2nd - 4th July 2018
The Barbican

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.

As a first time visitor, in anticipation of the event, I downloaded the app to get more idea of what was involved to help to plan my day and attend the sessions that seemed to be of most value to me. The theme of the Convention was 'best you can be' and all of the sessions were clearly aimed around pursuing excellence in fundraising.

Convention 2015 plenary speaker

On arrival at the Convention I was met by a band of friendly volunteer hosts who were a great help throughout the day, making sure everyone got to the right place. I must also mention the great refreshments provided, essential in keeping energy levels up!

Convention had a range of talks and discussions each day covering different aspects of fundraising and it was hard to choose between them all. I managed to attend five sessions throughout the day I was there. In addition to the sessions was the Expo - a large hall of exhibitors who gave insight into latest fundraising technology and services.

Some of the Convention highlights for me were:

Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

Nicola Tallett and Emma Whitcombe explained how the MS society has developed a new culture of philanthropy.  This started at the top with a new CEO and new Chair of Trustees, recruited specifically with philanthropic experience. This leadership set a clear vision and ambition to make a big meaningful change for people with MS, with achievable milestones on the way, creating a powerful message to inspire people to give. Key to success has been engaging and exciting all staff with the ambition and new culture.  The importance of making it easy and enjoyable for philanthropists to be involved, at times and places to suit them has been essential.

Branding for Fundraising

This session focused on a case study of Refugee Action and highlighted the importance of branding in telling your story and calling people to action. In this case Refugee Action showed how they have changed their branding to focus more on the human stories of refugees, developing  a new strap line: “we survived, help us live”. The results speak for themselves - in six weeks, there was 25% increase in regular giving, lead conversion rate increased by 13%, new major donor leads were established and companies started contacting Refugee Action to see how they could work together.


Sue Jacklin, Business Development Manager, Derby Museums

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