Next March, 800 professional fundraisers from around Australia will gather in Sydney at the International Convention Centre for FIA Conference 2018. This 2.5 day event boasts 80+ speaker sessions focused on the theme of donor engagement and retention.
But why do they come? Is it to network? Learn about the latest trends? Perhaps check out the suppliers in the Exhibition Hall? Here’s what some of our 2018 FIA Conference Program Committee members and amazing speakers told us they were most looking forward to learning.
1. Nuts about the networking
Perhaps not surprising, networking topped most people’s lists, with fundraisers saying they use the Conference as a chance to catch up with old fundraising friends from across the country and forge new business relationships.
FundraisingForce’s Stephen Mally FFIA CFRE said “It’s not just the learnings I take away from the FIA Conference each year, but the new and renewed friendships, the networking, and the replenished excitement I take back to my work post-conference that are huge value-adds.”
The Leukaemia Foundation’s Ash Knop agreed: “As much as I love hearing from great speakers and learning about the latest fundraising trends, I tend to get the most out of the networks and relationships built from the Conference.”
The Smith Family’s Lisa Allan MFIA said networking was a boon to her work.
“I love the networking and finding out what other organisations – large and small – have been doing over the last year. I use their experiences and learning, then match them back to our strategies and plans, and identify the opportunities where we can test and learn for growth. No use recreating a wheel…it’s just about adapting it for ‘our machine’” she said.
2. A one-stop (Conference) shop
Some fundraisers, like Donor Republic’s Marcus Blease MFIA, felt that they could get everything they needed, learning wise, by attending the Conference.
“For me it’s the overall package the FIA Conference offers. The networking, the array of high quality speakers, the plenaries, sponsors and exhibition space…it’s the all-round best opportunity to learn for any fundraiser in Australia” he said.
Others are looking forward to seeing some of the world’s best fundraisers on the stage and hearing about timely subject matter.
“The 2018 FIA Conference is my favourite date in the fundraising calendar. It’s an opportunity to be engaged in the latest fundraising trends and to be inspired by the success of colleagues. I am looking forward to another world-class lineup of speakers and sessions in 2018, said Nicola Norris MFIA, Greenpeace Australia Pacific.
“I’m interested in emerging, and best practice case studies from fundraisers around the world,” added HomeMade Digital’s Meredith Dwyer FFIA CFRE.
3. Digital and data
No question, the latest learnings around digital and data were on some people’s minds. flat earth direct’s Kirsty Graham MFIA added “I’m not biased at all but of course every session in the Digital & Events track! “
“New ways of analysing data to gain insights to design better supporter experiences and connect them closer to their impact. I love learning about the tiny little things that make a huge difference when done well” said Act for Peace’s Karen McGrath.
4. Then there was the stuff around future planning.
Outward Bound Australia’s Alex Green MFIA said he wanted to learn 2 things: “how to position an agile fundraising program for the future, and how to find the sweet spot in successfully raising the funds you need to deliver your mission whilst also fostering trust and loyalty amongst supporters and the public.”
Meanwhile, Ben Holgate MFIA of MS was keen to learn: “Is ‘relationship fundraising’ really back, or are we still flogging a transactional ‘numbers game’ model regardless of donor needs, wants, desires and feelings?”
Finally, there were those who couldn’t wait to hear about…
“Everything! I’m looking forward to hearing more about innovation and what new opportunities exist and how data and digital are really changing the way people are fundraising. I’m also excited about connecting with passionate fundraisers from across Australia, said Act for Peace’s Ruthann Richardson MFIA.
Going to the Conference? Let us know!
If you’re coming along, reach out to us in the comments section below or on Twitter (@FundInstituteAu). We’d love to hear what you’re most looking forward to learning at FIA Conference 2018!
What do you think?
I am most looking forward to the diversity of the program - there's something for everyone