Request for Proposals

The 2021 Conference for North Carolina’s Nonprofits, a three-day professional development and networking event, is the premier event for our state’s nonprofit sector.  Throughout its 28-year history, this Conference has provided a place where nonprofit staff and board leaders come together to learn, to network, and be inspired.

About the Conference

What: 2021 Conference for North Carolina’s Nonprofits
When: November 3-5, 2021
Where: Virtual Event

Participant profile:  The Center’s Conference attracts 300-500 nonprofit staff (executive directors/CEOs, fundraising, finance, human resources, program, and marketing/communications), board members, and volunteers representing all sizes, fields, and missions.  Participants also include foundation staff, corporate giving officers, consultants, and vendors who work with nonprofits. See below for further profile details.

Concurrent Sessions: Specifics

Date: November 3, 4, & 5, 2021
Time slots: Wednesday & Friday: 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM; Thursday: 9:15 AM – 10:30 AM & 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Length: All are 75 minutes
Number: We will choose up to 12 concurrent sessions.
Attendance: Sessions average 20 to 35 participants.  Attendance in fundraising, strategic communications, and board governance topics tend to run higher.   

Topics We Seek

We encourage session participants to consider session topics that align with or address one or more of the twelve principles from the Center’s Principles & Practices: Best Practices for North Carolina Nonprofits: Advocacy and Civic Engagement; Board Governance; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Financial Management; Fundraising; Human Resources; Information and Technology; Legal Compliance & Transparency; Partnerships & Collaboration; Program Design, Management, & Evaluation; Strategic Communication; and Strategic Planning.  

Based on feedback from our Members, the following topics will be prioritized: fundraising, board governance, partnerships & collaboration, strategic communication, advocacy and civic engagement, and strategic planning. 

Past participants have given high marks to sessions that are interactive, inspiring, informative, and memorable.  We encourage you to propose a session that engages participants during the workshop time allocated and sends them away with several key takeaways and lessons learned.  

The Committee will consider topics directed toward both the new staff member and the experienced CEO.  Please consider participant statistics outlined below.  


Each concurrent session presenter is offered admission to all conference sessions and events taking place throughout the conference.  To keep registration fees affordable, presenters are not paid stipends for their services 

Selection Process and Timeline 

Proposal submissions are reviewed by the Program Content Committee for review and final selection. Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered.  

RFP process opens May 25, 2021
Proposal deadline June 30, 2021
Notification of acceptance August 2021
Presenter confirmations due August 2021
PowerPoint slide deck  & handouts due November 1, 2021
Date of concurrent session November 3, 4, 5, 2021


Criteria for Conference Planning Committee’s evaluation of proposals:

  • Session presenter demonstrates past performance with presenting this topic in a similar scale and scope.
  • Session proposal clearly identifies key takeaways and learning outcomes without the promotion or advertising of their business products/services.
  • Session proposal demonstrates applicability to a statewide audience.
  • Session proposal demonstrates working knowledge of a current nonprofit trend and/or issue framed by one or more of the Center’s twelve nonprofit management principles.
  • Session proposal provides an engaging title and description to help market the annual conference and increase registration.
  • Session proposal shows evidence of the ability to deliver an innovative, impactful, and engaging presentation including practical and applicable ideas and material.

Additional Selection Considerations

The Center is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion. It is through this lens that we choose all our professional development program offerings and opportunities. We place a priority on presenters who avoid self-promotion, selling of products, or excessive promotion of one nonprofit. We place a priority on selecting presenters which are currently affiliated with the Center, such as a nonprofit member, funder, sponsor, conference exhibitor, or statewide partner.

The submission window closed on June 30, 2021.


Please contact Sarah Easley at

Participant Profile Details

Over the past 2 years the breakdown of staff or volunteer positions of attendees have been:

By Title

Executive directors/CEOs 30%
Program staff 13%
Fundraising staff 11%
Finance and Human Resources staff 8%
Executive Management staff 5%
Marketing and Communications staff 5%
Board members 4%
Administrative staff 3%
Operations staff 3%
Fewer than 3% are public policy and advocacy staff, technology staff, students, volunteer managers, or consultants working with nonprofits.

By Organization Type

Education 17%
Human Services 17%
Arts & Humanities 11%
Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations 10%
Housing 6%
Health Care 6%
Environmental 5%

By Budget Size

43% have budgets under $500,000; 57% have budgets under $1,000,000.

Each year, the Duke Energy Foundation funds more than $30 million in charitable grants. We fund science, engineering and career training programs to help prepare tomorrow’s workforce.
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