FIA Conference – Change and You Did!
Friday, 6th March 2009 at 1:38 pm
By Sue-Anne Wallace, FIA CEO
FIA’s 32nd International Fundraising Conference – Change- closed on Monday 2 March after 4 packed days of talks and headline pieces including the plenary sessions by Sean Triner, Norma Galafassi and David Gonski AC.
For the second time, FIA’s conference was preceded by the Asia Pacific Forum and this year’s topics were social enterprise, sustainability and training and development. With funding from AusAID, FIA brought visitors from the Philippines, East Timor and India to the forum, which was addressed by Senator Bob McMullan, Rafael Lopa, Chairman Microventures Inc., Manila, and Associate Professor Cheryl Kernot, Centre for Social Impact. Resolutions from the meeting will form the work plan for the regional steering group to take the agenda forward.
Following the Asia Pacific Forum, FIA’s Board of Directors met with international representatives of fundraising organisations and discussed the topic of what, if any, role fundraising organisations have during emergency appeals. The experience of the Institute of Fundraising (UK) was described and reference was made to the Australian Council for International Development’s role in ensuring compliance with ACFID’s codes during international emergency/disaster fundraising. It was agreed that this is an important topic to pursue further as there is much a peak body can do to assist at such times.
Then it was into the conference proper! The opening plenary by Sean Triner gave a donor’s perspective, while the final plenary by David Gonski provided a sound and measured appraisal of the impact of the global financial crisis. Norma Galafassi’s plenary, the fifth and final plenary honouring the late Mary Clarke, was a brilliant review of organisational preparedness, the 3.0 organisation.
Seventy-seven parallel sessions, covering planned giving, new fundraisers, strategic partnerships marketing and communications, direct marketing, capital campaigns and major gifts, executive perspectives and ‘outside the box’, engaged participants over three days. Feedback to date has been outstanding – as speakers were really the cream of the industry, sharing their experience and perspectives on a wide range of issues.
While the closing plenary, the Gruen Transfer, was framed to provide a light side to fundraising, the session raised many issues about marketing and how we promote our causes to the wider public! some very good take home messages on marketing and communications.
For those who wanted more, masterclasses on Sunday morning engaged with web 2.0, moves management, strategic planning and events. These intensive sessions were popular, especially moves management. It seems everyone wants to move!
And so to add that I too am moving. Change is on my horizon as well. I will be finishing at FIA this week after almost five fabulous years with the peak body and taking on the role of Managing Director with Global Philanthropic. FIA’s new CEO, Chris McMillan will be ushered in on 24 March. Thanks for your support! Thanks Pro Bono Australia! I look forward to staying in touch!