Event & Community Fundraising

Over the last years, fundraising events have become more and more important. Events like the Dutch Alpe d’Huzes (20M in 2011) and Roparun (4,9M), and the UK Cancer Research’s Race for Life (raising over £362 million since 1994) clearly indicate the potential of person-to-person fundraising. Our most dedicated supporters are no longer just our ambassadors, they become fundraisers themselves!

When you’re considering organizing your own event, great info can be found online on choosing the right event for your organisation, like e.g. the Convio Report “Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising for Everyone – Choosing the right event for your organization”, or, on our own 101fundraising blog: How much can I expect from my fundraising event?

However, with the growth of the number of events, also more and more critical notes can be found. Questions whether the market for (sporting events) isn’t becoming saturated quite rapidly, given the large amount of initiatives at this very moment. Some of them hardly reach the break-even point, still others are already quite profitable the first year. So, even more important, questions arise on the effectiveness of these events, like e.g. the interesting article Are Charity Walks and Races Worth the Effort?


To raise funds, or not to raise funds. That’s the question.

I have been one of the lucky ones being able to attend the IFC for quite a number of years. Now I am also involved as a volunteer in the IFC Advisory Panel, which is a great honor. Except for the 7:30 AM meetings every morning. Nobody told me about this when I accepted and I can tell you as an evening person (enjoying the bar time networking and catching up with old friends and colleagues) this was quite a struggle.

This year was the first year that I was presenting one of the Great Debates. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept: you have a panel with great members and you present your views and discuss with the audience about a specific issue. Our topic was: Should we be raising funds for disasters occurring in developed economies? (more…)

IFC 2011 – Thinking differently!

This year, my visit to the IFC focused on the fundraising innovations. It’s quite clear that these innovative fundraising projects require a new way of working and thinking. Compared to the more ‘traditional’ techniques (like DM and TM) they often face us with less guaranteed ROIs. With projects requiring a marketing approach instead of something where only your fundraising staff is involved. And, most importantly, projects that thrive on the enthusiasm and commitment of your supporters.

So, what are the new developments, and (often even more important) how to get them implemented? (more…)

Stepping out of your comfort zone

It’s hard to believe that a week has already passed since the 31st International Fundraising Congress (IFC) took place in The Netherlands. As delegates said their goodbyes in the hallways and on the coaches en route to Schiphol Airport or Amsterdam, many shared the same sentiments: “Wow, this was amazing! It was so great to meet you! I wish it wasn’t over! I can’t wait until next year!”

As an IFC volunteer, every comment, hug and wave made me smile. It was wonderful to see that delegates were leaving happy, fulfilled and inspired.

Not surprising, I didn’t hear anyone say, “Hmm… I don’t know. There just wasn’t enough choice at this conference.” Because, if there’s one thing that the IFC offers, it’s choice! (more…)

Legacy Fundraising 101… Fresh from the IFC!

This is my first blog for 101fundraising and it was my first time at an IFC masterclass.

Since part of my job is developing legacy fundraising in new markets, Mitch Hinz, my boss, decided to put me in the legacy masterclass this year. The speakers were Stephen George and Allan Freeman.

In the masterclass, we discussed about things that seemed all logic and just common sense, but you never realized it until someone actually told you! At least that’s what happened to me. The masterclass for me was a complete legacy 101. (more…)

I Am The Comms Devil

This week, I’m in the midst of my very first International Fundraising Conference in Holland. 2011 has been a whirlwind of a year and being here feels like a dream, rubbing shoulders with the best of the best.

I’m volunteering as a session leader, which means I was also able to attend the Masterclass sessions on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Luckily, I was assigned to my first choice session: The Joy Of Storytelling with Sean Triner. As a brand new copywriter, I felt I could use all the writing advice I could get. (more…)

IFC: folding letters and licking envelopes!

Tomorrow one of the most inspirational fundraising gatherings of the world starts right here in The Netherlands: The International Fundraising Congress (better known as: the IFC).

About 1,000 fundraisers from more than 60 countries spend a couple of days in the same building. Talking, learning, sharing, looking, absorbing, listening and consuming fundraising. It’s both very impressive and somewhat intimidating if we sum all the money that is being raised by all delegates. But it’s also encouraging, because every charity represented once started small, and every fundraiser walking around once started as a junior.

When I convinced my boss 8 years ago that I needed to go there, I started out as an IFC Session Leader. If you ever attended the IFC you know what they do and look like: always asking for evaluation forms and kindly answering all your logistical questions, in bright green shirts (nowadays in bright red). (more…)