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Denny Young

Denny Young

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

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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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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