Highlights from the 2016 RiF Conference

Highlights from the 2016 RiF Conference

25 November 2016

The 2016 RiF Conference was our biggest and most inspiring conference to date, with almost 250 attendees joining us at the Barbican Centre on Monday 21 November.

The RiF Conference kicked off bright and early as we welcomed our biggest ever audience to the Barbican Centre, with time for a coffee and a catch up before the conference started at 9:30am. 

This year RiF members could follow what was happening at our annual conference via the hashtag #RiFConf2016 which gained over 130 tweets from 18 Twitter users throughout the day.

Morning Plenary

We began with a morning plenary session given by Theresa Lloyd, one of the most respected figures in UK Philanthropy. In her address, Ensuring research adds value to your organization (and the organization realizes it!), Theresa showed that research has a crucial role to play in the successful growth of philanthropic investment. She discussed how researchers should take the lead in understanding and raising awareness of the entrepreneurial mind-set and how wealth is created.

Session One

In Session One, we had four great workshops to choose from:

International Research Methods for Europe and Beyond with Veronique Chereau (WWF), Jo Carr (King’s College) and Chris Carnie (Factary)
Moves Management: Launching and Running a Successful System with Morna Black(Glasgow University)
Un-packing Companies House with Oliver Taylor (Manchester University)
Data Protection with Victoria Cetinkaya (ICO)


This year we increased our lunch break to an hour and a half so we had lots of time for networking with sector peers, getting to know our conference sponsors, and attending the RiF Annual General Meeting. We also had a Cultural Sector Meeting with Julie Baker, Chair of the IoF's Cultural Sector Network Research Sub-Committee; and a chance to 'ask the experts' about analytics (Ben Rymer), prospecting (Deb Darling), data protection (Laura Owen), and mentoring (Martin Mina).

Session Two

Session Two saw four more fascinating workshops including a speaker all the way from the US:

International Prospecting Methods with Danielle Carroll (Tate)
Finding Hidden Major Donors through Modelling with Bill Jacobs (Analytical Ones, USA)
Rainmakers,Unicorns and Bankers: Prospects in the Finance Sector with Tony Duggan(Cambridge University)
APRA Bursary Winner led by Hannah Bishop (The Art Fund) with a panel of APRA 2016 attendees

Session Three

Our final session of the day included a workshop from our RiF Conference Officer, Jason, as well as guidance on data protection, due diligence and professional development:

How to get what you want and improve your impact with Jason Briggs (Sheffield University)
Due Diligence and Ethical Reviews with Hannah Clarke (Imperial)
Becoming a Research Consultant with Matt Ide (Consultant)
Data Protection with Victoria Cetinkaya (ICO)

Afternoon Plenary

2016 RiF Conference Afternoon PlenaryFor our afternoon plenary, we invited a panel of industry experts for a lively discussion on The Future of Prospect Research. The Panel was chaired by Emily Drayson (former RiF Treasurer and freelance prospect research consultant) and featured Deb Darling (Director of Prospect Development at Imperial College London), Dan Fluskey (Head of Policy at the Institute of Fundraising), and Nicola Williams (Director of Research at Factary). They explored the challenges and opportunities facing our profession and welcomed questions from the audience on GDPR, charity registers, social media and stewardship.

Feedback & Resources

We thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone who was able to attend the conference and once again we left feeling inspired by all of our wonderful speakers, colleagues and sponsors. We've already had some fantastic feedback but we would love to hear from all of you. We will soon be sending out a conference survey and the presentation slides to all delegates, and look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!

For those who did not manage to get a ticket for the conference, all slides from the day will be available to purchase from 5 December, for a cost of £20. To purchase the conference slides, please contact Helen Hays (Helen.Hays@princes-trust.org.uk).