Welcome from the Chair


Think about this for a second:

Over the course of your day, the same day you read this, you will have encountered thousands of ideas.

You passed through them when you bought coffee or asked your phone to find an address, when you rode the bus to work, talked politics with a colleague. They live in things you see, in words heard in passing, in your brain. You may not recognize them for what they are, but in some way they will change how you see the world.

This is how ideas work. The writer Steven Johnson says that great ideas fade into view over a long period of time – they bounce around in “liquid networks,” travel from person to person, growing slowly while we’re out and about. People pick them up like pollen and move them around, placing them in spaces with other ideas, where they collect and charge one another. Then, Johnson says, in a particular time and place, we stitch them together and discover something new – not so much “EUREKA!” as “How have I missed this for so long?”

It is in this spirit that I invite you to join us at Fundraising Day 2017, the largest one-day conference for fundraisers in Canada. With 24 sessions and a day of networking, Fundraising Day is an answer to one of the most productive questions you can ask yourself: “Where do good ideas come from? And how can I have more of them?”

If ideas are pollen, then fundraisers are bees. Because fundraising, whether you work in major gifts, annual giving, stewardship, or anywhere else, is about bringing together noble causes with inspired people – carrying the pollen from one flower to another and giving an idea a chance to blossom. Every fundraiser knows that the only way to close the gift is to make the connection, to take the leap. The fundraiser has to ask.

The rest of the time it’s about listening, which is really to say that we are aware of the energy gathering in the room – ready to be in the right place at the right time, and trusting that at any moment, however long it has taken, something brilliant will happen.

We hope you’ll join us.

Matt Shaw, CFRE
Chair, Fundraising Day 2017

Join the conversation #FD17ideas