We’re finally settling back in after our International Conference on Fundraising, and what a conference! As Andrea and I mentioned during our closing session on Tuesday, we’ve never felt this much excitement and energy at a conference before. The sense of camaraderie, community and unity was phenomenal. Being around that many fundraisers (more than 3,000) is an exhilarating experience and makes you feel like part of something extraordinary.
And that’s what we wanted to convey in Vancouver—and all of our conferences. Our international conference is more than an educational opportunity - it’s an experience—one that invigorates and inspires, provides perspective and learning.
I think what Colleen Clark posted on her blog hits the nail on the head—it’s about idealism, reminding us why we all got involved in fundraising. She writes:
“At the conference, I heard speakers like Scott Harrison, CEO of charity: water and Claire Diaz-Ortiz, author of Twitter for Good. These leaders, and the thousands of other fundraisers learning with me, were a true inspiration. They are living and breathing philanthropy– showing how small dollars can change the world. My job isn’t always a glamorous one. The work is never done. But here, I was reminded that I am making a difference in my own small way and inspired to do more.”
Thank you, Colleen, because that’s the feeling that we hoped everyone would have when they left Vancouver—that we are making a difference, both as individuals at our respective organizations and together as the fundraising profession.
I hope you learned a lot, met new people, shared your stories, and heard new innovative ideas. I heard a lot of comments about the challenging content in our sessions and the sense of community that attendees felt at the Celebration of Philanthropy, the AFP After Dark Party and our other networking opportunities.
But most of all, I hope you felt re-energized about what we do. Fundraising is an amazing job that changes the world, and bringing communities together is something that not everyone can do. We should feel excited by the experience. So if you were with us, let me know how your experience was. And if you didn’t make it, join us in San Diego next year, April 7-9. We’ll see you there!