Rising And Connecting At NSPA’s Annual Conference
Earlier this month, we traveled to the high deserts of New Mexico and attended this year’s National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA) Conference in Albuquerque. It was an amazing two days of connection, collaboration, and inspiration.
NSPA’s Annual Conference is an intersection of diverse organizations in the scholarship industry, including foundations, public charities, educational institutions, and corporations. The conference’s theme this year was Together We Rise: Collaborative Connections for Scholarship Success. SmartSimple’s Director of Research Solutions, Teresa Clarke, and Research Analyst, Rachael Sloat attended the conference. “This conference was a wonderful opportunity for SmartSimple to gain valuable insights into the real world pain points and use cases of a scholarship management software system,” says Sloat.
Attendees and their organizations from all over the world got opportunities to learn about best practices, as well as professional development through Learning Circles where scholarship professionals shared effective practices with colleagues. Professionals and executives in the field of scholarships facilitated over 60 workshops on industry trends, scholarship program administration, and student support services. “We spoke with many talented and knowledgeable scholarship providers who provided fantastic feedback on their current software needs and helped us evaluate industry trends,” says Sloat.
While there was insightful information about organizational practices, there were also inspiring talks about the “why” organizations do what they do. Keynote Speaker, Soledad O'Brien spoke about how "it's not about a check, it's about changing the world...It's about investing in people."
NSPA’s conference left a lasting effect on us and gave us inspiration looking forward in the scholarship industry. “At future NSPA conferences we'd love to demo the power and flexibility of the SmartSimple platform and share client successes stories to users who are looking for ideas on how best to manage their awards process,” says Sloat.