Institute of Fundraising National Convention – Day 3

There were a few sore heads after the social drinks last night. They were a great laugh, it has to be said. Though if you see any photos of me going around with a wig on, they were definitely Photoshopped…

Google ‘tiger’ and get a tiger version of the site

Plenty made it to hear about how to work smarter not harder at digital fundraising first thing at 9.30am. Dan from Chameleon took us through examples from Shelter and WWF in France. I was particularly fascinated by the idea of personalising your site based on what people searched for e.g. if you Google ‘tiger’, you get a tiger version of the site. Increasingly important.

Anthony Nolan’s challenge events

The events team from Anthony Nolan launched into a passionate defence of events fundraising, apparently labelled a ‘waste of time’ by one blogger. Marathon runners are indeed among a charity’s most passionate supporters, and you develop a deep relationship with them.

Mary and Catherine got the whole room involved in working out getting your whole charity behind events, and outlined their role as official charity of the London Marathon. The two page stewardship plan they generously shared created incredibly strong ties with their runners. Whether your charity is lucky enough to be in their position or not (pack as much emotion into the 100 word application form was their advice to land the gig!), this was hugely for donor relationship building.

Lloyd Grossman’s plenary

The highlight of the day had to be the peerless Loyd Grossman’s plenary. You and I may know him better as a face on labels of pasta sauce in the cupboard, but this a former Commissioner of English Heritage and current Chariman of the Churches Conservation Trust and Chairman of the Heritage Alliance.

He spoke with great passion and pride about his work. Of particular interest was his point that we should be asking more people for less money, backing up the stat from Cancer Research CEO Harpal Kumar that nine out of 10 of their donations are £10 or less.

I never fail to find it refreshing when a famous person bigs up charities from the point of view as an active participant in them (thereby avoiding sounding pat on the head patronising) as well as someone high profile. It shows that fundraisers and the sector are genuinely admired and supported.

I caught up with Lloyd after his speech – here’s why he’s a proud fundraiser:

Save Port Meadow

I managed to catch Matthew Sherrington’s excellent grass roots campaign, Save Port Meadow. This is a former Director of Fundraising doing what few do and getting his hands dirty with a local campaign.

Matthew’s relaxed style and inspiring successes were great. As an email marketing obsessive, it was brilliant to see Save Port Meadow getting results from simple emails from Gmail to a supporter base. Few things are more powerful than a group of committed, joined up supporters.

Free school meals

Final session was the Children’s Society free school meals campaign. Brilliant piece of work that worked across multiple channels and faced down huge challenges from all sides.

And it worked! A joy to be reminded that sometimes campaigns actually succeed.

Thanks IoF!

It’s been a fascinating few days. It’s been amazing to see fundraisers from across the sector get together in one place to share, learn and inspire. Mega-props to everyone who put the event together and see you next year!

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