There are networking opportunities a plenty at Fundraising Convention, as fundraisers from far and wide come together and share ideas and learn from one another. But do you dread walking into a room full of strangers tasked with networking? Why should you bother? Where do you start? What can you do to get the most out of it? Here are my top tips for making the most of networking at Convention.
In the summer of 2017, the 40-odd volunteers who operate the Pitlochry Station Bookshop were thrilled to learn that Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) – one of the six charities we support – had nominated us as Voluntary Fundraising Group of the Year in the Scottish Fundraising Awards. Imagine our excitement when we subsequently learned that we were on a short list of three to win the award.
In 2017, I moved from Stirling University to work for Home-Start Glasgow South, a small local charity. I knew attending Scottish Fundraising Conference would be really valuable, particularly as I settled into the new job. Money was tight, so knowing volunteers could attend for free, I threw my hat in the ring.
Navigating GDPR has been at times confusing, frustrating and stressful but the good news is that it challenges fundraisers to push innovation further and seize opportunities. What does the future hold now that we have pulled ourselves over the start line of GDPR?
The world of digital fundraising and campaigns is changing – and changing very quickly. Fundraising using the models, techniques and channels we’ve come to rely on (from direct mail to telemarketing and everything in between) is becoming increasingly difficult. The safe shores of yesterday no longer look so hospitable.
If we look at the most commonly used phrases in our sector at the moment, I’d hazard a guess that ‘donor experience’ must come a very close second to ‘GDPR’. We’ve had the Commission on the Donor Experience, we’ve got a new IoF Donor Experience Special Interest Group setting up the Donor Experience Project, we have donor experience teams and ‘donor experience’ is appearing in more and more job descriptions.
When Neil Skene received the runner-up Excellence in Fundraising Award at the Scottish Fundraising Conference 2017, everyone at North East Sensory Services was so proud of his achievements and the contribution he and his team had made in the work of NESS. He lives our strapline of 'Achieving Independence for Blind and Deaf People'.
How do we go about building more impactful corporate charity partnerships? This was the question at the heart of the IoF Corporate Partnership Conference. Through practical examples of successful partnerships and open discussion, the speakers all highlighted the need to focus on engagement, breaking down silos and broadening conversations.
I’ve always loved a good awards do and the National Fundraising Awards has long been a highlight on that front. When you’ve got a passion for fundraising and all that it achieves, it’s fantastic to be at an event that celebrates the best teams, campaigns and most inspirational individuals.
When we put out a call for content on the Community, Events and Volunteers track at Convention, we were overwhelmed by the many talented people willing to talk openly about how they work, what they tried, how they’ve adapted and innovated, what they’ve learnt – and gift that knowledge for you to learn from too.