Nuggets of information from Fundraising Institute Australia 2015 Conference

Snip20150222_2The Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) Conference is the largest gathering of fundraisers in Asia-Pacific. The Fundraising Institute Australia 2015 conference occurred last week on 18-20 February 2015.

If you could not attend, you missed a lot! And, because you missed a lot, I decided to create a blog post containing some of the nuggets of information learned from a few of the sessions I attended, including: a master class, plenary sessions, and various breakouts.

Wednesday, 18 February

9:00AM – 4:00PM

Building Your Personal Brand Master Class

The three days kicked off with some spectacular master classes, including one I attended called Building Your Personal Brand. This class contained a panel of four remarkable women from Brisbane, Sydney and Washington DC talking about the importance of building and maintaining a personal brand.

Presenters included:

  • Julie Lamberg-Burnet, Sydney School of Protocol.
  • Mary Macuga, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane
  • Korrin Barrett, Living Possibility.
  • Eva Aldrich, CFRE International.

The panellists combined to deliver a message, which included:

  • The importance of the first impression.
  • How to properly carry yourself in a social setting or interview.
  • Personality traits and work styles we each bring to the workplace.
  • How supervisors and co-workers learn to deal with our personality traits and work styles (and we deal with theirs) is key to successful offices.
  • How those same traits apply to successful donor interactions, Board relations, and donor solicitations.
  • How to rebuild your personal brand after a catastrophic situation.
  • How professional credentialing adds value to your personal brand.
  • How you can achieve goals and build your personal brand while also meeting the requirements to achieve the CFRE credential.

The day was packed with information and rich content from the presenters while, at the same time, insight from audience participants.

5:00PM – 7:00PM

Opening Reception

Often one of the favourite events of the FIA Conference, the opening reception was a chance for attendees to visit with suppliers in a sold-out exhibit hall, to make new acquaintances and to renew old friendships. The conference exhibit hall was packed and many of us found it the place to be to network and to gain insightful information from fellow conference participants.

Many conference participants coordinated one on one or group dinners to take advantage of the opportunity to network further and to kick the conference off right.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Plenary I – Simone Joyaux, ACFRE (Joyaux Associates)

Simone Joyaux kicked off the conference with a direct and powerful message to the audience. She said fundraising is “not about the money”. Rather, its “about the donor’s own aspirations”. Simone has a unique style of presenting and the audience was captivated by her message.

Plenary II – Tom Latchford (Raising IT)

Young Tom Latchford offered a motivating talk about getting the NFP sector ahead of the commercial sector. His humour, coupled with his vast international knowledge, caused his message to resonate with the audience.

11:00 – 12:30PM – Breakout

Panel Discussion – Management and Leadership Issues in Fundraising

Dr Wendy Scaife, EMFIA (Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies – QUT)

Margaret Scott, FFIA CFRE (Margaret Scott & Associates)

Dr Daniel McDiarmid, FFIA CFRE (Global Philanthropic)

Simone Joyaux ACFRE (Joyaux Associates)

Nigel Harris, CFRE (Mater Foundation) led an expert panel discussion where the panellists focused on problems, challenges, opportunities and responses identified through research. The packed room gained insight from these seasoned professionals.

2:25PM – 3:10PM – Breakout

Mining Your Data – Getting the Gold

Dan Bernstein, MFIA (FundraisingForce)

Dan Bernstein, FundraisingForce, presented a 45-minute session full of tips and tricks to find the gold in your customer relationship management (CRM) system. As an experienced fundraiser and consultant, Dan knows how to get to the gold and his energetic presentation style and the information he presented captivated the audience. The audience was seen taking copious notes and some said they were creating a plan to implement right after the conference.

3:10PM – 3:40PM – Marketplace

How to Become a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) Next Quarter

Stephen Mally, CFRE (FundraisingForce)

I was able to take a dozen interested fundraisers through the CFRE process and to try to take the mystery out of CFRE. During the session I shared information about the application and examination process. I also invited participants to join the FIA NSW CFRE Study Group – whether these participants live in NSW or elsewhere. Videoconference is available for all.

4:35PM – 5:20PM – Breakout

Practical Ways to Use Your Data to Drive Up Results

Fiona McPhee (Pareto Fundraising)

Fiona McPhee’s sessions are always about sharing and Fiona did not hold back in this instance. She offered a lot of insight into RFM segmentation and how charities are winning the data battle in Asia-Pacific.

7:00PM – 11:00PM – Gala Awards Dinner

Friday, 20 February 2015

10:30AM – 11:25AM – Breakout

Deeper, Smarter Engagement of Donors

Derek Bell (MarketingCube) and Claire Wytcherley (Diabetes Australia VIC)

Marketing automation may be a foreign term to many in the NFP sector, but Derek and Claire offered definition and clarity into exactly what marketing automation is and how it applies to the NFP organisations. The two walked us through the process to change our marketing from “batch and send” processes to marketing automation processes. Derek and Claire discussed a need to understand our audiences and our supporter’s preferred methods of communication. Derek reminded us to be aware of the donor’s online and offline behaviour.

Diabetes Australia VIC is one such organisation seeing success through marketing automation. Cost reduction and deeper file penetration were both winds for Diabetes Australia VIC.

MarketingCube suggests the five p’s:  Plan, produce, publish, promote, and prove.

11:35AM – 12:30PM – Breakout

DIY Fundraising – 365 Days of Opportunity

Adrian Coupe and Henry Gresson (GoFundraise)

As the title says, do it yourself fundraising is available 365 days a year! Adrian and Henry offered insights into how charities throughout Australia are maximising the opportunity to captivate the attention of supporters to gain the most form every event. The two talked about the changing fundraising landscape: Fundraising landscape – 40% – signature event (owned by charity), 30% – 3rd party (owned by specialist event org), and 30% DIY. DIY is the fastest growing pillar in the fundraising landscape according to GoFundraise.

2:40PM – 3:25PM

Four Successes and a Failure: Sharing the behind the Scenes Secrets of Non-Profit Website and Social Media Successes to learn That Works and What Just Doesn’t

Tom Latchford (Raising IT)

Tom’s sense of humour and knowledge of best practice around the world came out in this session. Despite the fact we were in the midst of a cyclone, the room was packed and everyone benefited from Tom’s knowledge on leveraging best practices in websites and social media.

Closing Plenary

Following the Path to Donor Nirvana: The 6 Realisations Approach

Tom Ahern (Ahern Communications)

Tom Ahern offered several examples of US charity materials and showed best practice and opportunities for improvement. Tom told us if everyone tells you they love your newsletter you should “be suspicious”! He reminded us that we, as fundraisers, care more about the ask and the donor cares more about the thank you.