I’m a big advocate for technology—at AFP we strive to integrate technology into our programs and services so they are accessible—anywhere, anytime. Our use of communications is changing rapidly; I’m scheduled to give a presentation in the next couple of weeks via Skype, a new approach for us.
But in terms of learning, sharing and creating a sense of community, nothing compares with a live gathering of fundraisers, which is why I’m so excited about AFP’s International Conference on Fundraising, April 1-3, 2012, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
There will be some amazing speakers, including Scott Harrison, founder and president of charity: water, and hockey legend and philanthropist Wayne Gretzky. You’ll find inspiration and innovation from distinguished speakers such as Claire Diaz Ortiz, author of Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time and How to Fundraise on Social Media, and Lisa Shannon, author of A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman.
On Monday, April 2, we’ll present the NextGen:Charity Experience, in the style of the popular TED-conference presentations, featuring rapid-fire messages (all under 18 minutes with no PowerPoints) from game-changing leaders and innovators across all industries. All geared to nonprofits.
These amazing speakers, the 140-odd educational sessions, hundreds of vendors and our extraordinary Awards for Philanthropy honorees, ensure that the conference will cover every conceivable aspect of fundraising and provide new ideas and inspiration to all participants.
For me, though, the beauty of the conference lies in the community it brings together. Live meetings are, well, alive. They are two-way and multi-dimensional. The experiences are as diverse as the people involved.
I think networking is an overused word. What really happens at the AFP International Conference on Fundraising is connecting—ideas and people coming together in new ways. A major gift officer having coffee with a direct mail veteran, a development director from a grassroots advocacy organization chatting with the CEO of a national nonprofit: These are the connections made at AFP, and they are what keep us strong as a community.
And those connections are important, because we face a difficult fundraising environment. Our previous State of Fundraising Surveys and the most Nonprofit Research Collaborative studies show that we’re still slowly recovering from the impact of the recent recession. Fundraisers are trying to keep up with technology while addressing the demands of a new generation of donors and dealing with increasing competition for the charitable dollar.
All of these issues—and more—will be addressed at the conference—through speakers, sessions and the impromptu conversations and connections created by attendees. I hope you’ll join us there.
Learn more by visiting http://conference.afpnet.org and come join the largest—and most comprehensive—gathering of the fundraising community!