News & Insight

3rd July 2019

We were at IoF’s Fundraising Convention this week – highlights from day one


Annalise Pask, Head of Client Development at Philanthropy Company, shares her highlights from this year’s IoF Fundraising Convention 2019

At Philanthropy Company, all of our team have come from major donor fundraising roles, and we have the privilege of sharing our expertise with a wide range of clients across the charity sector.  This week, we were delighted to attend the IoF’s annual Convention. A valuable part of our collective insight is to take a step back from the front line to widen our perspective and learn from other expert practitioners.

As well as catching up with old colleagues and making new contacts in the buzzing corridors and sunny terraces of the Barbican Centre, there was a packed programme of speaker sessions.  A few highlights from day one included:

  • A dynamic presentation from Michelle Stein (Director of Philanthropy & Partnerships at The Children’s Society) and Anna Sheinman (Freelance Fundraising Consultant) on being “Major Donor ready” – complete with bubbles, sweets and power stances!  There were some thought provoking points on shifting your mindset as a fundraiser, considering the opportunity you are offering instead of the ask you are making of your potential supporter; how to make a bigger impact in that critical conversation by finding a common language and even creating a multi-sensory experience.
  • A panel discussion on developing future fundraising talent and leaders.  Paul Amadi (Chief Supporter Officer at British Red Cross), Kate Collins (CEO at Teenage Cancer Trust), Joe Jenkins (Director of Supporter Impact and Income at The Children’s Society) and Mike McGrath (Head Of Partnerships at NSPCC) talked through the challenge of identifying, growing and retaining talent in existing teams, which is so pertinent in a sector that sees high churn and a perceived shortage in the talent pipeline for many charities.
  • Campaign Director for The Scouts and Philanthropy Company Associate, Sarah Jane O’Neill was at maximum room capacity for her lively and interactive session on major donor fundraising (“A dark art or the art of being a human being?”) in which she demonstrated how team members of all levels and across any organisation can feel empowered to be a lead fundraiser.
  • A Q&A session shining the spotlight on how corporate fundraisers can generate new business in a tough economic climate.  Anna Cooper (Head of High Value Partnerships at Versus Arthritis), Sarah McCullough (Deputy Director of Fundraising at London’s Air Ambulance), Mohini Raichura-Brown (Head of Business Development at Unicef UK) and Hannorah Lee (Director of Partnerships & Philanthropy at Age UK) covered a range of angles including how to build corporate networks outside of the traditional Trustee address book; leading with the content your charity can offer instead of focusing on “the ask” and the importance of getting the purpose and execution of cultivation events right.
  • Matt Smith (Legacy Manager at London’s Air Ambulance) gave some key facts, figures and practical advice in his crash course in legacy fundraising.  With a UK legacy market worth of over £3bn and counting, and one of Matt’s previous teams recording ROI of 1:27, it is clearly an area to which all charities should give serious thought and energy.

Should you wish to have an exploratory, free and confidential discussion regarding any aspect of your fundraising strategy please get in touch.

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