Fundraising Convention…So Far…

It goes without say, if you’re a fundraiser or have anything to do with fundraising, the Fundraising Convention is the place to be this week. And, once again, IFC is proud to be sponsoring the volunteer t-shirts; so if you need any help, look out for the lovely folks wearing a red t-shirt, who will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

Monday saw the battle of the fundraising giants, with our very own IFC Chair, John Baguley and IFC CEO, Bill King going head to head as their sessions ran at the same time. Bill’s session, If You Don’t Ask, focused on major donor fundraising, whilst in his session, The Next Big Thing, John trekked to the frontiers of fundraising here and overseas to see what is approaching and where it is being tested. The session was well received, and was a great way to launch our competition The Next Big Thing, where we are asking people for their next big fundraising idea, with the winner receiving free consultancy from the IFC.

Also from day one, Craig Linton the Fundraising Detective talked about the power of virtual reality and the success Amnesty has had in showing people the problems faced in Syria. Carol Akiwumi, trainer and consultant chair of the Black Fundraisers Group  pointed out the lack of diversity in both the conference and the fundraising profession, and thought how much more we could raise if all that missed talent was incorporated into our fundraising teams. Amanda Horton Martin from Comic Relief talked out what had and had not worked for them during Red Nose Day and showed how they had marshalled fundraisers by making giving instant and very easy.

On to day two of the 2017 Fundraising Convention, and another excellent line up of speakers. Mike Barry, Director of Plan A at Marks and Spencer ran an excellent session on the future for sustainable corporate partnerships. His session mapped the evolution of M&S’ approach to responsible business and examined the business case for embedding sustainability as a change management programme across the entire organisation. He explained M&S’ vision for sustainability which covers three areas: their ambition to become a zero waste business, to help 10 million people live happier and healthier lives and to contribute to the transformation of 1000 communities. His message to fundraisers was clear. His business is facing enormous, quantum change and he indicated that the fundraising world was likely to face similar, dramatic change and that our world would be unrecognisable in 10 years’ time.

The afternoon plenary from Cleve Jones roused a standing ovation. Cleve Jones is an American human rights activist, author and lecturer. He joined the gay liberation movement in the early 1970s and was mentored by pioneer LGBT activist Harvey Milk. He then cofounded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and founded the NAMES Project AIDS memorial quilt, one of the largest community arts projects. His ‘never give up’ appeal for action roused the fundraising community across the Barbican Hall.

Now time for Day three…don’t forget to grab a selfie with a volunteer, tag @Group_IFC and post on Twitter and be in with a chance to win a bottle of fizz. Also, make sure you enter The Next Big Thing, you could win some free consultancy from IFC. And finally, look out for the Fundraising TV film crew today…filming live from the Convention!