Posted on: Oct 26, 2023

Conference Recap: Cultivate for Nonprofits

The Montana Nonprofit Association annual conference took place in Missoula from September 19 to 21, with an online version from September 26 to 28. Built around a theme of cultivation, this year’s conference invited participants to “consider all the ways in which we cultivate our organizations for the future, from investing in employees and processes to tending supporters, centering those we serve, and making time for rest.” Executive Services attended as a vendor, and team members had great things to say about the experience at the conference.

Speakers of note

The theme of growth stayed consistent throughout, centered around the statement, “Cultivation is the process of intention, growth, renewal, and transformation. By focusing on the essentials, we create space for big things to thrive.” The speakers reflected this strong thematic language from the conference organizers.

Liz Moore, the Executive Director of the Montana Nonprofit Association and one of the in-person keynote speakers spoke on her experience growing leadership and stronger organizations. Donna Murray-Brown, the inaugural Vice President of Strategy and Development of the National Council of Nonprofits, discussed the growing community in her in-person keynote.

For the online audience, Kelly Davis and Daisy Rosales addressed the importance of considering mental health in the nonprofit sector, a big topic in a field so often focused on self-sacrifice. And Steve Patty of Dialogues in Action discussed cultivating impact in communities and organizations.

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Vendor experience from Executive Services

As a vendor at the conference, Executive Services was able to reach prospective nonprofits to communicate how direct mail can benefit these organizations. The team members who attended shared their thoughts on the experience. “It was great being a resource for the nonprofits and representing Executive Services as a local resource for nonprofits in Montana,” one team member said.

“As the theme of the conference was about growth, it was great to gather with other businesses that were there to support nonprofits and help them grow and reach their goals. With the many guest speakers and breakouts that were intended to inspire and inform, it was nice to be a local resource for the nonprofits to come and ask questions and inquire about how our services could help them and their organizations,” an Executive Services team member commented.

When it came to the logistics of the conference, the team took note of how well everything went. “The hosts were great (Montana Nonprofit Association) so kudos to them. They utilized the Whova app for the virtual part, but the in-person conference definitely had the best traction for us. It was nice to see a glimpse into the world of nonprofits and how they function. This will give us as a company a better idea on how to market to them as well.”

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How local vendors like Executive Services can help Montana nonprofits

“It was great offering useful solutions to nonprofits. I know a lot of the nonprofits are interested in direct mail...I want people to know that it is a great solution to drive fundraising efforts and that it isn’t going away any time soon,” an Executive Services team member reflected following the conference.

Nonprofits stand to benefit from sending year-end appeals via direct mail. At the time of year when people are thinking of their communities and want to reach out to find ways to help others, connecting with prospective donors in a more personal way can help get your message out further.

And the statistics tell a clear story. Response rates to email campaigns sit at a rock-bottom 0.12%, while direct mail has a response rate of 4.4%, according to a study from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). Nonprofits can help drive donations in that big year-end push by incorporating direct mail marketing strategies.

Executive Services brings the care and expertise that nonprofits need to back them up, so they can keep doing good in the world. Get in touch to find out more about how Executive Services can help your nonprofit draw direct mail into upcoming marketing campaigns.