Agenda: 2012 T&T NGO Professionals Conference

The full agenda with session descriptions and speakers for the 2012 T&T NGO Professionals Conference (May 11-12, Hyatt Trinidad) is available for download – Sessions and Agenda for TT NGO Conference (PDF) 

You can also view the abbreviated quick-glance version (without session descriptions and speakers) after the jump (click “Continue Reading” below):

Thursday Night, May 10thPre-Conference Badge Pick Up – Attendees can pick up conference badges at the Hyatt Trinidad from 4pm to 6pm before official registration begins on Friday morning.  


8:00 am – 8:45 am:  Registration & Coffee and Pastries 

8:45 am – 9:30 am:  Welcome 

9:30 am – 10:30 am:  The 9,150 Metre View: A Survey of the NGO Landscape in Trinidad and Tobago (Level: All)  The Trinidad and Tobago NGO sector is a vibrant one.  Many organizations, both small and large are working hard to improve their communities. In the midst of running your programs, it’s difficult to realize this work is part of the country’s overall NGO sector. So what is the general make up and health of that sector as a whole? What trends are present and what lessons can we learn to guide our work in the future? Stakeholders from various areas of the sector will discuss these and other topics affecting the sector.

10:30 am -10: 45 am:  Growing Pains – PART 1: Strategies That Help Prepare Your Organization for Growth and Sustainability (Level: All)  Whether your organization is small and new on the block or large and well established, you need to ensure the sustainability, growth and future survival of your organization. This means making sure you have systems in place that not only strengthen your programs, but your organization’s structure. Having a strategic plan for your organization’s development will make you more attractive to funders, and ultimately allow for sustainability, and stave off stagnation.  Join us for this session where you will learn about the life cycle of organizations, where your organization fits in that cycle and critical steps and best practices for strategic planning. You will also acquire tips and practical advice for implementing your strategic planning after the conference.

PART I of this session goes over the Organizational Life Cycle by the presenters and organizations will self-select where their organizations are on that chart. After the coffee break, attendees will gather in their appropriate groups for PART 2 of the session which will focus on organizational development for the particular growth stage of their organization.

10:45 am – 11:15 am:  Coffee Cluster – Greet Old Friends and Meet New Colleagues 

11:15 am – 12:30 pm:  Growing Pains (PART 2) – Strategies That Help Prepare Your Organization for Growth and Sustainability (Level: All)

(See Above Description) 

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm:  “Birds of a Feather” Lunch – Join your colleagues for lunch around topics of interest to you and the sector.

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm: Show Me the Impact!: Insights and Advice from Grant Makers (Level: All)  These days, funders are not just looking to write a check, they are looking to partner with an organization who is developed enough to receive funds and who understands the importance of collaborating with fellow NGOs in order to provide the greatest impact. Join us for this informational session where grant makers who are funding organizations in Trinidad and Tobago will speak about the types of funding available, challenges faced in awarding funds and what they look for in a successful grant proposal. There will also be a Q&A session for NGOs to discuss the challenges they face in applying for funding.

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm:  Coffee Cluster – Network with fellow attendees and discuss the day’s events.   

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm:  Concurrent Sessions (Choose 1) 

Option 1:  Investing In Your Staff – Overcoming Challenges to Volunteer/Employee Recruitment and Retention (Level: All)  How do you recruit and retain key talent, whether they are volunteers or employees, especially when your efforts, focus and funds are geared towards your programs? Whether you have one employee or a hundred, you need to find ways to fund, inspire and recognize your valued volunteers and employees. In this session you will learn how to develop plans to answer these questions and how to overcome barriers to volunteer and employee retention.


Option 2:  Communications & Marketing Techniques for NGOs on Little or No Budget  (Level: All)  How do you tell the story of your organization, its impact and also reach potential funders, the media, and constituents when you have little to no budget? How do you get your organization in the local paper, create a website, and navigate social media like Facebook and Twitter? This session will provide practical tips and techniques your organization can implement to enhance your organization’s communication skills.

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm:  Welcome Banquet – Acknowledging past and present trailblazers, indicating the rich history of T&T philanthropy and the presentation of the 2012 JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence in Trinidad and Tobago.


8:00 am – 8:45 am:  Registration and Coffee & Pastries 

8:45 am – 9:00 am:  Welcome & Attendee Feedback for Day One 

9:00 am – 10:30 am:  Show Me the Money! – A Guide to Pursuing Sustainable Funding (Level: All)  An effective funding strategy is essential to your organization’s sustainability and growth. Being able to attract funding from an array of public and private sources is key for any organization.  Join us in this session where we will address the basic components needed by an organization to be in a position to receive grants, the importance of diversifying your funding streams for organization sustainability and useful tips and tools for developing and maintaining a successful grants process.

10:30 am – 11:00 am:  Coffee Cluster 

11:00 am – 12:30 pm:  Concurrent Sessions (Choose 1):

Option 1: Who’s In Charge Here? Governing a Successful and Effective Organization (Level: All)  Your Board of Directors plays a pivotal role in the governance and success of your organization. Join us in this session where we will explore the expected roles and responsibilities of Board Members, what to look for in choosing Board Members, how to effectively manage your board and best practices. The challenges of the country’s regulatory system will also be discussed. 


Option 2: Crunching the Numbers – Budgeting for NGOs (Level: All)  Budgeting for your program is a key part of your organization’s financial success. This session will go over budgeting techniques for NGOs and how they can increase the likelihood of receiving funding.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm  “Birds of a Feather” Lunch 

Join your colleagues around topics of interest to you and the sector.

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm  Concurrent Sessions (Choose 1):

Option 1:  Moving On: Planning for An Organization’s Future Needs  (Level: Executives)  How can you ensure the future of your organization when you are ready to move on to the next chapter of your life? How do you create a Succession Plan and implement it successfully? In this session you will learn the critical roles and responsibilities needed now and in the future to develop, enhance, and sustain your succession plans. 


Option 2: How Did We Get Here? Best Practices in Impact Measurement  (Level: All)  Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities including financial reporting, seem onerous when you are interested in providing the most impact for your constituents. Yet (M&E) practices help to show prove to potential sponsors the impact you are making. Plus, it’s an essential piece of governance.  In this session you will learn the importance of developing Monitoring and Evaluation practices in your organization, the tenets of successful Monitoring and Evaluation Practices and creative ways to show the impact of your programs.

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm  Conference Closing Remarks & Coffee

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