Nonprofit Conference


If you have already registered in EventBrite, here is the link to the Virtual Conference in WHOVA:

This link will only work if you log in with the same email address you used to register in EventBrite.  You’ll need to create an account in Whova and download the Whova desktop or mobile app to connect to the conference.  Email if you have any questions or difficulties.


VIRTUAL conference and networking opportunity for Bayou Region nonprofit professionals, Board members and volunteers presented by Bayou Community Foundation.

Thursday, August 19, 2021 •  8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

ONLY $45/per person for virtual participation. Registration is required to receive personal attendee link to participate.

You may join the conference at any time on August 19 and your registration gives you access to view all recorded presentations after the conference!  

Questions? Email or call BCF Executive Director Jennifer Armand at (985) 790-1150.

About Our Conference

VIRTUAL Conference Agenda

Bayou Community Foundation invites area nonprofit professionals, Board members and volunteers to participate in a VIRTUAL conference on Thursday, August 19 from 8:30 am – 1:30 pm. Thank you to our sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana!

We will “Celebrate our Strength,” with speakers focused on the power of nonprofits in our community, collaboration and building resiliency, Board member fundraising, grantwriting, telling your nonprofit’s story, thanking donors, and the role of Board members in nonprofit crisis management. We will also have virtual networking with round table discussions, a panel discussion with local grant funders, and a special session with guests from Southwest Louisiana discussing their experiences during and recovery following the disasters that area faced over the past year.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED  BY 8:00 a.m. on THURSDAY, AUGUST 19 in order to receive your personal link to participate in the virtual conference, download the conference platform app Whova, and view all recorded sessions after the conference.

Registration Fee: $45/per person

  • Purchase Tickets online with credit card HERE, or
  • Use coupon code CHECK at checkout to pay with check. Mail check payment of $45/per person BY AUGUST 19 to: Bayou Community Foundation, P.O. Box 582, Houma, LA 70361

We hope to see you virtually on August 19!

Presentations and Speakers

Opening Speaker:  Lisa Chmiola, Fablanthropy

“Resilience is a Team Sport” – Trying times test even the strongest of us, and the past 18 months has presented a number of challenges to the nonprofit community – not just to our organizations, but to us personally as well. Despite these obstacles, we’re reminded that the best way to manage trials is through teamwork.

Collaboration is critical to the growth of our communities – we must work alongside our donors, clients, and colleagues – both inside and outside our organization. How do we foster these connections for success? 

Lisa will share her personal experience of bouncing back after a layoff in the early months of the pandemic. We’ll discuss strategies for relationship management, and learn how truly we should be competing to better ourselves and not against others to win. And, we’ll also celebrate just how far we’ve come!

Breakout Session:  Lisa Chmiola, Fablanthropy

“Successful Storytelling” –  Amazing work is done within nonprofits every day, but what are you doing to share moments of mission impact with the community? In this session, we’ll cover the elements of successful storytelling, and explore how to build stories of your various audiences (you, your organization, its donors, and its clients). We’ll also discuss maximizing your reach through a multichannel approach, and have time for you to begin building stories in the session.

Breakout Session:  Jenny Bigelow, Fund Raising Consultant and University of New Orleans adjunct faculty member

“Grantwriting like a B.O.S.S” –  Budget.  Outcomes.  Significance.  Sustainability.  If you focus on these components before you ever start writing a grant, you can set yourself up for the best possible success.  These are the components that set your grant proposal apart from the pack. 

Starting with “how can you say you need the money if you don’t know how you’re going to spend it?” to “how can you say you’re going to create change?” to the biggest question of all—“So what?  Who cares?”  This session will cover how to craft your important and meaningful work into a solid project plan that demonstrates why your work is so significant and why the funder should care about it.  This session is intermediate to advanced and will be most effective for those who understand the basic components of grantwriting to private funders.

Breakout Session:  Annie LaRock, Strategic Planning and Fund Raising Counsel

“How to Activate Your Board to Raise Funds” – Why do Board members donate? What makes them willing (eager!) to raise funds? How do you recruit Board members who will help you with fundraising (and everything else)? How do you set expectations? What are Board Giving Policy Options? We’ll explore this and more during our interactive breakout session.  Board Members, Executive Directors and Development Officers are encouraged to attend!

Breakout Session:  Germaine Townsend, NOLA SHRM

“Collaborative Planning for Resilience: How nonprofit boards contribute to organizational responses to crises” – In this breakout session, we will reflect critically on nonprofit boards’ leadership and management activities to understand the implications of natural disasters,  the current COVID-19 crisis, and other community emergencies on governance.

We will explore a contingency theory of governance and the balance between leadership and management for nonprofit boards as organizations face different stages (shock, adaptation, recovery and “new normal”) of crisis management.  Board Members and Executive Directors in particular may find this session very useful.

Breakout Session:  Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed

“Thanking Donors at a Small-Shop Nonprofit” – Thanking a person who gives to your nonprofit is one of the most effective ways to increase the odds they’ll give again.  In fact, a donor thanked within 48 hours of their gift is four times more likely to give again.  So how do you make this a regular practice at your organization? 

This session offers practical advice for how to show gratitude to your donors and increase your donor retention, with a special focus on small nonprofits that are creating their thanking strategy with a small-but-mighty team and a shoestring budget.

Keynote Speaker:  Sara Judson, President & CEO of Community Foundation of Southwest LA

Hear an inspiring story of resiliency, recovery and rebuilding among our nonprofit neighbors in southwest Louisiana as they struggled through multiple disasters over the past year and the lessons they learned about the importance of collaboration and preparedeness.


Closing Session: Funders’ Panel Discussion

Hear from local and regional grant funders such as Bayou Community Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of LA Foundation, Chevron, Danos Foundation and Entergy LA.  Learn more about the types of projects or issue areas they tend to fund, their application process, and other important information to help your organization succeed with your grant request. 

Bayou Community Foundation provides grants, workshops and other programs for nonprofit organizations in Lafourche, Terrebonne and Grand Isle to help our community grow and prosper.

As events and activities are scheduled, they will be listed on this page.

Our Generous Donors make all of these programs possible!

Nonprofits:  Sign up for the BCF e-newsletter to receive notices about upcoming BCF workshops and events!

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