alo365's blog

Sharing thoughts & experiences

IoF National Convention 2011

This was my fourth year attending the convention, and I think it was the best year yet! It was amazing and I loved every minute! The convention kicked off on Sunday afternoon; setting up the stand and then off for drinks at the Windsor with a handful of fellow fundraisers.

Catching up with a few of the usual faces, I finally got to meet a number of twitterers in person, like @LucyInnovation@PreselySylwia, @Keanearrow, @Seidld, @RoxyMartinique, @NickinOxford and @AJLeon. Not to mention a number of folks who are not on Twitter, well not as yet anyway. It was great chatting to so many passionate, enthusiastic and inspirational fundraisers.

I found the last three days fantastic. Attended 6 sessions this year, around direct marketing and digital fundraising.  AJ’s session was extremely inspirational, being able to achieve such amazing results; with the use of digital fundraising, a few engaged supporters & an extremely influential blogger. As well as Lucy, speaking about innovation and her thoughts on how to think out side the boxes and pushing boundaries – you never quite know what you can create!

The blogging area was fantastic, even though I must admit, I did not spend a very long time there. Brilliant place to chill out and catch up with fellow delegates. Colorful bean bags, laptops and an internet connection – what more could you want when you have a few free moments. This year there was a much greater social media presence which was great, and brought the convention to life. Special thanks to Voice, Sylwia, Nick, Martyn and Steve who were tweeting, blogging and recording their hearts out.

There were a few subjects that seem to be in many conversations and sessions over the last few days:

  • Embrace failure and learn from it.
  • Innovation and pushing boundaries.
  • Provide supporters with choices.

Social media and technology have brought us many things, but it also means that change happens so quickly. The need to stay one step ahead and constantly be aware, that what worked a few months ago may not work now. Fundraising is getting tougher and the need for innovation is vital to every organisations long-term sustainability. I believe that there will be great things ahead; as more people focus on sharing and communications – we need to grab supporters attention, engage and involve them in the decision making process.

I can’t wait for next year, as each IoF National Convention seems to offer something new! Who know’s, we may just be in another venue that has a better wireless connection or presenting a new medium of fundraising.

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