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Helen Turner AMFIA - 2017 Scholarship Recipient

I was lucky enough to be selected as the 2017 conference scholarship recipient for QLD and attend the It’s Chemistry FIA Conference at the Gold Coast in February 2017. I can honestly say without this scholarship I would not have been able to attend the event so thank you to the FIA for choosing me.

A true novice in the fundraising game, I spent a majority of my time in the Toolbox sessions. These presentations provided a fantastic platform for learning and were structured in a way that the basics were outlined before being built upon. This truly was a well-thought out program and congratulations must go to the track chairs Lesley Ray FFIA CFRE and Leanne Angel FFIA CFRE.

As I am sure many other participants experienced, the flexibility to move between sessions as you ‘found your footing’ was great and broadened the opportunities to learn. While the Toolbox track became my home for day 1, by day 2 I felt empowered to venture into some other sessions including Securing the Gift and Workshops with Chemistry. While it is obvious that each stream focuses on different components of fundraising, the different perspectives and concepts each track worked around ensured all fundraisers, from beginners to advanced professionals were catered for. From the discussions I had with others, this has certainly been a strength of the FIA conference for a long time.

Not only the track conferences but the networking opportunities between sessions were great. These allowed so many chances to meet others and to discuss the possibilities and limitations of your own fundraising situations. These times were some of the most valuable to me as I enviably spoke with those who knew the tips and tricks to manage hurdles that otherwise may have seemed insurmountable.

Working in a school, the knowledge shared was easily adaptable to my environment and offered an opportunity to ‘think outside the box’. Seeing how the major charities approach gift giving, donor recognition and relationship building opened me to seeing the possibilities of fundraising now and into the future.

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