Fundraising Consultant, David Suzuki Foundation
When I can’t sleep at night, I blame Imagine Canada’s Sector Monitor reports. They do a fantastic job of illustrating the many challenges we face today. Donor prospecting, gift renewals and gift upgrades take place year-round at break-neck speed just to keep up with inflation, donor churn and programming needs. For many of us this frenzy of activity is happening with fewer staff and greater competition than in previous years. Does this ring a bell?
We are all told in Fundraising 101 that the secret to controlling the frenzy is to reduce donor turnover but despite the well-known costs of donor churn, the push for many fundraisers today is to spend our time closing gifts, not stewarding those already in the door. As a result, it seems like stewardship receives less attention and investment than it should. Even worse, I often see stewardship taking second place to its flashier cousin “recognition”. I have spent countless hours with groups who agonize over where to list donors’ names and how many tchotchkes they should get for various giving levels. Half the time this recognition isn’t worth the glue it took to stick it on the donor wall. Recognition may sweeten the ask, but stewardship is what grows the relationship and keeps the gifts coming.
As a bit of a stewardship junkie, I’m looking forward to this year’s congress to share my collection of innovative approaches and swap ideas with the other participants. See you there!
Siobhan is currently working in major gifts for Junior Achievement and the David Suzuki Foundation. She will be speaking at Congress 2011 on “Stewardship – Beyond the Donor Wall.”
Ann Rosenfield, CFRE
Executive Director, The WoodGreen Foundation
I am not actually an expert in everything. Even in the things where I am an expert, sometimes I need a second opinion or a different perspective. That’s why Congress is great – it is a wonderful chance to meet other fundraising and trade ideas.
My friend Mary McPherson and I have come up with a great way to make every day a Congress Day – we call it Knowledge Exchange.
The idea behind Knowledge Exchange is simple – I come to your charity and give you training on a topic of my expertise that you want to learn. Then you return the favour by coming to my charity and doing the same. The host charity buys the speaker lunch and pays for parking. It is cheap as dirt, dead simple, and really works.
We did a Knowledge Exchange over the summer – not only did we learn more, one of the unanticipated benefits was that we ended up doing some joint problem solving. We found we had some common questions and a quick conversation led to a solution for both of us.
And the best way to get started on your own Knowledge Exchange is to come to Congress and find a Knowledge Exchange buddy help you over the next year.
Knowledge Exchange is one way – How do you make Congress learning last all year long?
Ann is the Executive Director of the WoodGreen Foundation. She will be speaking at Congress 2011 on “Small Shop, Big Success.”
In June Statistics Canada released a study called “Projected trends to 2031 for the Canadian labour force”, as part of the Canadian Economic Observer. The study says that by 2031, roughly one in every three people in the labour force could be foreign born. Between 1991 and 2006, the percentage of foreign-born people in the labour force rose from 18.5% to 21.2%. If recent immigration levels were to continue, that proportion is projected to reach almost 33% in 2031, according to most scenarios.
How will this shift in demographics affect fundraising? Can you afford to ignore this trend? Come to the Congress session called “Cultivating Strategic Relationships with New Immigrant Communities”, to learn more about a group that will represent 1 in 3 in the not too distant future. The report is here: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/110817/dq110817b-eng.htm.
Do you have opinions, thoughts, ideas on how to improve the delegate experience at the annual AFP Congress? If so, we want to hear from you!
We are looking for 30-40 people to participate in one of two upcoming 75-minute focus group sessions. We are looking for a diverse group of
participants who have attended Congress: 1) never; 2) once; or 3) five times or more. Read more »
This year at Congress you’ll find it easier to create a learning experience that suits your individual objectives. Understanding that people learn in different ways, we’ve refined curriculum delivery by segmenting sessions into four formats: workshops, lectures, case studies, and discussions.
Workshops are designed to help you learn or upgrade specific skills. Led by skilled professionals and featuring a variety of interactive learning methods, these sessions will give you the chance to discover and practice new techniques.
Lecture sessions offer an opportunity to hear from an expert on a particular topic. Unlike workshops which feature an interactive environment, lectures give you an uninterrupted, thought-proving one-hour period to hear from, learn, and be challenged by, some of the top people in fundraising today.
Discussions are your chance to speak up and explore a topic with other professionals. Led by a skilled facilitator, these sessions give participants the opportunity to discuss ideas and share opinions. It’s you chance to explore the complexities of a topic and to discover and better understand various points of view.
Case Studies. There are many exciting projects going on in fundraising and so we’re devoting the entire second morning of Congress to Case Studies. With a wide variety of topics and speakers, each presented for just 30 minutes, you can choose four sessions that are most interesting and relevant to you. Each will follow a common format with the speaker describing the objectives, methods, and outcomes of a particular project or research study.
Whether you’re a veteran of Congress or considering your first visit, this year’s event promises you an unparalleled opportunity to design a learning plan that fits your style. Please join us!
Denny Young, CFRE
Education Chair, Congress 2011
Taking a few days to learn, think and grow is really important. I think that’s what great professional development is all about and that’s what we work hard to deliver at Congress.
Congress 2011 is about sharing big ideas. Our team of hard working Congress volunteers has been meeting for months carefully selecting those in our sector with important messages to share. Our line up is pretty amazing!
One of the people I can’t wait to hear is one of our plenary speakers — Simon Sinek. Simon is the author of Start With Why, TED speaker, and founder of the Golden Circle model that has helped organizations like the United Nations and the Pentagon to change the way people think, act and communicate. His ideas are big and you’ll want to be in the room to hear directly what he has to say.
I hope you’ll check back to this site from time to time as we’ll be updating it regularly with information about the event. You can also follow AFP on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
See you in November,
Chair, Congress 2011
Thank you too each of the individuals who took the time to send in details about themselves and their interest in attending Congress 2010. The winner of the 3 day Congress 2010 pass is…Jim Martin. Congratulations Jim and we’re confidant that Congress will have a ripple effect for you and the organizations you’re working with.
We in the last few days of preparation for this years Congress and the entire team, both our fabulous volunteers and our amazing staff and busily working to ensure that next week’s conference is a rich learning and networking environment for each of you.
And for the first time we’ve just surpassed 1,000 registered delegates and this milestone is a remarkable one. Thank you for supporting our world-class conference and we know that each of you will play a part in making next week special. If you haven’t registered there still is time: http://afptoronto.org/index.php/congress/registration.
If this is your first time attending Congress – welcome. If your a returning – welcome back. And if you’re part of the Ambassador Club and have attended Congress at least 5 times – thank you for choosing the AFP Greater Toronto Congress repeatedly to increase your knowledge, skills and networks.
I look forward to seeing each of you next week and celebrating our sector together,
Tania Little, CFRE
Chair, Congress 2010
Tania Little, CFRE
“Every year I’ve attended Congress, I’ve left feeling re-energized, more passionate and raring to put into practice all of the ideas I’ve learned…many of which I know will be valuable for years to come.”
If you’ve been to AFP Greater Toronto Congress in the past, you know what I’m talking about. There’s a ripple effect in the wake of the powerful Congress experience that you will feel long after.
If you haven’t been to the annual conference before, then we have a great surprise and delight coming your way. With about 1,000 delegates from across North America you’re in for a phenomenal 3 days of educational learning, networking, debate, growth and laughter.
To top it off we wrap up the conference with our chapter’s Philanthropy Awards Luncheon which will be a wonderful culminating event to celebrate the amazing work of those committed to the sector.
We’re posting our speaker session PowerPoints and handouts over the next week and we’re looking forward to welcoming you to Toronto from Tuesday, November 30 – Thursday, December 2, 2010.
If you haven’t registered there still is time.
Tell us who you are and why you would like to attend Congress 2010 on this blog and we will draw one lucky winner who will get a 3 day pass to join us.
Please share this through your networks and I look forward to your feedback.
See you there,
Tania Little, CFRE
Chair, Congress 2010
As we look to the future, there is no doubt that some who are presently in their formal educational years, will be the leaders of the future in our sector.
AFP believes in cultivating and supporting young and emerging professionals as part of its mission to advance philanthropy by enabling people and organizations to practice effective and ethical fundraising.
To engage students and to enhance their educational experience, AFP offered special student rate to make Congress accessible to these emerging young leaders.
This year, over 50 students joined us as part of the over 960 Congress delegates and we’d love to learn about their Congress experience.
I hope some will share it here!
Yesterday, at Congress, we ran a twitter contest for delegates to share their best ideas they heard so far. Thanks for your thoughts!
To build on the idea and to create a more lasting record, I’m asking people to share at least one thing they learned.
There are several for me but Dr. Judith Nichols (I’ve been a fan for years) is such an authority in learning us learn about implications of demographics, and translating the target audiences to your fundraising programs. Dynamite!
What were your favourites?