It’s February, which means the new year is officially well underway. As you hit the ground running with your 2019 corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies and projects, it’s important to make time for professional development, remain on top of key industry trends and stay connected with your peers.
A great way to accomplish all three is by attending some promising industry conferences this year. To make your annual conference analysis easier, we put together a list of the most inspiring CSR, employee giving and sustainability conferences of 2019 (along with good reasons to attend!).
1. ACCP: The Corporate Citizenship Conference
Hosted by the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals (ACCP) from March 3-16 in Atlanta, GA
Over 200 corporate citizenship professionals are already registered for ACCP’s Corporate Citizenship Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, which is less than 20 days away. With session descriptions polished and an agenda final, you can get a pretty good grasp of what you’ll learn and what to expect.
In full disclosure, this conference is one of the more expensive ones on our list. And with its start date coming up fast, it may be more worthwhile to look into other options. Plus, attending will set non-ACCP-members back $3,000.
Why you should attend AACP: The Corporate Citizenship Conference
Alongside opportunities to connect with your peers, ACCP will feature 40 Learning Labs, aka breakout sessions, led by experts from the Coca-Cola Company, UPS, Benevity, Independent Sector, Taproot Foundation and Capital One.
Learning Labs give attendees an opportunity to drill into a topic in small group settings and walk away with knowledge they can put into action.
Hosted by YourCause from April 2-3 in Austin, TX*
The eighth annual CSRworks conference is an event full of valuable insight from some of the sharpest minds in CSR.
Why you should attend YourCause’s CSRworks conference
The conference is an instructional two-day course on how to launch and scale a thoughtful corporate giving and social responsibility program. With topics that include developing strategic disaster campaigns, engaging employees through social channels and designing a better program with data, you’ll gain knowledge that’s relevant to today’s employee giving best practices.
Plus, VolunteerMatch representatives will be there (and we’d love to see you)! Join us in Texas and plan on spending a couple of days learning, connecting, collaborating and communicating on how to make a bigger impact on our world.
3. Leading Together
Hosted by Council on Foundations from April 29-May 5 in Miami, FL
Leading Together 2019 is a gathering of philanthropy leaders and other influencers in business, government and academia who are eager to connect, learn and share their stories with one another.
Why you should attend the Council on Foundation’s Leading Together conference
Through the conference’s fireside chats, you’ll engage in candid conversations with experienced leaders in philanthropy. According to the Council’s website, you can expect to hear inspiring stories, program challenges and honest answers to your questions from seasoned experts at the Case Foundation, Charlottesville Area Community Foundation and The Nathan Cummings Foundation.
Leading Together will also explore today’s most pressing issues, including “bridging the divide” in increasingly partisan societies, climate impact and vulnerabilities and creating inclusive economic opportunities for all.
One distinct feature is that you’ll have the chance to sign up for pre-conference sessions and a two-day fundamentals course. Course topics include community foundation’s history, emerging trends and engage in a discussion on how and why donors give.
4. Making Good Work
Hosted by Engage for Good from May 29-30 in Chicago, IL
Founded in 2002 with the goal of providing business and nonprofit professionals with the information and connections they need to succeed, Engage for Good is a collaborative space for people who are looking to build a better world.
With a focus on consumer and employee engagement, 2019 marks the conference’s 17th year.
Why you should attend Engage for Good’s Making Good Work conference
This year’s theme is “Making Good Work,” and will feature discussions around trends and strategies for creating compelling brand purpose in today’s environment of rising consumer and employee expectations.
You’ll learn how to deepen discussions around diversity and inclusion, activate employees through purpose, and empower consumers to act while growing brand loyalty and more. Early-bird registration opened a couple of weeks ago, and with code VM100, you’ll get $100 off the already discounted rate through March 15.
5. Service Unites
Hosted by Points of Light from June 18-20 in Minneapolis, MN
Service Unites brings together thousands of nonprofit and corporate professionals to collaborate around solving society’s greatest challenges while building resilient communities through volunteerism and service.
Why you should attend Service Unites
Points of Light’s annual conference claims to be the largest service-related convention of nonprofit, businesses and civic leaders in the world. With more than 70 workshops designed, networking opportunities with 2,000 participants, and meaningful volunteer projects in St. Paul, there’s no shortage of new things to explore, learn and do.
In last year’s conference recap blog post, the CEO of America’s Service Commissions said it best:
“Attending Service Unites is always a bit like a homecoming for me. It’s that chance once a year to regroup with colleagues from across the country, celebrate our track record as a team (i.e., the service “family”), hear from some of the greatest minds and players in the field, and rally together for our common cause: service and volunteerism.”
6. Brands Taking Stands
Hosted by 3BL Forum from October 29-30 in National Harbor, MD
Brands Taking Stands™ will continue 3BL Media’s newly established tradition of bringing corporate leaders together in a forum to focus on the “why” and “how” behind their thinking as we navigate through a rapidly changing business environment.
The Forum provides CSR leaders with opportunities to engage and share best practices on integrating CSR into their business strategy, highlighting the risks and rewards of companies taking stands and discussing what’s on the horizon.
Why you should attend 3BL Forum’s Brands Taking Stands conference
Brands Taking Stands™ is designed to bring you insights and real-world case studies through one-on-one interviews, panel discussions, roundtable conversations and networking opportunities. Over 300 business and CSR leaders registered for 2018’s event, with a diverse attendee-base of companies, NGOs and service providers.
2019’s plenaries promise to feature conversations led by corporate citizenship, global sustainability and employee giving executives from eBay, IBM, Nike, UPS, Timberland and nonprofit community partners like Blackbaud, DoSomething.org and Points of Light.
7. BSR Conference
Hosted by BSR from November 12-14 in San Jose, CA
The annual BSR Conference is one of the longest-running and most recognized sustainability conferences in the industry. By providing a space for thought-provoking conversations, they invite sustainability professionals to work together to identify solutions to our world’s most complex challenges.
More than 800 participants from around the world typically attend, including senior executives from Fortune 500 companies, foundations, nonprofits and governments. This year’s BSR Conference will be in San Jose, California from Tuesday, November 12 through Thursday, November 14, 2019.
Why you should attend the annual BSR conference
According to BSR’s 2018 conference recap, last year’s conference tackled some of society’s most pressing problems, including racial injustice, power imbalances and sexual harassment in the workplace. Sessions addressed the idea that business should engage with the government and speak out on social and environmental issues.
Though we have yet to learn much about this year’s conference, if last years was any testament, we can expect 2019’s to be a defining one.
Are you planning on attending any of these conferences, or are there any other events you’d like to connect with your peers at this year? Share your 2019 conference plans with us in the comments section below.
*Correction: An earlier version of this guide mentioned CSRworks will be hosted in Frisco, TX from March 27-28. This year’s CSRworks conference will actually be held in Austin, TX from April 2-3.