Three crucial days in my 2018 calendar – here’s why

Matthew Cull convention 2017

Guest Bloggers | 13 December 2017

Matthew Cull, Deputy Director of Fundraising at Blue Cross and IoF Convention Board Member, expounds on the Fundraising Convention and how necessary it is for fundraisers at every stage in their career.

I have been going to the IoF Fundraising Convention for longer than I can remember, but what is very clear in my mind is that feeling I come away with every year. I return to work feeling energised, excited and inspired.

Convention is a very special three days. No matter what stage you’re at in your career, the range of sessions is remarkable, from a beginners’ guide to major donors, to best practice in direct marketing, to coping with change, to developing trends in digital fundraising, to lessons in managing a team. The list is endless, and it’s developed and delivered by the best in our sector.

That’s why I think it’s so important to see Fundraising Convention as a key date in the diary for a fundraiser’s personal development and learning, and why I’d encourage others to make sure their teams plan to attend and get the most out of this great opportunity.

If you are new to an area of fundraising, then spending a day in your own subject matter or track is invaluable. Each day will offer sessions on technique, overcoming challenges or lessons learnt by other charities. You will hear from experts in your particular field, offering knowledge and insight that you can immediately adopt and put into action in your own role.

If you are an experienced specialist then you can spend the day learning about other areas you have less knowledge of. This can perhaps help you decide how you want to develop your career. You will hear from other charities, large and small. All of a sudden, you may be inspired by a cause that you had never heard of before or by a fundraiser who helps you see things differently.  

All of a sudden, you may be inspired by a cause that you had never heard

of before or by a fundraiser who helps you see things differently.

This year, convention is looking at several different themes including diversity and collaboration. As always, convention will challenge you to think differently, to reassess, to experiment. You are guaranteed to come away with new ideas.

Convention broadens your mind and broadens your outlook. Fundraisers are clever people and only too willing to share their triumphs and failures. There is always something to learn. To be the best fundraiser you can be, you need to keep up to date about best practice and be continually creative – and convention will always deliver just that.

Matthew Cull, Deputy Director of Fundraising, Blue Cross and IoF Fundraising Convention Board member

Registrations for Fundraising Convention will open at the end of January 2018. Convention will be held 2 - 4 July 2018. 


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