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Ana Davy AMFIA - 2016 Scholarship Recipient

I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to attend the FIA Conference in Melbourne. The event was a great chance to build on my learnings from the FIA Certificate in Fundraising, and build expertise in particular areas of interest to my organisation. 

For me the stand out session was on talking to donors (session title: How to talk to your donors, Chris Downes MFIA). I am the CEO of a very small organisation with very limited fundraising resources. The idea that it was ok to put most of our focus into working with our larger donors, and that those donors may well be able to give more than they were currently was very helpful in framing my thinking about how to move forward with fundraising. I also really appreciated the focus on engaging donors fully with the organisation, rather than just seeing them as a source of money.

One stand out comment was "if you ask for money you'll get advice, ask for advice and you'll get money". I have tried this approach since the conference and found it to be very effective.

I also really appreciated the conference focus on debunking fundraising myths. I really appreciated Roger Craver's sessions - the sessions on the use of Facebook and the Regular Giving Toolbox were also really relevant to my organisation.

My learnings from conference have been shared with my team and led to some changes in how we approach fundraising, including: 

  • Beginning an implementation process for a new CRM (assisted by the contacts I was able to make in the exhibition)
  • Calling all donors on receipt of their donation to thank them
  • Involving all staff in fundraising
  • Communicating better and more regularly with donors
  • Involving our donors in our organisation in meaningful ways
  • Using Facebook more effectively
  • Drawing on the expertise of others in the sector.

For me though it was not just the formal sessions that were useful, I was able to build networks with fundraisers from other organisations.

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