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Your Time Starts Now at FIA Conference 2019


Thursday, 17th January 2019 at 7:15 am
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FIA Conference 2019, the largest fundraising conference in the Asia-Pacific region, is coming to Melbourne from the 27 February to 1 March.


Thursday, 17th January 2019
at 7:15 am
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Your Time Starts Now at FIA Conference 2019
Thursday, 17th January 2019 at 7:15 am

FIA Conference 2019, the largest fundraising conference in the Asia-Pacific region, is coming to Melbourne from the 27 February to 1 March.

So why should you be going? First and foremost, this conference is the biggest fundraising assembly in the country and the main event on the fundraising calendar.

It provides critical trends, techniques and professional development learning over 2.5 days with sector insiders that will challenge your thinking and give you the latest knowledge and fresh ideas. It just might be the motivation you need to trial new approaches to your fundraising!

In 2019, there will be 60-plus sessions, one of the biggest conferences FIA has ever produced. Take a look at the conference program to see what sessions are of interest and start plotting out how you will spend your time at the conference. But register now to ensure you’ve got a ticket!

Katherine Raskob, FIA CEO, says it’s vital for fundraisers to make time for professional development as fundraising is continually evolving.

“Fundraising is increasingly challenging with declining donor rates and retention. As a result, fundraisers need to think about new and innovative ways to engage and retain their donors. FIA Conference 2019 is a critical way to pick up the learnings to do that,” she said.

On track at the conference

More than 90-plus international and local experts and best-practice fundraising will be showcased across all streams. The 2019 theme, Your Time is Now, highlights fundraisers, the change they make and the good work they do.

For 2019, the conference program committee has developed seven themed tracks, one more than in previous years, allowing delegates to choose from a variety of sessions that match their interests.

On offer:

  • Gifts in Wills (new for 2019)
  • Community & Event
  • Individual Giving
  • Partnerships
  • Philanthropy
  • The Bigger Picture
  • Digital Trends & Innovation.

FIA Conference 2019 also offers delegates a chance to interact with engaging speakers from around the globe including three very dynamic keynotes, find out about products and services that can help them raise more money for their organisations, and network with fundraising peers from across Australia at a variety of receptions and events.

“Networking can be so beneficial for a variety of reasons. Often the learnings are just as valuable outside the conference room as in it. You might also find your next job or make some influential business contacts for the future. And there’s nothing like sharing your experiences with other people who understand what it’s like to work in the sector,” Raskob said.

Earn CFRE points

Importantly, fundraisers can also earn Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) continuing education points, towards certification, by attending FIA Conference. It’s one point per session and 4.75 points for a masterclass. So if you want points towards this globally recognised certification then make sure you attend!

Compelling keynotes

The conference program committee always looks out for the current rock stars of the fundraising profession and 2019 is no different.

The proceedings kick off with Alan Clayton, chair of Robejohn and UK-based Alan Clayton Associates, delivering the opening keynote address, A New Ambition, focusing on how to raise more money. Clayton’s presentation will hone in on the starting point: the dream around which all great fundraising programs unite their organisation and donors, dreams that work and how to create them.

Fundraising academic Dr Adrian Sargeant, CEO of UK-based The Philanthropy Centre, will also deliver a keynote about factors driving exceptional fundraising success in Australia, taken from the latest research in this area.

“We are so excited to bring the combined expertise of Alan Clayton and Dr Adrian Sargeant to FIA Conference 2019,” Raskob said.

“Alan will deliver a keynote featuring over 350 case studies on what sets donors alight with enthusiasm and determination, while Adrian will talk about factors driving exceptional fundraising in our country. Both speakers will give delegates practical tips and takeaways they can bring back to work to boost their fundraising campaigns for the organisations they serve.”

FIA Conference 2019’s closing keynote will feature Bisi Alimi, founder and executive director of the London-based Bisi Alimi Foundation, an organisation striving to accelerate social acceptance of LGBT people in Nigeria. The activist will share his poignant story of being outed on national TV, the struggles of the LGBT community in Nigeria, how he had to leave his homeland and how he is now learning to be a fundraiser to support his cause.

Successful women on tap for the Syd Herron Oration

The annual Syd Herron Oration usually focuses on one accomplished Australian fundraiser talking about their life and career. But for 2019, fundraisers will hear from three extraordinary women who have made significant contributions to the charitable sector.

The Smith Family’s head of marketing Lisa Allan will moderate the session, interviewing Starlight Children’s Foundation CEO Louise Baxter, South Australia Food Bank fundraising manager Raquel Dillon and a third woman to be confirmed. They will discuss how they engineered positive social change within their organisations and the joys and challenges they experienced along the way.

And the Big Room Sessions are back, featuring one panel of experts talking about how to respect donors in marketing communications and another session discussing how organisations can become more diverse and inclusive in practice.

Also returning is Myth Smashers, an entertaining gathering which gives up-and-coming fundraisers six minutes to talk about a fundraising myth they’ve encountered during their career and how they addressed it.

The social network

At the conference’s annual exhibition, fundraisers will have the chance to meet with 40-plus suppliers offering the latest products and services to help with fundraising campaigns. FIA Conference also features a wealth of social events including the annual welcome drinks, an emerging leaders’ reception and an event for CFREs.

Not to be missed is the Champions of Change Fundraisers’ Gala Awards Dinner, taking place Thursday 28 February at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, where fundraisers can celebrate the sector’s best campaigns of the year and the most accomplished individuals and teams.

So, if you need fresh, global, best-practice perspectives to boost your career and your organisation’s fundraising, then head to FIA Conference.

For more information and to register, visit the conference website. Tickets are starting to go quickly so register soon. And if you want to keep up to date with conference announcements head to Twitter: #FIAConf2019.

One final benefit? FIA Conference 2019 will be at Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre, and it’s a just short walk, tram, train or taxi ride from many of the city’s attractions and museums. It’s worth staying over for a couple of days to get out and enjoy this beautiful city!




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