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FCA Conference 2020, September 24-27, 2020

NOTE!—We have postponed the conference until September 24-27 in light of the novel coronavirus situation. You can still register online today!

Join us in beautiful Austin, Texas this fall. The conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. All programming takes place at the hotel, where we will be staying:

 6121 N Interstate Hwy 35, Austin, TX 78752 .

[Hotel sleeping room booking information will be linked on this page shortly; thank you for your patience. Rooms will be $119 per night, plus tax. You can request a room with two beds if you wish to share costs with a roommate.]


Meals—Full conference registration includes a buffet breakfast and lunch Friday and Saturday. One-day registration includes breakfast and lunch the day you attend. The registration form has space for you to tell us your special dietary needs.

Transportation—A taxi or Uber/Lyft from the airport will be your best bet. The hotel does not have an airport shuttle. 

Scholarships—We offer scholarships of up to half off registration, with priority given to delegates of FCA affiliates who have not attended the last two conferences. Scholarship funds are limited, and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. To apply or ask questions, write nastassia@funerals.org


Programming will run from at 8:45 am and run until about 5 pm, Friday, September 25, and Saturday, September 27. A detailed schedule with specific times will be announced later. 

Thursday and Sunday are your “travel days”. You can check-in and pick up your materials from 12 pm to 5 pm Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday and Saturday (for those attending only one day). 

There will be a welcome reception Thursday at 6 pm with complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. 

Dinner on Friday will be on your own. Our closing banquet will be held Saturday night (optional, and with a separate charge.)

We offer a mix of plenary sessions and small-group workshops and classes. When you click over to register, you’ll be able to choose a number of workshops. This isn’t set in stone, and you’re welcome to change your mind when you arrive. We ask for your preferences ahead of time to avoid as many scheduling conflicts as possible. Please remember that the program may change.

Plenary Sessions

The State of the FCA, a round-up of the big picture issues facing our federation—executive director Josh Slocum

Financing the Future of FCA, a conversation about fundraising at the local and national level—executive director Josh Slocum and Nora Menkin, Executive Director of Peoples Memorial Association and the Co-Op Funeral Home.

The Grief Dialogues, short plays and audience discussion led by playwright and essayist Elizabeth Coplan


The Urge to Merge: how three struggling local FCA groups combined into one stronger organization—led by Rebecca Taylor and Sara Williams of the new FCA of North Carolina

Going to the Capital: how to lobby your state’s regulatory agencies and lawmakers for better protections for grieving consumers—Jim Bates, FCA of North Texas

Tell Everyone in Town: how to get your FCA’s best speaker invited to talk up your mission to allied organizations—Nancy Petersen, FCA of Greater Kansas City

You’ve Already Got One of Those?: online sharing of presentations, educational articles, fundraising tips, and more. Chances are another FCA has already done the work, so why reinvent the wheel?—Nancy Walker, executive director, FCA of Central Texas

Making Your Newsletter Make Money: a shorter, peppier publication that thanks donors with the good news stories of the people you helped is not only more fun to write, it actually brings in more money—Ruth Bennett, FCA President

Fundraising in a box—a one-year plan: Raising more money for your affiliate is easier than you think. All it requires is a commitment to asking your members with a compelling letter, thanking them and reporting on the good work their gift has done in your newsletter, and repeating the cycle. You’ll leave with everything you need to do this and automate it. Put the work in first, and the rest is a breeze. —Josh Slocum

Your Ducket List: how Peoples Memorial Association brings people in the door with short, focused workshops on getting your end-of-life affairs in good order—Nora Menkin, managing director, Peoples Memorial Association

Essential Basics: How to do a funeral home price survey, the most important tool we give our members and the public. Examples and step by step instructions will be offered. —Ginny Farney, FCA of Greater Kansas City

Advance Medical Directives for Dementia: As we age, many of us are concerned about what medical care we will want, and what care we will not want if dementia strikes and we’re no longer able to communicate. Join attorney and past FCA President Lamar Hankins, who is offering a dementia-specific advance medical directive with a range of choices. You won’t find this discussed or offered in many other places.

Community Funeral Care: What would it look like if we went back to older, more community and neighborhood-centered approaches to funerals? What if we could help people care for their dead—on their own, or with professional help—while caring for the survivors too? Join Sarah Jane Lambring of both FCA of North Texas and the National Home Funeral Alliance to talk about how NHFA and FCA could begin such a project.