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.
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.
Innovation is, rightly, high on the agenda for many charities at the moment. The need for the services and support provided has never been greater but neither has the challenge of raising the funds required to provide them.
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.
It’s a boom time for UK philanthropy, driven by new and repeat million pound donors. What a time to be a major donor fundraiser! But it isn’t always easy when you’re dealing with some of the world’s richest and most influential people. They have expectations and we need to make sure we deliver them. We need to know who to approach and how to approach them so that we can keep up with one of the fastest growing elements of fundraising activity.
‘An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest’, so said the great American statesman and inventor Benjamin Franklin. Had the IoF existed in Franklin’s 18th century, he could easily have been talking about Fundraising Convention.
No two partnerships are the same, nor should they be, and for me this is one of the best things about working in corporate partnerships. There are however some key strategies which are clearly evident in the most successful partnerships out there and which delegates will have the chance to discuss and find out more about at this year’s Fundraising Convention.
For me, the topic of diversity and the broad range of under-represented groups in fundraising really strikes a chord. I’m proud to work for Scope, a charity that works incredibly hard to get disabled people into, and staying in, employment. I'm also proud to be on the board of the IoF Fundraising Convention where there will be a focus on how we can all make the sector more diverse.
Since Autistica won two IoF National Fundraising Awards last year, there has been a palpable sense among the team that we can achieve things that appear impossible for a charity our size – we have the proof that we can do it!
We felt honoured at Crisis to win the IoF National Fundraising Awards 2017, Fundraising Charity of the Year and Best Individual Giving Campaign. Externally, it was a stamp of quality that built trust and confidence among our supporters. Internally, we saw the award as validation of some of our core organisational values.