Di Flatt's Blog


Three days to regain sanity – IoF National Convention

Well I’m just packing my case to set off for the 2012 Institute of Fundraising National Convention. I’m looking forward to catching up with colleagues and friends and regaining a little sanity in what is an incredibly crazy busy year for me.

I have lots of great things going on, which pleases me greatly! But sleep and ‘me time’ are pretty much on hold right now. Thus these few days in a learning environment with people I respect, admire and in some cases aspire to, are of huge importance to me.

One of the things you have to work out as a director of fundraising, is how to deal with the isolation of being the boss – and at the same not being the ‘same’ as the rest of the senior management team.

You want me to explain? Ok here goes, I can but try …..

Fundraising, no matter how well an organisation tries, is the funny add on that people don’t fully understand. We don’t deliver services. Some of us have little contact with beneficiaries. Yet we are these crazy mad passionate people who raise millions and millions for our causes.

How do we do that? They ask. We do it because beneath the passion and enthusiasm is professionalism and intellect. We don’t just shake tins!

Business plans, risk analysis, in depth forecasts and cash flows, financial monitoring, key performance indicators, event planning, business cases to raise finance, meetings with the great and the good, marketing, media, trading …… shall I go on!

No need, you all know this already!

So whilst at conference this year remember and celebrate the brilliant job you do.

Learn from colleagues – and not just in the sessions. My greatest insights have come from the conversations I have had with my peers each year.

I need these three days! They keep me going for the rest of the year!

So fundraisers, don’t underestimate how important these few days are. Make the most of it!

I shall see you there. I am speaking on Tuesday afternoon. I will be at the party!

Enjoy!

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