Vu is an internationally-known keynote speaker and nonprofit leader who has given over 200 presentations, virtually and in-person. He talks about a variety of subjects: Nonprofit funding, challenges, the Overhead Myth, the Sustainability Myth, equity, diversity, the Nonprofit Hunger Games, collaboration, collective impact, what lessons we can learn from the pandemic, community engagement, organizational culture, why we are nonprofit professionals are so awesome, how to stave off burnout, lessons nonprofits can learn from various TV shows, etc. He brings humor, insight, and usually pictures of baby animals to every keynote he gives. If you like blunt and provocative insights along with humor and pictures of baby animals, Vu may be the speaker for you.
Yeah, he pretty much sounds exactly like his writings. Below are a few testimonials that he did not make up at all. If you are interested in having Vu speak, please contact his booking agent at NWBspeaking@gmail.com (also CC vu@nonprofitAF.com, just to make sure)
“Having read many of Vu’s blogs, I had high expectations for his keynote presentation. I hoped for something funny, thought provoking, candid and compelling. Vu did not disappoint. He addressed themes of nonprofit finances, equity, grantmaking, and sustainability. Vu described each of these topics with humor while sharing compelling arguments for change in the nonprofit sector. The nonprofit audience left with new stories and strategies for addressing some of the most ingrained challenges in our work. This is a keynote that we’ll be talking about for a good long time!”
“You brought meaningful hilarity and celebrated boldness to our gathering. People are still talking about the firehose analogy, and the recording of your talk is now required watching for new leaders joining Feeding America’s grants-making team!”
“We could not have been more thrilled with having Vu as our keynote speaker at the Excelerate Success Partner’s Meeting! As we work to advance equity in Spokane, his insights could not have come at a more perfect time. His presentation mixed his dry and subtle humor with topics that can be challenging to talk about but it gave us the nudge we needed and the context in which to have those conversations. I don’t think anyone in the room will forget the adorable, fluffy animal pictures that made the presentation light and I think, moving forward, we are going to have a few less ‘askholes‘ in our community. Thanks Vu!”
“Vu was a keynote speaker at our biennial conference of funders and nonprofits. Attendees from both communities were incredibly excited to hear from him, and he did a fantastic job of tackling some serious topics for our field (equity, the overhead myth, trickle-down community engagement) with a lot of humor and goodwill. Instead of the post-lunch doldrums you often encounter at conferences, people were energized and laughing out loud. Even better, Vu was able to challenge us without leaving the group feeling defensive. Attendees RAVED about his talk in the evaluations: ‘Vu Le was hilarious and had some amazing points. One of the best keynotes at a conference that I have ever seen.’ ‘Vu was wonderful. He was entertaining but his message was so meaningful and right on target. And he was such a good speaker for after lunch!’
“Vu was the keynote speaker for the annual Alliance of Eastside Agencies (AEA) awards luncheon. Response to his speech was overwhelmingly positive. Guests told us that ‘…He really tied everything together well, made me reflect on the work I’ve done in the nonprofit sector and why I’ll continue to work in it. It was great to have someone present a serious topic with some humor’….’That speech was NOT dry’…’very enjoyable and to the point!’…’Vu Le is awesome.’ ”
“You know Vu from Nonprofit With Balls [now Nonprofit AF], which deftly combines humor with a critical examination of the foibles of the charity sector? Well his live presentation contains the same mixture of jokes and rage-inducing insights. We asked Vu to talk about data and social justice and he challenged us while also lightening the mood with his creative presentation. You should have Vu at your next conference!”
“After reading Vu Le’s blog for over a year, I wrote to ask if he might be willing to visit Ontario, Canada to speak at our First Annual Chatham-Kent Nonprofit Network Spring Conference. Vu accepted our invitation …. and he did not disappoint! In the final months leading up to his visit, Vu agreed to come early and also host a ‘fireside chat’ at our United Way Annual General Meeting. As a long-time veteran in the nonprofit, charitable sector, I was blown away by Vu’s keen understanding of the realities of work in this sector – and his refreshing and humorous way of describing various scenarios known only to those of us who live this work on a daily basis. Vu not only establishes a rapid rapport with the readers of his weekly blog but also with those he meets in person – whether it is in one-on-one conversations or with small and large audiences. He is personable, engaging, and extremely knowledgeable about many of the challenges facing the nonprofit sector. And he is ready to share counsel, wise beyond his years … even with old dogs who can benefit from new tricks! If you’re looking for an opportunity to be inspired and encouraged in this messy work of changing lives and building community, I would urge you to invite Vu to join you. You’ll be in for a real treat!”
“To be quite honest, we went with our gut, having never personally heard Vu speak, when we contacted him about joining us in NC. The planning committee had devoured his weblog musings and writings, and were quite impressed with his voice and delivery. But, being a great writer and a great public speaker do not often go easily hand in hand. Vu is definitely both. Most definitely. North Carolina is one of the most philanthropic states in the nation – home to the first community foundation, state university, women’s college, and arts council. Philanthropy is part of our DNA. We wanted a keynote that would inspire, challenge and affirm our profession, and be humorous! That’s a tough mix to create, but Vu exceeded our expectations. Attendees were extremely complimentary. One attendee commented, ‘I don’t usually come to the AFP conference, but I decided to attend this one to hear from Vu Le. I was not disappointed. Tremendous job.’ Many remarked that this year’s conference, because if the keynote, was the best one ever.
“I expected awesome and Vu Le didn’t disappoint. Cause Camp attendees said, ‘Super Entertaining! Energetic and engaging.’ Beyond his delivery style, Vu allows nonprofit professionals to think about their relationship with donors in a creative way. And baby animal presentation slides took the scariness out of creating a culture change in a nonprofit. We’d have him back to Cause Camp again for sure.”
“Vu Le was our Guest Speaker at our Member Connect host by Experience Matters in Phoenix, AZ. Vu was a fantastic speaker! It was refreshing to hear a speaker who ‘goes against the grain.” I liked his sense of humor, good insight and very entertaining. His talk was so timely…he focused on the value of volunteers and the need for volunteer coordinators. I agree whole heartedly with the fact that we should at least treat volunteers as kindly as donors! I believe Experience Matters made a great choice in inviting Vu Le to speak with all of us!”
“I asked Vu Le to be a keynote speaker at the Association of Fundraising Professionals Arizona State Conference. We could not have been more pleased! His energy and humor are engaging and of equal importance, his messages are relevant, timely and impactful. We asked him to talk about cultural diversity and his speech entitled, ‘We Are All Unicorns. Diversity and Cultural Competency in Fundraising’ was a hit. We received great feedback from attendees and would absolutely invite him back. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.”
“Vu Le was one of the featured speakers at MANY’s Connection event, which invited thought leaders from the youth service field to share their perspectives on current issues and trends. Vu spoke about the pressing overhead costs that most nonprofits face, but which are rarely covered by funders. He explored ways to communicate about this situation and effect change, and his presentation was filled with humor, honesty, and insight. Our attendees overwhelmingly named him as one of their favorite speakers in post-event evaluations, calling him ‘brilliant,’ ‘engaging,’ and ‘inspiring.’ One attendee commented, ‘He was so funny while making really excellent points!’ Another pointed out that he ‘obviously has a knack for engaging the audience with humor.’ We were thrilled and honored to have him as one of our speakers, and we would be delighted to have the chance to work with him again.”
“Vu was a remarkable speaker. We had Vu come in as a keynote speaker for the Network of Volunteer Leaders (NOVL) Volunteer Leader conference. Our theme was Creating a Culture of Change. Vu spoke about his experience as an executive director and the trials and tribulations of being in nonprofit work. The majority of the people in attendance are in the nonprofit sector, so his insights hit home for all. Vu, however, also was a great get for us because of his sense of humor. I asked him to basically do three things; 1) speak about non profit work 2) acknowledge to the crowd that we’re all working hard, that this job can be difficult, and that we need to strive towards excellence and continued success 3) Please be funny. The majority of the praise in the feedback form was about Vu’s humor and ability to entertain. Many of the people leaving were overheard retelling each other some of Vu’s stories and quips about growing up in America as well as acclimating to the nonprofit world.”