice: Second Edition" and volunteers his time on the Project Work Group of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, is an AFP Center for Fundraising Innovation (CFI) committee member, and sits on the faculty of the Institute for Charitable Giving. He is the author of Robots Make Bad Fundraisers - How Nonprofits Can Maintain the Heart in the Digital Age, published by Bold and Bright Media.
Steven Shattuck