In two days, I’m boarding a plane to Amsterdam.
Three days after that, I’m travelling from Amsterdam to Noordwijkerhout, the site of the International Fundraising Congress, a.k.a. IFC.
I am so grateful to get to attend IFC, and I am counting down the minutes until I get there.
There’s about a million reasons why I’m so excited for IFC, but here are 7 of them –
#1 – Seeing friends
I’m lucky to have built up a network of fundraising friends over the years, including some international fundraisers who I only get to see once in a while. Some of these friends will be at IFC – Rachel Hunnybun and Beate Sørum, to name a few – and I can’t wait to catch up and talk shop with them.
#2 – Making new ones
I also expect to forge some great new friendships at IFC. There are so many fundraisers there, from all over the globe, and I hope to start conversations with as many of them as I can, absorbing all they have to share with me, and giving back all I can.
#3 – Learning how fundraising is done across the world
And on that note of making new friends, I’m most excited about the international aspect of IFC. I want to learn how fundraising is done in India, Africa… everywhere! Fundraising markets are so different from one another and yet there are so many approaches and practices from other places that could help us here in Canada. I intend to find out what they are!
#4 – Seeing my heroines & heroes speak
It’s like when you’re in your last year of university and you start picking classes based on who are teaching them, because you know who inspires you the most. I’m going to attend whatever sessions interest me the most, but a big factor will be who’s presenting. So many of my fundraising heroines/heroes are speaking at IFC – Alan Clayton, Lucy Gower, Charlie Hulme, Simone Joyaux, Howard Lake, Adrian Sargeant, Kay Sprinkel Grace – it’s going to be hard to choose.
#5 – The chats outside of sessions
I’ve often found that the most rewarding parts of conferences are the conversations that take place outside of sessions. Given the unique nature of IFC – the fact that basically everyone is in the same hotel, you’re in the middle of nowhere, everyone hangs out together, it’s intimate – I can only imagine it’s a hotbed of the kinds of conversations I’m thinking of.
#6 – Speaking overseas
I’m actually lucky enough to speak at IFC myself. I’m part of a special session called “IFC Introducing… Scholars”. That’s right, I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to attend IFC, and as part of that, I get to speak about my fundraising story and participate in a panel. I can’t wait!
#7 – Hanging with colleagues
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love working at Blakely, and I adore my colleagues. Three of them are also coming to IFC, and it’ll be fun to hang out, chat, and share ideas outside of the workplace.
Are any of you going to be there? Comment here to let me know, tweet me @fundraisermaeve, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Maeve Strathy
Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in fundraising for ten years. Click here to learn more about Maeve.