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Maria Dyck

Maria Dyck

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,

Maria Dyck

Chair, Congress 2011

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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 Congresswelcome. 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
@tanialittle
#afpcongress

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Tania Little, CFRE

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
@tanialittle
#afpcongress

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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!

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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?

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Within the Congress Community, there are a number of groups that enjoy getting together to meet new friends and talk about specific topics.

On Monday, November 30th, we have organized 6 rooms, each with a specific topic including:

– Small Shops
– Diversity
– Stewardship
– Success Stories
– Job Hunting
– open topics

This is a new format and we’d like your feedback on how to make these conversations meaningful!

Any ideas anyone would like to share?

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We’re listening!

At past conferences you have told us that you not only value the great education and thought provoking discussions at the formal sessions at Congress. You have also said that networking is important. (We’re a community, after all!)

We know it is not always easy to simply walk up to someone and start talking. Last year, I was talking to one young professional who expressed hesitance to introduce herself to an experienced executive she wanted to meet. After introduced them, they ended up having great discussion and the more senior of the two also said she appreciated the introduction.

The Congress Committee wanted to figure out a way to enable many more such introductions and decided to introduce a new door opener.

Our new name badges will clearly show your name but also space at the bottom where you can fill in.
“Ask me about…”
1.
2.
3.

What will your three topics be? They can be serious, or something you’re passionate about.

Here are some I am thinking about.
Ask me about…
1. Engagement marketing
2. Cause-consumers
3. My passion for chocolate

We are looking forward to seeing you on Monday! It’s going to be a great conference!

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For those who don’t subscribe to “The Agitator” news blog, yesterday they wrote about the results of their 2010 Fundraising Plans (where charities plan to invest in 2010). While this study was broader than Canada, I thought it interesting that among their respondents:
– 55% said they will spend more on online giving
– 51% on major gifts
– 33% who plan to spend more on DM
– 22% on events.

Some questions that crossed my mind relating to the line up for our educational conferences include:
– How does Congress education line up to your needs?
– From your perspective, are your priorities changing?
– Where is your organization investing in 2010?
– Do we need to add new topics to meet the areas where you are investing?

Congress is almost here. We have tried to listen to your past comments but we want you to keep them coming.

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Mark

P.S. You can find The Agitator article I referenced above at http://www.theagitator.net/

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Last week, I had a most interesting conversation with a colleague about the value we get out of conferences.

We spoke about the typical things we go to conference for, like:
“I always take away one or two ideas that pay for the conference 5 times over!” or,

“The networking is great because I can discuss big challenges with my colleagues (…not to mention making new friends and connections!”

I added that the “change of pace” away from the office is important to me, even as I am learning. It helps me take a deep breath and gives me new energy, and a fresh perspective.

“In fact,” I confided, “I often have two pages open in front of me – one for taking notes on the session I am sitting in – and the second, to sketch out a strategy for some work-related deadline I am facing.”

My friend immediately LOL. “You do that too? I wrote one of my best proposals ever during a completely unrelated workshop! And I learned something at the session too.”

While I am not a proponent of being AWOL when at a conference, I was reminded we all need professional time away from the office. It is energizing and gives us a fresh perspective…and a great learning opportunity.

We’ve designed Congress just for this purpose.

I can’t wait for Congress. And you? What are your “other” reasons for getting away to Congress?

Have a great week!

Mark Hierlihy
Congress Chair

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We know this has been a challenging year for many charities and the funds to attend good conferences are not always available. For this reason, AFP works with sponsors to help provide free opportunities to attend Congress on Nov 30, December 1,2 in Toronto. (www.afptoronto.org/congress)

Pareto Fundraising is passionate about helping charities grow. One of the best ways to do that is through training and professional development to help enable you to be a better fundraiser so you can raise more funds and make the world a better place faster.

We are excited that Pareto Fundraising is offering 4 full
AFP Congress passes to fundraisers who would otherwise not be able to attend. Each pass covers the registration fee (excluding travel and hotel) for the full three days of Congress.

We invite you to go to their website to learn more about how to apply.
http://www.paretofundraising.com/events/pareto-fundraising-north-america/

We’d love to see you there so you can learn and be inspired by some of the best speakers in the world on the topics related to fundraising.

Have a great week.

Mark Hierlihy
Congress Chair