Speaking to fundraisers around the world is something I love doing. Finding out the similarity and diversity of experience in different countries is fascinating, and helping them develop their skills is incredibly rewarding.
That is why I was delighted to be invited to Kiev last week by the Ukrainian Institute of Professional Fundraising to talk to participants in their Professional Fundraising Course.
The brief for my sessions had been fairly broad, to talk about any area of fundraising from individuals, but also give some really solid examples of good practice and innovative fundraising from around the world. Bearing this in mind, we focused on the following areas:
- How changes in wealth distribution, demographics and technology are affecting fundraising.
- How to effectively tell the story of your organisation, using examples such as the extremely powerful video from the Children’s Medical Research Institute.
- How to engage with, and ask for support from major donors.
- Examples of excellence in fundraising from individuals, such as Movember, The Ice Bucket Challenge, Amnesty’s use of virtual reality to bring the reality of the work they do to their face to face fundraising and the brilliant Misereror Interactive poster.
It was a real privilege to work with a group of enthusiastic fundraisers, who are determined to make a difference in the world. For some, this was a whole new approach, while others have been successfully fundraising for some time; in either case, all were keen to learn and develop.
It was wonderful too, to have some time to look around Kiev. Thanks to my personal tour guide, Olga, I was taken to places like Maidan, the square in the centre of the city where pro-democracy protests erupted just two years ago, the medieval St Sophia’s Cathedral, and the Soviet “Mother Motherland” statue commemorating Kiev’s part in the second world war. It culminated with a personal tour around the fascinating Book and Printing museum, which hosted the training, by their Director, who is herself a graduate of the Professional Fundraising course.