Friday, July 31, 2009

Who are we missing at fundraising conferences?

I read a great piece this morning in the latest edition of Canadian Fundraising & Philanthropy's e-newsletter about Canadian fundraising stars missing from conference stage.

Hot on the heels of my post about endeavoring to make conferences really useful, this caught my eye.

The author, John Webster Hochstadt goes into some detail about some of the inherent problems of fundraising conferences, like the domination of consultants speaking and lack of senior staff attending. Both true.

I talked about something similar last year when I called for sole fundraisers to start flying the flag, to come out from under their desks, beat their chest a little and start sharing.

As someone who does the conference rounds a lot, I too am constantly frustrated and let down at the lack of charity representation, particularly from 'small shops' (I love that term and my Aussie colleagues think it's hilarious).

I can sort of understand their absence. I'd ask myself if I was a fundraiser, from a small or big shop, why should I present, how can I possibly do it and when will I find the time?

Now each of these has a quick rebuttal, but the purpose of this blog is simply to put this back on the agenda and challenge fundraisers to knock us agency folks off our perch.

Frankly, I get sick of people whingeing to me about lack of charity speakers. My answer to anything like this is if you want to make change, create your own destiny and don't sit on your hands waiting for someone else to do it.

Thanks for brining this up John, I hear you wholeheartedly.

Let's share your story fundraising folks - you have something to tell, and we're waiting to hear it.


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