Request for Speakers – 2020

The New England Federation of Humane Societies (NEFHS) is currently seeking speakers for our 75th Annual Conference, taking place April 4 – April 6, 2020 at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire.


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 do not have a specific theme, but invite topics and ideas from all aspects of animal welfare.

Some suggested topics include:


  • 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



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



  • Communicating our messages/missions/changes/brand/trends to the public
  • Innovative tools for increasing community engagement and support
  • Photography
  • Effective digital ccommunication
  • Public relations – crisis communication, building a PR presence in your community, media training
  • Humane education


  • 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
  • Wildlife
  • Emergency response
  • Engagement and utilization of your community
  • Reaching the underserved
  • Proper equipment and handling
  • Disaster planning



  • 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 almost 500 animal welfare professionals and volunteers from almost 200 unique organizations representing 24 U.S. states 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.
  • 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.

Proposals can be submitted here and must be received by August 15, 2019 to be considered for the 2020 Conference. You will receive notification of the status of your proposal by November 2019.


If you have any questions, please contact the Program chair, Caitie Tomlinson, at

Thank you for your interest!


The New England Federation of Humane Societies Board