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Jennifer Saibu MFIA - 2016 Scholarship Recipient

I would like to thank FIA for awarding me with a scholarship to attend the National FIA Conference in Melbourne. I found being surrounded by so many people passionate about their organisation very inspiring. Everyone was keen to share ideas, including what worked and what didn't. The presenters were very approachable, taking questions and providing contact details should we wish to seek their advice after the conference.

I did not follow any particular track at the conference, attending sessions across all areas. There were some really inspirational speakers, a highlight for me was the speaker from the Cancer Council (Scott Nicholson, Cancer Council Victoria). Who went through the importance of the donor journey and how to create a good plan.

This was very inspiring and made me realise what I love about fundraising - getting to know our donors and getting them to engage with the organisation.

So what did I learn - heaps!

  • The conference re-enforced things I have done in the past when it comes to fundraising
  • Gave me a better insight into the importance of the work my organisation has been doing with our fundraising consultant. It takes time to build the foundations for a successful fundraising program
  • The importance of taking a donor on a journey with our organisation - not just asking for money every year
  • Listen to donors and sponsors, they will always want to know what's in it for them. Be flexible
  • Know your database. Donor history, engagement etc.
  • It's all about the story
  • The 'Thank You' campaign is very effective - i went and bought the book!

Since the conference I have continued to work with a fundraising consultant and have written our organisations first direct mail campaign.

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