Payback is a micro conference designed specifically for nonprofits in order to equip them with an engaging digital media strategy.

August 15, 2013
6:00 - 9:00 PM

KCAD Federal Building
17 Pearl Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Get Your Free Ticket

The business community is sponsoring your ticket as a way to "payback" nonprofits for the valuable services you provide to our communities.

Speakers & Topics

We’ve pulled together accomplished industry professionals spanning from content strategy to digital platform experts. Over the course of the evening you’ll gain clear insights into leading Web strategies.

Joel Boonstra

Joel Boonstra

Responsive Design

A responsive website lets you reach mobile and desktop visitors alike (and everyone in between), without maintaining separate sites. We'll talk about planning and building a responsive website, and walk through some real world examples.

About Joel

Joel has been building the web for over a decade. He loves to learn, and loves to teach what he's learned to others. While at, he helped nonprofits build and expand their web presences. As an owner and developer at Agathon Group , he works with organizations of all sizes to create usable, powerful, and modern websites.

Keith Finnegan

Keith Finnegan

Emerging Content Strategy

How do you deliver excellent content that not only gets people’s attention but helps achieve business goals? We’ll explore content strategy from this perspective, drawing from real-world examples, research, and a practical content model that anyone can use.

About Keith

Keith has spent nine years in the world of digital marketing, touching virtually every aspect from content marketing, to customer relationship management (CRM), to eCommerce, to website and app development, to social media, to email. He currently serves as a senior director of digital marketing at Zondervan, and once served in a similar capacity for a small nonprofit film company. In 2007 he received a Marketing Sherpa Silver Mouse Award for a successful daily email program, and he earned an MBA degree from Western Michigan University in 2004. In his spare time Keith enjoys teaching digital marketing at Davenport University.

Amelia Rhodes

Amelia Rhodes

Start with Story

It's easier than ever before to connect with clients and potential donors. How do you take advantage of these platforms and translate your passion and vision to the community at large? In this session, we will discuss the ancient tradition of storytelling and how you can use it to effectively communicate your messages.

About Amelia

As an author and a speaker, Amelia has a passion for taking the everyday stories of life and connecting them with larger truths. Amelia graduated from Cornerstone University with a Bachelor's in Business in Administration with a minor in communications. She has worked in the marketing departments of two large non profits. Her first book, Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break? Doing life together in an all-about-me kind of world, offers practical advice for reaching out to your community. She is also featured in the Chicken Soup for the Soul books Inspiration for Writers, Here Comes the Bride, and Devotional Stories for Wives.


These area businesses are sponsoring attendees as a way to "payback" nonprofits for the valuable services you provide to our communities.

Kendall College of Art and Design

As a college within Ferris State University , Kendall College of Art and Design prepares students for leadership in the visual arts, design, art history, and art education; provides innovative, collaborative education that fosters intellectual growth and individual creativity; and promotes the ethical and civic responsibilities of artists and designers, locally and globally.

Agathon Group

Agathon Group is a technology studio specializing in cloud hosting and custom software solutions. We focus our deep knowledge and experience on solving your problems, so that you can focus on pursuing your vision.

AIGA West Michigan

Our local chapter, AIGA West Michigan , was founded in 2009, uniting a group of professionals and students with diverse backgrounds but a common interest in design. We aim to create a place where design can be discovered, discussed, understood, and appreciated. Our programming focuses on ways to inspire our members, learn new things, and connect with each other and the community.


The inaugural conference is modeled after the Lean Startup strategy: build, measure and learn. Based on our experiences and observations, we’ve put together a micro conference in order to gain insights from attendees, learn what works and what doesn’t, with the aim of putting together an extended conference next summer.

A personal note...

I’ve participated in wonderful events over the years where designers and developers offer their skills to nonprofits -- creating Websites, logos, brochures, applications, and more -- over the course of a weekend. These events have delivered extraordinary value to the nonprofit community and offer a creative way for the business community to get involved. As impactful as these weekends have been, I’ve always felt like there needed to be another ingredient in the mix -- the sharing of knowledge.

I’ve had the privilege of working at a handful of nonprofit organizations over the years. Not once while employed at a nonprofit was I able to attend a Web related conference.

Recently it hit me, I’ve been a Web professional for a long time, and I know some really smart, talented and insightful people that have a strong affinity for nonprofits. It’s payback time!

If you’ve invested your life into a nonprofit and are looking to take your digital strategy to the next level, I believe this conference is for you. Join us for an evening with insightful speakers and like-minded colleagues.

Love well & play hard,

Conference Organizer