In a world where technology is rapidly transforming every aspect of our lives, the realm of philanthropy is no exception. The recently concluded akoyaGO user conference, EMPOWERED 2023, brought together our community for a time of knowledge-sharing and collaboration of innovative visions. This event served as a dynamic platform to explore the symbiotic relationship between cutting-edge technology and efficient philanthropy.

Reflecting on our shared moments, remarkable themes were present—each weaving a narrative of our community’s steadfast evolution, all while embracing the incredible potential of technology to create an even deeper and more meaningful impact.

Reflecting Back While Driving Forward

In anticipation of this year’s conference, our team took the time to carefully gather our clients’ valuable input. These insights spanned from the feedback shared by attendees of last year’s conference to the ongoing conversations within our user groups throughout the year. Guided by these insights and propelled by our forward-looking vision, we fashioned this conference to cater comprehensively to the diverse spectrum of akoyaGO learners. This collective audience included clients currently in implementation, adept users, and astute industry consultants.

To optimize the conference experience, we thoughtfully designed session tracks tailored to individual experience levels. Additionally, we curated an array of session combinations based on specific functional focuses. Our primary objective for our learning is to make it accessible while seamlessly incorporating the paramount topics crucial for fostering efficient learning within our solution.

The Power of Peers

The presence of proficient users engaging as peers played an integral role in enhancing the event’s learning experience. Recognizing the immense value peer insights bring to the table, we took a step further this year by inviting a few of our esteemed client users to actively contribute as Peer Presenters in select sessions. We would like to express our sincere gratitude once again to these users for generously sharing their wealth of knowledge.

The perspective provided by Chamika Ford from Saginaw Community Foundation, Laura Gano from Peter Kiewit Foundation, and Rita Goldberg from Hemenway & Barnes not only enriched the EMPOWERED experience but also demonstrated the real-world application of our solution. Through their expertise and practical insights, they have not only exemplified the success stories of our partnership but have also provided a platform for other clients to witness firsthand how our solution can be effectively utilized.

An additional standout moment was the enlightening session titled “Bridging Technology and Philanthropy: A Client User Panel.” We want to express our gratitude once more to our exceptional panelists: Elise Wiener from CommunityGiving, Marissa Bernards from Mountain America Credit Union, and Sarah Edelson Baskin from Connecticut Community Foundation. This session explored the intersection of technology and philanthropy, showcasing how forward-thinking organizations are adapting to a tech-driven landscape and highlighting the role of the akoyaGO solution in optimization.

The panelists emphasized a resonant sentiment: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” This captures why we intentionally involve our clients in knowledge-sharing. Their insights shed light on untapped possibilities with the akoyaGO solution and strategies for diverse foundations. This inclusive approach has proven valuable, granting attendees access to varied practices and perspectives, enriching their understanding of potential and broader philanthropic efforts. Peer-driven insights will continue to drive our approach, nurturing a culture of ongoing learning and innovation.

Both the participation of our peer presenters and panelists underscores the collaborative ethos that defines our community, and we are truly honored to have had them share their expertise with us. Their presence and contributions encapsulate the essence of EMPOWERED — a platform where mutual learning and shared experiences propel us all toward greater success.

Understanding the Impact of Efficient Philanthropy

As we gathered for the sessions, engaged in conversations both within and outside the conference, and shared time one-on-one with clients, a profound sense of inspiration enveloped us. Witnessing this assembly of philanthropic leaders from diverse corners is a truly invigorating experience. Each face in the room tells a unique story, and it’s evident that no two organizations are identical. From the range of staff sizes to the distinct ways in which they address community needs, each holds its own distinction.

Amidst these differences, a powerful commonality shines through. The collective aspiration to leverage technology for greater philanthropic impact unites us all. It’s not just the similarity of asking “How can we enhance our efficiency to spread more goodness?” that we share, but also the belief that technology holds the key to addressing this question. These partnerships, which drive substantial impact, evoke our heartfelt gratitude. We take pride in knowing that our solution plays a role in supporting the forces that propel positive change.

“Opportunities like this are fantastic…the akoyaGO team really wants to ensure we have the resources we need to be successful. A bonus is how much they feel like an extension of our own team.”

Marissa Bernards,
Mountain America Credit Union

EMPOWERED 2023 proved to be a catalytic event that brought together the akoyaGO community to explore the impact of philanthropy through technology. As the conference emphasized, integrating the cutting-edge akoyaGO solution can revolutionize the philanthropic landscape. By optimizing these tools, organizations can allocate resources more effectively, engage donors more meaningfully, and create a lasting positive impact on the communities they serve. The future of philanthropy is undoubtedly empowered by technology, and this community is certainly illuminating the path forward.