Caring and sharing – real fundraising knowledge

First day of the Institute of Fundraising’s London region conference and again my head is as full as my notebook.

Having previously attended the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention, I had very high expectations of the seminar content and delivery.

I’ve not been disappointed. Rob Woods’ opening plenary, ‘Get more of what you want’ set the tone with a motivational challenge to become great at what we do, by breaking out of old, personal beliefs.

He cited the example of a struggling major donor fundraiser, still believing (as his parents had told him at age six) that it was wrong to talk to strangers and that talking about money was impolite (familiar?). We were encouraged that once-appropriate beliefs could be changed. If we were prepared to be open and believe…

Being open to new beliefs was a great footing to step forward from. In the following Masterclass on Integration, led by Liz Tait (Battersea Dogs and Cats home), Lucy Gower (NSPCC), Nick Burne (Think) and Max du Bois (Spencer du Bois) I was particularly challenged about brand being coherent not consistent (no more brand police), replacing channel thinking with touchpoint thinking (actually I was more affirmed by this) and encouraged by the benefits that integration can bring (however painful getting there may be).

Afternoon seminars covering ‘Giving locally’ and the opportunities presented by community event fundraising continued to fill up pages in my notebook and I could stay up all night expounding upon the ideas I’ve come away with (except I should sleep before Day 2!), so I’ll get to my point.

There’s a big difference between an educational gathering of commercial organisations and the fundraising community – those that care, really share. The @IofLondon conference’s content is high quality and leading edge, delivered by experienced fundraising practitioners who know what they’re talking about. But more than that, it’s honest and non-competitive. People’s agendas aren’t self-serving, so the information that’s shared is real and credible.

And what did I take away from that? The truth. What really works and what doesn’t. Honest stories of real challenges, failures and successes – real information and practical experience that could deliver more successful fundraising in the future.

For charities and their beneficiaries, what gets better than that?

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