Events Fundraising Conference 2018

Events Fundraising Conference 2018

Date: Monday 18th Jun 2018

Venue: Mary Ward House, 5 - 7 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9SN

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Whether it be growing a moustache, donning a Christmas jumper or running with zombies through mud, it feels like everywhere you look these days, a fundraising event is taking place. Although undeniably positive for the sector, especially in such challenging times, events fundraisers are faced with the challenges of an increasingly crowded marketplace. How can your charity break in to or increase their share of the market and how can your fundraising event stand out from the crowd yet also stand the test of time?

In the IoF’s biennial conference for event fundraisers, you will have the chance to find out! Get out of the office for an inspiring day, full of examples of best practice, case studies from award winning charities, large and small, on their record-breaking events and campaigns, expert insight and ideas in events fundraising and the chance to meet and network with your counterparts in other charities.

Headline sponsor:

Charity Checkout logo


  Opening remarks from the Chair

 Claire Pulford, Head of Events, Breast Cancer Care


 The unexpected turn of events

 Claire will provide her thoughts on the events fundraising landscape in the UK at the moment. Drawing on her own experience in the profession specifically at Cancer Research UK, where she managed the country’s top grossing events portfolio, and more recently at Save the Children, Claire will take a look at some of the key trends and priorities for the sector as well as providing insight into some of its emerging concerns and questions.  Claire will talk about the brilliant successes and epic fails she has experienced in event fundraising and consider why some events fly and others don’t connect with supporters.

 Claire Rowney, Executive Director of Fundraising & Marketing, Save the Children


 Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice Soap Box Derby

Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice Soap Box Derby was one of the most successful community events the children’s hospice has ever organised, delivering impressive results in terms of impact, engagement and fundraising. They invited 30 teams to create and bring their own karts to race over ramps, jumps and bumps on a 500 metre course at Clifton Park in Rotherham.

Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice smashed the financial and non-financial targets, raising £17,000 and attracting 3,500 spectators to the event on the day.  The Facebook event reached nearly a quarter of a million people through purely organic engagement. The team at the hospice devised new and innovative ways of engaging a wide, diverse mix of potential supporters, using a good mix of media, community fundraising, PR and digital platforms. All this was achieved on a limited budget and has potential to be replicated year on year.

The Soapbox Derby deservedly won the Best Use of Events at the National Fundraising Awards 2017

Helen Mower, Head of Fundraising, Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice


Walk It – One step at a time. Iteration in events fundraising

This session looks at how Crohn’s and Colitis UK took a supporter centric, data driven approach to turn a struggling “national walks” programme into the charities flagship mass participation event, raising £500,000 per annum.

Participants will leave the session with a simple toolkit to apply the same approach to their events fundraising portfolio to deliver sustainable growth and improved supporter satisfaction. 

Sam Afhim, Director of Income Generation, Crohn's and Colitis UK 


Coffee and networking


GDPR – Ten questions every events fundraiser wants to know

Three weeks after GDPR comes in to effect, Alex will consider ten burning questions that all events fundraising teams are dying to ask! Alex will also be taking all your questions from the floor. A session you just cannot afford to miss at a critical time!

Alex Jameson, Solicitor, Bates, Wells & Braithwaite


Who do mass participation events, why do they do them and what are the implications of this for charities?

In this session, Adrian Adams and John Tasker will present the results of some fascinating research they have recently done on audience segmentation and motivations for taking part in mass participation events.   Who takes part and why and what are the implications of these insights for charities?

John Tasker, Director, Massive Ltd

Adrian Adams, Head of Mass Participation Events, British Heart Foundation


Lunch break


The future of online fundraising for events

In this session, Chester and Peter will share their vision of the future of online fundraising for events. They will be exploring unique insights from an independent survey of 1,000 charitable donors, commissioned by Charity Checkout, the IoF’s Innovation Partner. They will analyse the results and suggest innovative ways that charities can raise more for their charity in light of the new findings.

Chester Mojay-Sinclare, Founder and CEO, Charity Checkout

Peter Suchet, Fundraising & Marketing Director, Honeypot Children’s Charity ( former Director of Saatchi and Saatchi)


How the RSPCA & Open transformed My Big Walkies by using digital to make it virtual!

Bringing together dogs and their owners to raise money for animals in need seemed like a sure fire hit, but after a couple of years of following the traditional event fundraising formula, the RSPCA’s national mass participation event ‘Big Walkies’ was proving too expensive.

Working together, Open and the RSPCA have transformed this product from a centrally organised series of events into ‘My Big Walkies’ - a self-organised, virtual mass participation challenge, promoted and fulfilled digitally. Across the country, Dog lovers and their pooches sign up to walk 10,000 steps a day throughout the month to raise money for the RSPCA.

This session will tell the story of how this event was successfully transformed from a nationwide physical event to a virtual one with digital at its core. Join this session to get tips on how capitalise on current digital trends and technologies to create success in mass participation fundraising.

Miranda Goodenough, Head of Innovation & Research Fundraising, RSPCA

Ali Walker Davies, Digital Strategy Director, Open


Stewarding supporters for maximum results. A large and small charity perspective

 Looking at the experience of Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity and Sparks, what can the two learn from each other, and how to bring the best of both together to benefit the supporter, improve giving and retention levels, and encourage loyalty.

Laura Savory  Head of Community Fundraising, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity


 Coffee break and networking


Gala Fatigue

As we all know too well, the Gala Dinner is a well-worn conduit to much-needed funds... but has its moment passed? Guests report ‘gala fatigue’ and senior management are increasingly pushing for ‘new ideas’ that still secure similar revenue.  In a constantly shifting fundraising landscape, Act IV will present on the merits and potential pitfalls of the traditional Gala Dinner; as well as sharing some examples of creative ideas designed to combat that lethargy and re-engage supporters. 

One of the charities who has moved away from the traditional gala format is Elephant Family, who will join ACT IV on stage, to share the innovative, immersive formats that they have explored, to give themselves a better chance of attracting major donors.

Rebecca King Lassman, Director, ACT IV

Jelena Panza, Special Events Director, Elephant Family


The Big Sleuth

The Big Sleuth was the UK’s biggest public art trail curated by Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity in collaboration with public art specialists, Wild in Art.

Spanning across the ten districts of Greater Birmingham, the near-100 mile trail made up of 100 sun bear sculptures welcomed over 671,000 visitors and generated almost £300,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

This case study session will focus on two areas which were absolutely paramount to the event’s success:

-how The Big Sleuth celebrated and promoted community engagement across Greater Birmingham.

- the recruitment of sponsors and corporate partners, including retail giants Next and Selfridges, along with Deloitte, Wesleyan, Lloyds Banking Group and Cadbury World to name a few. Sixty six corporate sponsorships were secured, led by headline sponsors Vodafone and London Midland (now West Midland Railway).

Speakers tbc


 Closing remarks from the Chair

 Claire Pulford, Head of Events, Breast Cancer Care


 Event close

Headline sponsor:

Charity Checkout logo


IoF Individual member or those working at an IoF Organisational member: £210

Never been an IoF memberAre you working for a charity/not-for-profit organisation? 

  • Book the conference AND get a year’s Individual membership benefits: £300

  • Or book the conference only at the not-for-profit rate: £305

Corporate/commercial conference rate: £435

Small charity rate (under £500,000 annual turnover) - £80. To secure your small charity rate please email with your charity number

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Events Team
Telephone: 02078401040


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