Request for Speakers – 2019

While the submission deadline has passed, late proposals will be considered should programming space allow.

Proposals can be submitted hereYou will receive notification of the status of your proposal by November 2018.


The New England Federation of Humane Societies (NEFHS) is currently seeking speakers for our 74th Annual Conference, taking place March 30 – April 1, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, Rhode Island.


Proposal Topics

We welcome proposals that would be of interest to all levels of experience of those working and volunteering in the animal welfare field.  This year we are particularly interested in proposals addressing successful transitioning into the specific changes we are seeing in the animal welfare field in New England.

Requested topics include:

  • Executive
    • Finance and human resources policies
    • Keeping functioning and progressive working teams (staff and volunteers)
    • Succession planning, identifying and developing strong leaders
    • Fostering community relationships with other organizations (non-profit and for profit) for impact
    • Working to prevent burn-out
    • Technology and what’s here and next to help animals
    • What to do with our animal welfare organizations when, for some, the adoption model is losing steam
    • Coalition and relationship building/collaborative partnerships
    • Board relations


  • Development
    • Donor communication, developing and recruiting a strong donor base
    • Fundraising: digital fundraising, major gifts, planned giving, etc.
    • Grant writing
    • Development tools


  • Communications
    • Communicating our messages/missions/changes/brand/trends to the public
    • Innovative tools for increasing community engagement and support
    • Photography
    • Effective digital communication
    • Public relations – crisis communication, building a PR presence in your community, media training
    • Humane education
  • Management
    • Volunteer management and retention
    • Opening doors between staff and volunteers
    • Building, leading and empowering strong teams (staff and volunteers)
    • Strong recruiting, hiring and on-boarding of volunteers and employees
    • Basic HR and Finance dos and don’ts
    • Effective manager development
    • Data, what to collect and how to use it
  • Field Services
    • Cruelty Investigations, chain of evidence, etc.
    • Return to owner from the field
    • Feral/community cats
    • Emergency response
    • Engagement and utilization of your community
    • Reaching the underserved
    • Proper equipment and handling
    • Disaster planning


  • Operations
    • Best practices – housing, length of stay, capacity for care, etc (dogs, cats, and/or small animals)
    • Innovative adoption programs
    • Disease management and transmission
    • Breakthroughs in enrichment and behavior management
    • Innovative uses for brick and mortar facilities
    • Working with a diverse clientele to achieve our goals


Audience The NEFHS Annual Conference drew over 350  animal welfare professionals and volunteers from all six New England States as well as around the U.S. and Canada last year. Our audience ranges from those new to the field to seasoned animal welfare professionals. When creating a proposal, speakers should have a specific audience in mind in terms of both role (animal care, adoptions, senior management, fundraising, etc.) and experience (new to more experienced).


To be considered as a speaker, programs must:

  • Be educational in nature; sales presentations will not be accepted.
  • Should be current and original (with appropriate credit/citations for content that is not your own).
  • Last 90 minutes, including an opportunity for questions and answers; may include consecutive related sessions.
  • Number of speakers need to be submitted with the proposal. The addition of presenters after the proposal has been received will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Lodging and Attendance

In order to encourage and support conference participation, we are committed to maintaining the lowest registration fee possible. Conference admission on the day you are speaking and conference meals are complimentary for invited speakers. This offer specifically excludes stand-alone programming and events. Lodging may be provided, as needed, the day of or before presenting and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


If you have any questions, please contact Program chair, Bonnie Martinolich, at

Thank you for your interest!


The New England Federation of Humane Societies Board