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2015 Conference Recap

Thu, April 30, 2015 2:08 PM | Laura Parshall

If you attended NEDRA's 2015 Annual Conference: Leveraging Fundraising Intelligence, you may still be sorting through all the business cards you collected while networking, or sharing your notes on the educational sessions with your co-workers. If you weren't one of the 217 attendees who made it, or if you weren't there for both days, here's what you missed.

Before the conference started, Amy Begg, Roslyn Clarke, and Nancy Faughnan showed new researchers the ropes at our second pre-conference Research Basics Bootcamp on Wednesday, April 15.  The conference itself began on Thursday morning with a keynote by Pan-Mass Challenge founder Billy Starr. His inspiring story of the beginnings, challenges, and growth of this two-day bikeathon raising money for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute was a great start to the programming. Educational sessions throughout the day taught conference attendees how to value private companies, and how to build a research shop with analytics capabilities, among other things.

At lunchtime on Thursday, the winners of the Conference Scholarship (Pamela Abraham) and Heather Reisz Memorial Scholarships (Stephanie Cavagnuolo and Rebecca Elwin) were announced. We also honored Nancy Faughnan, winner of the 2015 Ann Castle Award. Nancy's modest acceptance speech said a great deal about how much she has gained from volunteering with NEDRA over the years. We hope she has inspired others to seek out some exciting volunteer opportunities!

Following the conference sessions, iWave sponsored a delightful networking reception at the Portsmouth Gas Light, which was followed by group dinners at nearby Portsmouth restaurants. Conference attendees had a chance to relax after an intense day, and to get to know their fellow NEDRA members.

Friday, the excellent educational programming continued, with presenters like Michael Wesley, Bond Lammey, and Ian Wells sharing their knowledge and experience. After lunch, which featured several round table discussions, the Annual Business Meeting was held. The membership voted on the new slate of directors, and on the changes to the bylaws.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the conference this year! If you haven't yet done so, don't forget to fill out your conference survey, sent by the NEDRA office on April 20. If you were a speaker at the conference, there's a second survey for you to fill out, sent on April 22. We value your input on these surveys, because it will help us make sure that next year's conference is even better! For those of you who didn't make it this year, we hope to see you at next year's conference, or at a program.


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