At some nonprofits it can be a challenge to get a green light—and budget—to attend a professional development conference. We know. Money is tight, staffing is bare bones, and conference attendance can feel…well…discretionary.

But in fact, there are good reasons for not just attending, but for attending as a group.

1. It’s a great team builder. “Attending a conference is a great way for a team to meet outside work in a relaxed, inspiring environment and still have an opportunity to get some work done,” says Bill Cushard, director of training and development at Allonhill. “Although the team won’t attend every event together (at least I hope not), when we meet between sessions to have lunch, we can talk about what we’ve learned and what we can do differently back at the office.”

2. It elevates group performance. Especially at a conference like Bridge, which is designed to get marketing and fundraising working together, your team can come back to the organization with actionable strategies that they can talk about, plan around, and act upon together, says Charlotte Bohnett in “Better Together: 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Attend Conferences Alone.”

3. It jump-starts innovative thinking. We all know how exposure to new ideas and high energy can help us think differently. Multiply that effect geometrically when a group returns to your organization with creative juices flowing.

4. It creates comradery. A change of scenery, the exchange of the best (and worst) of ideas, and simply having a shared experience outside the office can all build important connections between co-workers that last well beyond the conference.

5. It saves money! Three or more people from an organization can register for Bridge at a discounted rate through July 2. Your organization can save about 20 percent on registration by sending a group.

Lori Woehrle
Managing Partner
Leapfrog Group