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Community Connection – Melissa Hill Dees

Community Connection is a series of blog posts from our members about why we are volunteering and helping Nonprofit Dreamin become a reality.


Melissa Hill DeesMelissa Hill Dees is a founding partner of HandsOn Connect Cloud Solution. She is the founder of Nonprofit Dreamin.

So why Nonprofit Dreamin? I mean, is that just what the world needs right now…ANOTHER virtual conference? I don’t know about you but I’ve spent more time in front of a digital camera talking to people in the last 8 months than I have spent talking to people, ever. “Zoom fatigue” is a fact and I’ve never really enjoyed “talking heads” at the best of times, so I decided to invest my resources and help launch Nonprofit Dreamin for these reasons:

  1. It’s about connections. Connections is how Nonprofit Dreamin began and the integral part of what we want to provide participants. The idea of Nonprofit Dreamin transpired during a’s Coffee Chat with Anne Young and Akash Mishra. Akash, who leads the Nonprofit User Group in New Delhi, answered, “let’s do it!” Akash and I originally met right when the pandemic started at the Nonprofit Virtual Social Hour that I host. We sent a call out for volunteers and the response was overwhelming! Yet another connection from the Trailblazer Community and one of the founders of YeurDreamin, Paul Ginsberg, responded to the call. These serendipitous conversations are one of our goals for Nonprofit Dreamin attendees.
  2. It’s centered around content. Think of Frans Johansson (Diversity Drives Innovation), Dan Pallotta (The Way We Think About Charity) and Marc Benioff (Business Is the Greatest Platform for Change). I am talking about innovative content- learning and thought leadership that is specifically relevant to nonprofits that can viscerally change how you meet your mission goals. Nonprofit Dreamin wants to share new ideas and new perspectives to streamline technology and new ways to interact on the human level that you can take back to your organization, implement immediately, and realize the increase in impact in a matter of weeks or months. My personal mantra is, “Anything that we can automate for a nonprofit frees up time to do things that can’t be automated.”
  3. It’s about synergy. We all know that two brains are better than one. Virtually dreamin together extends collaborative runways that might not otherwise exist because of funding, time constraints, or geography. has customers all over the world. Have you met your counterparts in Asia, Europe or South America? Are they leveraging or configuring NPSP in a useful and unique way? Do all food banks, foundations, or libraries have common challenges? Perhaps an innovation in Salesforce or an app or a new thought process can alleviate that pain point for your sector? We’re all working harder to do more with less. Nonprofit Dreamin wants to provide a space for you to work smarter by collaborating with your peers.

Together with the organizing committee, the sponsors, the speakers, and the attendees, Nonprofit Dreamin can provide a more measurable impact than any of us ever dreamed. That is definitely our mission! Join us.

I started the most recent iteration of my life’s work six years ago. As I was working for a small nonprofit, I recognized that innovation is truly needed in the nonprofit world so I decided to go back to school and work towards a Masters in Social Innovation. About the same time, I was offered the opportunity to join the HandsOn Connect team in the Salesforce ecosystem. What a great combination to amplify my impact and make the world a better place!

With huge thanks to our sponsors