The Convention blog aims to bring you some exciting, refreshing and insightful content, straight from the speakers themselves. If you are a speaker at Fundraising Convention, and wish to get involved, please contact Alice

Terence Lovell

The Bigger Picture: The importance of people, retaining talent, fundraising's future and more

: Terence Lovell

Terence Lovell, who helped put together the Bigger Picture track at this year's Fundraising Convention, explains how the sessions will help prepare you for a future of fundraising and respond to a changing world.

Marina Jones

Trusts: Lessons from the movies, impact measurement, storytelling and more

: Marina Jones

Marina Jones highlights her favourite sessions for trust fundraisers at this year's Fundraising Convention, both from the trusts track and elsewhere.

Damian Chapman

Partnerships: Collaboration, corporate intelligence, maximising suppliers and more

: Damian Chapman

Damian Chapman looks at three tips of his favourite sessions at this year's Fundraising Convention, three tips for making the most of your time there, and three reasons why you should book now!

Esther Wakeman

Personal Effectiveness: Leadership, diversity, imposter syndrome and more

: Esther Wakeman

Esther Wakeman looks at what the big topics are in this year's personal effectiveness track, and highlights the sessions that she is most excited about.

Roger Lawson

Individual Giving: Supporter experience, donor acquisition, understanding donors and more

: Roger Lawson

Individual giving has seen many changes over the last few years, but this year's track is full of insights into how to navigate them, says Roger Lawson – one of the board members who designed the Individual Giving track.

Nikki Bell

Community, Events and Volunteering: Student fundraisers, events participants, Facebook and more

: Nikki Bell

Nikki Bell talks about the highlights of the community, events and volunteering track in this video and explains why these areas are so relevant for your fundraising success in 2019.

Jonathan Levy

Legacy Fundraising: Legacies from scratch, talking about death, debating the big questions and more

: Jonathan Levy

Despite offering fantastic returns, legacy fundraising doesn't get the respect it deserves, says Jonathan Levy – one of the board members who designed the Legacy Fundraising track.

James Gadsby-Peet

Digital: Practical skills, digital transformation, the latest tools and more

: James Gadsby-Peet

James Gadsy-Peet gives the low-down on the sessions taking place in the digital track at this year's Fundraising Convention.

Amy Sweeting

Philanthropy: Motivations to give, the millennial generation, trustee involvement and more

: Amy Sweeting

Amy Sweeting, one of the board members who designed the Philanthropy track, explains why being ‘major donor ready’ is more important now than ever before.

Liz Tait

Why I am making sure to attend Fundraising Convention alongside my team

: Liz Tait

Liz Tait, Director of Fundraising at Teenage Cancer Trust, says that fundraisers are key to her charity’s future success and that their development is crucial, and says that is one of many reasons that she will be attending Fundraising Convention alongside her team.

Sarah Eite

Why Fundraising Convention is the place to be for freelancers and consultants

: Sarah Eite

Sarah Eite explains why attending Fundraising Convention is so valuable to her, in her role as a fundraising consultant.

Gemma Rooke

'Last year I received a RAISE bursary and this year I am speaking at Fundraising Convention'

: Gemma Rooke

Gemma Rooke has been a fundraiser in the arts and culture sector for six years; she is currently Development Manager for Z-arts. She was a RAISE bursary recipient last year which meant she could attend Fundraising Convention for the first time, which led to her applying to speak at this year's Fundraising Convention.

Husne Begum

Why arts fundraisers should seek learning outside of the Arts & Culture sector

: Husne Begum

Husne Begum, Development Manager at Birmingham Museums Trust, looks at five of the key struggles that arts fundraisers can face, and why learning opportunities such as Fundraising Convention offer such value.

Joe Jenkins

How we are 'leading the change' at Fundraising Convention 2019

: Joe Jenkins

Joe Jenkins, Chair of the Fundraising Convention board, looks at why the focus of this year's Fundraising Convention is on 'leading the change' and what this will mean throughout the three days.

Esther Wakeman

Fundraising Convention: Why I budget for my team to attend

: Esther Wakeman

Esther Wakeman, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Ashgate Hospicecare and Blythe House Hospice, explains why she makes sure to budget for her team to attend Fundraising Convention so they can develop their skills and become better fundraisers.

Tom Dixon

How to position the 'ask' and attend Fundraising Convention

: Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon, Head of Fundraising and Communications at Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity, explains how you can convince your boss to let you attend this year's Fundraising Convention.

The seven quirkiest session titles at Fundraising Convention


We're serious about challenging, empowering and inspiring your fundraising – and sometimes that means coupling amusing themes with insightful content.

Frances Lawrence

How to make the most of networking at Convention

: Frances Lawrence

There are networking opportunities a plenty at Fundraising Convention, as fundraisers from far and wide come together and share ideas and learn from one another.

Matt Collins

Building big digital movements

: Matt Collins

The world of digital fundraising and campaigns is changing – and changing very quickly. Fundraising using the models, techniques and channels we’ve come to rely on (from direct mail to telemarketing and everything in between) is becoming increasingly difficult. The safe shores of yesterday no longer look so hospitable.

Roger Lawson

Donor experience: Are we doing it all wrong?

: Roger Lawson

If we look at the most commonly used phrases in our sector at the moment, I’d hazard a guess that ‘donor experience’ must come a very close second to ‘GDPR’.

Convention Board

Come and join the community

: Convention Board

When we put out a call for content on the Community, Events and Volunteers track at Convention, we were overwhelmed by the many talented people willing to talk openly about how they work, what they tried, how they’ve adapted and innovated, what they’ve learnt – and gift that knowledge for you to learn from too.

Amy Sweeting

Big ideas for raising big bucks…

: Amy Sweeting

Amy Sweeting, Head of Major Gifts at Missing People takes us through 3 questions that we hear over and again when it comes to major donor fundraising. But how can we answer them?

Craig Fordham

Raise more through legacies – come to Convention

: Craig Fordham

Craig Fordham, Director of Legacies at Macmillan Cancer Support, tells us why an investment now can reap the rewards later down the line.

Michael Livingstone

Vital culture sector learnings

: Michael Livingstone

Michael Livingstone, Fundraising Database Manager at Museum of London explains why Convention is a vital source of learning for those working in the cultural sector.

Joanna Hancock

Partnership strategies you'll learn at Convention

: Joanna Hancock

Joanna Hancock, Convention board member, and Head of Corporate Partnerships at CLIC Sargent, explores what's on offer in this year's Partnerships track...

Marina Jones

Four things holding your grant proposal back

: Marina Jones

It's difficult to know what funders are really thinking when they read your application – trust fundraiser Marina Jones reveals four common mistakes people make. Marina will co-host an interactive workshop at Fundraising Convention 2018, that promises to provide real insight by critiquing your (confidential) proposals.

Tom Dixon

Diversity drives innovation

: Tom Dixon

How can we all make the sector more diverse? Convention board member Tom Dixon explores how this year's Convention tackles that question...

James Gadsby-Peet

Cultivate creativity with these six sessions

: James Gadsby-Peet

Creativity is an often discussed but rarely understood capability within any charity. We are always being asked to come up with more innovative and interesting fundraising, but how often do we really invest in the underlying ability to do new things? Here’s how you and your team can use the IoF Fundraising Convention to do just that.

Lisa Clavering

Talk your boss into budget sign off

: Lisa Clavering

So you’ve seen the programme for this year’s Fundraising Convention and you really want to attend. But there’s the pesky matter of how you’ll persuade your boss to sign off the budget. Pro tip: focus on how it will help you meet your objectives – I’ll even do the hard work for you!

Sarah Eite

What's in it for freelancers and consultants?

: Sarah Eite

When I decided to enter the brave new world of freelance fundraising consultancy, I made a commitment to myself to continue to invest in my own professional and personal development. The reality of juggling numerous clients, projects and deadlines sometimes means that this is easier said than done. But for me, it’s critical to stay connected with the latest developments in our sector.

Laurie Boult

Learn to unlearn - debate and challenge is the best thing about Convention

: Laurie Boult

The fundraising sector is uniquely supportive. No other industry shares its ideas, results, and even tales of ‘that didn’t go so well’, so openly to help us all learn, grow and avoid future blunders. The IoF Fundraising Convention is THE place where this happens and that is why you should attend.

Matthew Cull

Three crucial days in my calendar - here's why...

: Matthew Cull

Matthew Cull, Deputy Director of Fundraising at Blue Cross and IoF Convention Board Member, expounds on the Fundraising Convention and how necessary it is for fundraisers at every stage in their career.

Tom Dixon

What Convention means to me

: Tom Dixon

The IoF Fundraising Convention is a crucial time in the year for Tom Dixon, who is Head of Philanthropy at Scope. Here, he explains why he finds it is a time for motivation, re-calibration and being inspired by others.

Liz Tait

The next generation of women leaders will help ensure fundraising goes from strength to strength

: Liz Tait

I don't often agree to sitting on panels at conferences. Don't get me wrong, I love speaking at conferences - especially Fundraising Convention which is so close to my heart - but as a born introvert, let's just say I'm not a natural panel person.

Chris Millward

Legacy giving - always the bridesmaid

: Chris Millward

Chris Millward, CEO of the Institute of Legacy Management, explains why Trustees and senior stakeholders within charities should be more supportive of legacy fundraising.

Danielle Atkinson

Fundraising is like a community - to get the best out of it, you must put the work in

: Danielle Atkinson

IoF Trustee Danielle Atkinson is really looking to Fundraising Convention in just under a week's time. Here's why...

Lisa Clavering

Three principles for building conference content

: Lisa Clavering

Lisa Clavering, member of the Fundraising Convention 2017 Board, explains what the board wished to achieve when pulling together this year's programme.

Yvette Giles

Presence, impact and networking

: Yvette Giles

Yvette Gyles, Assistant Director for =mc, blogs on how personal presence and impact can help you to deal with a particularly sensitive issue faced by some fundraising professionals

Lizzi Hollis

Do you have the Perfect Pitch?

: Lizzi Hollis

Lizzi Hollis knew she wanted to get involved in Perfect Pitch at Fundraising Convention 2017, but was a little apprehensive. Here, she explains why you should embrace the opportunity head on...

Grahame Darnell, Lisa Hemsley and Helen Trenchard

Constant change is here to stay: Livability and Sue Ryder

: Grahame Darnell, Lisa Hemsley and Helen Trenchard

You’ve probably noticed. The world is changing – and at a pace...

Lou Flandrin

Pitching for the “Perfect Match”

: Lou Flandrin

Lou Flandrin, fundraiser at Carers Trust, reflects on a positive experience taking part in the popular Perfect Pitch event at Fundraising Convention 2016...

Jon Ware

Fundraiser versus social media officer

: Jon Ware

Jon Ware, Digital Content Lead at Anthony Nolan, prepares you for how to avoid battle when it comes to deciding on what content goes out via social media...

Rob Woods

Three coaching tricks for managers – how to help your colleagues succeed

: Rob Woods

Rob Woods, Director of Brightspot Fundraising, gives his three coaching tricks for managers to help their colleagues do fundraising differently...

Neil Hope

3 simple steps towards mindfulness

: Neil Hope

Neil Hope is an expert mindfulness practitioner who has been developing his meditation practice for over 25 years. He has been taught by the highest lamas in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Now, as Director of Wisdom Fish, Neil reminds us that bringing ourselves more into the present can change our outcomes for the better. He offers the first in a series of free audio meditations to get us started.

Matthew Sherrington

For fundraisers, by fundraisers. It’s the fundraiser’s circle of life

: Matthew Sherrington

Fundraising Convention board member Matthew Sherrington explains why this year's event is a real opportunity for the community to come together, share and support the sector - and be part of the fundraiser's circle of life.

Sarah Carter

Why we also need to transform ourselves if we want to transform our organisations

: Sarah Carter

In the final of a 5-part blog series on mindful leadership and organisational culture, Sarah Carter reminds us that everything starts with us as individuals and introduces Wisdom Fish’s five Building Blocks of Character.

Sarah Carter

Why we need to put the same energy into initiating people into our organisation as we do supporters

: Sarah Carter

In the fourth of a 5-part blog series on mindful leadership and organisational culture, Sarah Carter, Director of Wisdom Fish, explores one of the building blocks of culture – initiations – in more depth and starts to think about how the concept might just help us attract more talent to the fundraising sector.

Michael Clark

Legacy awareness is great - but it needs to be followed by action

: Michael Clark

When it comes to legacy giving, what is more important? Developing a legacy awareness programme, or following up with action? Michael Clark, at Cystic Fibrosis Trust, explains why it is the latter...

Deirdre Curley

A challenge and experience I’d encourage anyone to take on

: Deirdre Curley

Deirdre Curley, Fundraising Manager at the British Heart Foundation Scotland and Northern Ireland, explains why you should take the plunge and perfect your corporate fundraising pitch at this year’s Fundraising Convention.

Sarah Carter

5 ways to nurture your organisational culture

: Sarah Carter

In the third of a 5-part blog series on mindful leadership and organisational culture, Sarah Carter explains how focusing time and energy on the building blocks of culture can transform our organisations.

Anna Hepton

Data is like oil; it needs refining before it can be used effectively

: Anna Hepton

Anna Hepton, Marketing Manager at Snap Print Management, explores why it is so vital to keep your data up to date - and shares 5 top tips...

Sarah Carter

Why good leadership doesn’t mean racing ahead of the pack

: Sarah Carter

In the second of a 5-part blog series on mindful leadership and organisational culture, Sarah Carter, Director of Wisdom Fish, questions our understanding of the concept of leadership and how a more unified, self-aware approach is important to develop positive behaviours across the team.

Sarah Carter

Are you a Joker, Saboteur or People Pleaser?

: Sarah Carter

In the first of a new 5-part blog series on mindful leadership and organisational culture, Sarah Carter, Director of Wisdom Fish, explores our dominant sub-personalities and how they impact our productivity, working relationships and behaviours.

Helen Pert

“You have got to be kidding, I don’t have time for networking and career development!”

: Helen Pert

How many times have you told yourself this? Convention Board member Helen Pert explains how she can relate, and why July is the perfect time to break the habit.

Amy Sweeting

You've got skills, they're multiplying

: Amy Sweeting

To work in fundraising requires a special kind of person. You’ve already got so many incredible skills; commitment, communication, creativity, the ability to build and maintain a relationship. But even the best fundraisers need to stretch their comfort zone sometimes.

Paul Marvell

Fundraising Convention 2016- an ex-staffer’s impression

: Paul Marvell

Having worked at the IoF as Director of Professional Development and Membership and overseen six Conventions during that time, it might be expected that Paul Marvell would view the 2016 Convention with a critical eye. But Paul reports an overwhelmingly positive experience.

Ceri Edwards

Brexit – what does it mean for charity fundraising?

: Ceri Edwards

Last week’s referendum saw a majority vote for the UK to leave the European Union. This is a momentous decision and we can be certain that it will have a large impact across the political, economic and social landscape.

Ravinol Chambers

The power of video for fundraisers

: Ravinol Chambers

If a picture can paint a thousand words, what can a video do for fundraising? Ravinol Chambers of Be Inspired Films, Fundraising Convention official video partner, explores how powerful videos can really be...


Ask us anything….(digital)!

: Various

Where do you start when it comes to taking advantage of the digital opportunities available to charities? Convention speakers share their thoughts on some digital trends in a Q&A...

Deanna Wolf

A recipe for the perfect grant application

: Deanna Wolf

Is grant fundraising as easy as baking a cake? Fundraising Manager, Trusts, Statutory and Lottery for Scotland, Deanna Wolf, Carers Trust's shares her top tips for putting together a successful funding application.

Sue Jacklin

Pursuing excellence in fundraising

: Sue Jacklin

In 2015, I was lucky to win a day pass to the IoF Fundraising Convention, courtesy of the IoF East Midlands regional group. Over three months later, on a sunny morning in July, I was on the 7am train to London for the first day of Convention.

Craig Linton

Tips to get the most from Fundraising Convention

: Craig Linton

Attending Fundraising Convention is a big commitment of both time and money. You owe it to yourself and your charity to make the most of the investment. Here are some things to think about before, during and after Convention so you can be the ‘best you can be’ and make the most of the event.

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