Session Overviews

SESSION 1: Jenny Mitchell

Lead from Within: How to Build Leadership in your Staff, your Board and You 

Simon Sinek says leaders eat last. Fundraisers know this because our job is to lead from behind – we empower others to try new things, get out of their comfort zones and ask for investment, support and a vision for a better world.

Being a great leader – a leader that empowers others – is something you grow into. But how?  By developing your natural strengths, you’ll step into your leadership potential and have the power to do even more good in the world.

In this interactive session we’ll look at the three stages of not-for-profit leadership – awareness, engagement and visioning – so you can identify where you and your organization are at. Then we’ll dive into the three faces of not-for-profit leadership: your staff, your board and most importantly, YOU!

In building your personal antidote to chaos, it’s important to begin with a fundraising mindset. Plan your mindset, your leadership style and your goals so that you can ask for anything, with 100% confidence.

 Learning Outcomes

  • Understand which stage of leadership your organization is in, so that you can continually raise the bar for success;
  • Identify the support your colleagues need to lead from where they are;
  • Empower your board of directors as leaders so they work together to move the organization’s mission forward;
  • Identify your money story, and how it’s holding you back from success as a professional fundraiser; and
  • Define your fundraiser mindset so you can thrive and survive, raising more money than ever, and being happier doing it.

SESSION 2: Alice Ferris

We’re All Unique Snowflakes: Finding the Right Strategies for You and Making Them Work

Sometimes, “that will never work here” is true. With all the “best practices” out there, how can you figure out which ones will work for you and your organization? In looking for a way through the chaos, it’s important to ask the right questions to evaluate whether a strategy is right for you, or if you can modify a practice and have it remain effective.

In this session, we’ll ask questions to establish what problem you’re trying to solve; discuss how to analyze whether a strategy can be tweaked to work for you; and explore a simple decision making matrix to help this process be practical for your day to day.

 Learning Outcomes

  • Apply critical analysis to fundraising strategies to determine if they’re appropriate for your organization or program;
  • Understand when it is appropriate to modify a practice to scale up or down to your organization; and
  • Determine an evaluation matrix to understand what strategies may work for you.

SESSION 3: Guy Mallabone

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast … but who’s got time for breakfast!

In the world of fundraising, we tend to want to focus on acquiring better techniques and tactics – looking closely at the mechanics of fundraising.  After all, better mechanics means raising more money.  Right?   Well, not necessarily.  Who’s got time for strategy when organizational culture is nipping at our heels!

Peter Drucker said it best … culture eats strategy for breakfast.  And if our organizational culture is not supportive of the need for philanthropic resource development, then no amount of enhanced technique will make much of a difference, because culture trumps strategy.

This session will explore using a culture assessment tool to help uncover the chaos and obstacles preventing you to undertake more effective fundraising inside your organization.  If you’re struggling to take your organization to the next level in fundraising; or are not sure how to proceed and which areas to focus on first; or if you are looking to modify the culture within your organization to one that more robustly supports your fund development activity; or if you are looking for ways to bring your board and/or Executive Director along on the journey; this session’s going to be your special antidote.  Be inspired as we explore the answers to questions raised in this self-assessment process, and lay the foundation for moving forward.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the importance of organizational culture in assessing fundraising performance and operations;
  • Understand how a fundraising assessment can provide insight into identifying the culture of our organization;
  • Understand how an assessment can help set enhancement priorities and build consensus within an organization;
  • Understand how to implement an assessment, and interpret the results to staff and volunteers; and
  • Understand how to implement change in practice based on the assessment findings.

SESSION 4: Stephen Pidgeon

Secrets Revealed: How the Best Fundraising Agencies Write Appeals that Connect with Donors

A key element of a non-profit’s culture is its attitude to its donors.  Most see them only as a source of revenue, many writing jingoistic appeals that show a studied indifference to the donor’s needs.  And fundraising is getting more and more challenging because of it.

Fundraising copy that struggles describes the astonishing work of the non-profit, backing it up with strong statistics and arguing the case for support.  Nothing is more boring to those outside the organization.  It does not satisfy the reasons donors give…so they don’t.  More recently we hear exhortations to ‘tell stories’, but these are simplistic solutions and very often fail to produce response.

In this session, Stephen will reveal the secret techniques agencies use to produce winning fundraising copy.  Fundraisers who are seeking a more committed response from supporters must first connect with them.  And that requires a clear connection device; in agency terms, a concept.  In the spirit of ‘thinking first and acting second’, you’ll learn how to find these ‘big ideas’ and then how to translate them into copy that is irresistible. A session sprinkled liberally with exercises, check lists and new ways of thinking to transform the success of your appeals, and fight the chaos of inaction.

 Learning Outcomes

  • The three basic errors most fundraisers make in preparing to write an appeal;
  • Two ways to discipline creative thinking so the appeal starts from where the donor is, rather than the needs of the Fundraising Department;
  • How this thinking can deliver emotional copy; and
  • A practical check list to ensure powerful copy has been delivered.