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One of the biggest questions that used to go through my mind as I was deciding which conferences to attend is “will I learn anything I actually can use?”

I am told by a number of my colleagues that this is the year when everyone is watching their education dollars – and yet – it’s probably more important than ever to stay on top of your game. Is this your challenge?

Click through to see the full list of topics.

But here are just a few:

– Social media: We have some of the hottest professionals around who will help you learn about this timely subject on everything from – the basics of how to get started with Nicci Noble – to how to use it do increase your fundraising through social media, with Ted Hart.

– Major Gifts: Not forgetting sessions in more traditional fundraising methods, guru Tony Myers will help you with your “Major Campaigns – in a Tough Economy” And that’s just a start.

– Small Shops: We know everyone doesn’t work at a large organization. And while there are sessions that you will find useful, regardless of your size, we have a few that are specially focused for small charities.

And that’s just a start. I know our speakers would love to hear from you on what you need – so don’t be shy.

Tell us what you need and we’ll be happy to pass it on.

We’re looking forward to a great conference. Are you coming?



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Your Congress brochure should be in your mailbox in the next day or two and we are pleased with the offering our great volunteers have put together.

BUT, we’d like to know what your top 3 expectations are to make Congress right for you.

Many of our speakers ask such questions as they prepare their presentations and we will be happy to include your thoughts as we support their preparation.

We hope to hear form you!


Mark Hierlihy
Congress Chair

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Hi everyone,

I’d love to hear some feedback on how our members like Congress Marketing this year.
– We have continued our 5 for 4 offering started last year. Is this good value?
– Do you like our e-blasts? How could we improve?
– We’d like to include some “past participant” comments in future video e-blasts. Would you care to share what you think about Congress?

Spread the word to your colleagues that we want to hear from a few people on this!

Looking forward to a great Congress!

Mark Hierlihy

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We’re pleased to announce that Matt Flannery, Co-Founder and CEO of Kiva will be our opening Plenary at Congress on November 30.

Matt will tell the Kiva story – Changing the world — one micro loan at a time.

Join us for Congress 2009 and hear first-hand how Matt Flannery and his wife Jessica started Kiva and have helped over 200,000 people loan almost $86 million since 2005.

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We’ve just sent out our first email promotion for Congress this morning and have already started hearing great feedback.

We’re intent on giving value to you and to do so, we focus on providing a world class educational experience.

And to make it easy for you to attend, we have special recession pricing – sign up 5 people for the price of 4. (save $640)

There is no time like the present to make that investment in your future and that of the organization you work so hard to help. Join hundreds of your colleagues from all around the world. Click through now!



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RBC Foundation is inspired to make a difference by supporting endeavours strengthening the charitable sector. RBC Foundation believes in building partnerships with professional fundraisers in appreciation of the contribution they make to the health and well being of their communities. Its generous investment will assist individuals innovate, compete more strategically, and rethink best practices.

In addition to a full Congress registration, some bursaries will include airfare and/or hotel accommodations.

Click here to learn more and to download the application.

Hope to see you at Congress!


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As I read some of your responses, I notice a number of you raise the importance of building sponsorship relationships. In my own experience, I have found that philanthropy, sponsorship and cause-marketing are quickly merging. Some call it “strategic philanthropy.”

This is an area of passion for me and have given much thought to it, fueled by experience as well as thought provoking discussions driven by people like Dr. Judith Nicholas and Simone Joyaux, both respected researchers, trainers and presenters. And, by the way, both Judith and Simone are on the roster to speak at Congress.

My question today is, do you feel you need more demographic education relating to how donors and consumers are changing – that ultimately change how you work with companies?

Tell me what you think about this topic and what you need to hear!

Have a fantastic day!


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Our Education Committee is busy putting together the 2009 Congress program and I’d love to hear what hot topics you want us to cover.

Is the economy your greatest challenge? Do you think your CEO doesn’t know what he/she is doing? How about social media, technology, major gifts, cause marketing, branding…and a whole host of topics.

Throw me your thoughts! Now’s the time to give your opinion. I’d love to hear from you.


Mark Hierlihy, Chair

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It was a pleasure seeing all of you at Congress 2008. We hope you met a great many new friends, learned alot  and celebrated the power and potential of philanthropy. We are all so lucky to  have chosen a career path which allows us to meet so many wonderfully generous people  and help them change our world in so many important and positive ways. Planning is already underway for Congress 2009 so make sure to hold the dates open for the next world class gathering of fundraisers Dec 1 to 3 , 2009.