It was a strange experience “checking in” to the first online Institute of Fundraising Convention. No lovely volunteers in orange T-shirts helping me find Frobisher, six floors away; no mingling and networking at break time; no low level chatter or thunderous applause.
But what about the learning? I’d decided this time last year that I didn’t want to speak at it. I just wanted to soak it all up as a delegate. Would I be able to do that from home? What I’ve attended so far has been excellent, and I’ll keep adding to this blog as I go along, in the days, weeks and months to come, adding sessions on catch up! (Please do let me know, in the comments below, which of the dozens of sessions I should definitely check out.)
Sir Lenny Henry
It was a privilege to see and hear Sir Lenny, a driving force behind the setting up of Comic Relief 35 years ago, speak. I was particularly inspired by his optimism about public generosity, and by his thoughts about storytelling and the importance of moving away from “white saviour” stereotype appeals. Delighted to be told by him, too, that fundraisers rock. Because we do.
“Compassion fatigue is a misnomer. We’re going to get through this. We’re going to keep giving, because we want to, and because it’s what we do.”— Richard Sved (@richardsved) July 6, 2020
Sir Lenny on the generous public response to the pandemic.#IoFFC pic.twitter.com/mayxp6PxFK
Here’s a little clip (no sound) of Sir Lenny and Claire laughing and joking, to give you a feel for the session.
Next, it was on to an excellent session on the future of fundraising. It’s worth clicking through to my Twitter thread, which includes many of the comments of others within it. So much to think about here. Thanks to Joe, Carole, Ben, and Sophia for your passionate presentations! I was particularly taken by Sophia’s opening words:
Empathy, not sympathy.
Solidarity, not saviourism.
Justice, not charity.
Rejoining #IoFFC for a session on the future of fundraising, with @MrJoeJenkins @AmickyCarol @adeelawarley @mssophiaparker & Ben Carter.— Richard Sved (@richardsved) July 6, 2020
What’s most important? We start with a poll. pic.twitter.com/Iwi8MU9j47
Next up for me, it was another session of I Wish I’d Thought Of That, a regular much-loved spot for fundraisers to talk about campaigns they wish they’d thought of – this time in response to the pandemic. It didn’t disappoint! Click through to the Twitter thread for all the great presentations.
Back at #IoFFC for the #IWITOT (I Wish I’d Thought Of That) Crisis Response Edition, featuring a host of stellar talents @helentrenchard @MarthaAwojobi @RosieOldham8 @EmmaRuss1103 @bronaghhh @jonathongrapsas. pic.twitter.com/fMlRRaDQNe— Richard Sved (@richardsved) July 7, 2020