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.

I was privileged to be accepted as one of three digital fundraising professionals to bring together the digital stream for the Institute of Fundraising’s Fundraising Convention 2017. As seasoned attendees, we had lots of experience to draw on in our approach to finalising our sessions, and we’re really proud of the final line up! Here are some of the things we wanted to achieve when we were pulling it all together.


Make it relevant to all

We were really conscious in our session planning that we wanted the digital stream to feel useful more broadly than just to people with “digital” in their job title. While there are some fairly technical-looking sessions, we have encouraged speakers to bring together thoughts and reflections that will benefit colleagues from across the fundraising disciplines. This, added to the increasing need for fundraisers to grow their own digital literacy, will hopefully see us welcoming fundraisers from across the spectrum to some of our sessions! In particular, the Failure Swap Shop will no doubt be full of useful insights about moving forward from mistakes.


Reflect a range of voices

We were really keen to ensure that sessions weren’t all led by the big-name charities. Whilst we do have some speakers from the behemoths, sharing their great successes and wisdom, we also have representatives from, for example, The National Autistic Society and Alzheimer’s Society – two charities doing wonderful things who you might not have heard so much from. All speakers will be pulling out learnings that will be relevant to all, not just those with a huge digital expenditure budget line. We also tried to look outside the sector and were delighted to secure a speaker from Ocado to really help contextualise our session on metrics and measurement. A session not to be missed!


Fun with the format

We also wanted to find some sessions that deviated from the usual “one or two speakers standing at the front” format – and whilst of course lots of our sessions are fairly traditional, we have incorporated some quick fire sessions, with more speakers talking for shorter periods to really focus on salient points; a debate, with fine fundraising minds arguing the motion “This house believes our donor base is too old for digital”, incorporating lots of time for the audience to grill the speakers; and a 'speed dating' session where you’ll have time with a range of digital experts to ask your questions and chew the (digital) fat on the future of fundraising.

All in all we feel we have pulled together an interesting and varied range of sessions, and we really hope you agree and join us! (And if you do – please do make sure you fill out your feedback forms so we can make sure that next year we bring you more of what you love, and learn from what you didn’t!).

Fundraising Convention takes place from 3-5 July at The Barbican in London. Take a look at the programme and plan your sessions in advance.


Lisa Clavering, Fundraising Convention Board member

Book your place at Fundraising Convention 2017

IoF Members get the best rates at Convention. Why become a member? Through belonging to the Institute, members show the greatest level of commitment to the profession and to the highest standards of fundraising. Join the community when you book your place at Convention!

Back to Blog