Scottish fundraisers, your top networking event is here!

Scottish fundraisers, your top networking event is here!

Guest Bloggers | 18 May 2018

How often have you heard that fundraising is a people to people business? It’s about relationships, communicating, and emotive compelling storytelling, nurturing and working in and through communities. However, recent months and years have seen a sharpened focus instead on process, compliance and risk especially with the advent of, dare I say it, GDPR!

By the time we reach our annual gathering in the autumn, how many training sessions and conferences will we have been to that focused on data protection and good practice? More than we’d like to but it’s time to move on from trepidation and realise that GDPR is simply about managing relationships really well. And the IoF Scottish Fundraising Conference is the place for you to manage the relationships that will make you a more confident, more connected and a better fundraiser.

For me, having attended and spoken at the conference a number of times, I find it’s the relationship building and networking that often has as much value as the content of the sessions. 

When someone asks a question in the Q&A that was on the tip of your tongue it’s a great feeling. I have found it’s worth going a little further, and making connections with those people. Connections made especially through problem sharing are really powerful learning experiences. Much more so because they last beyond the conference and become sounding boards, confidants, critical friends and a good source of coffee dates!


Gavin McLellan blog










Perhaps you won’t be there as part of a team, perhaps you’re thinking of coming but you’re on your own, maybe the only fundraiser in your small charity? Then the conference is exactly where you need to be. Matthew Middler and I will run a session that will show you the many things a sole fundraiser can do to solve their problems, sharpen into focus the right ideas, lighten the load, avoid burnout, and thrive towards success! It will be great to see many sole fundraisers there and connect up!

It’s not just the masterclasses and seminars, fantastic as these are, it’s also tapping in to the collective knowledge that will stay with you. Come to the conference with a view to learn through networking as well as listening and note taking. Think of it as a peer to peer learning convention. Look around the room and see who can help, and don’t forget to find who you can help too.

I have moved forward in my career at Scottish Fundraising Conferences, grasping nuggets of information not easily found in seminars and online but through real shared experience of fellow fundraisers.

Don’t worry about being on your own. Realising you’re not the only once facing that issue, and that there are solutions, aspects of practice and learning accessible through peer learning is the hidden value of being at conference. Come and be open, be yourself, and give and take.


Gavin McLellan MinstF, Director of Development at Jordanhill School

After 18 years in the charity sector, Gavin has found himself as a sole fundraiser for the first time. He has been a Fundraising Director at Aberlour Children’s Charity and also Riverside Museum Appeal, and has held head posts at Maggie’s Centres, John Muir Trust, Project Scotland and Christian Aid Scotland. Along with Matthew Middler, he will be presenting Sole Fundraising: Surviving and Succeeding at the Scottish Fundraising Conference 2018. 


View the Scottish Fundraising Conference 2018 programme and book your place


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