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IOF Fundraising Convention 2019 - Day 3

Ellie Adamo By Ellie Adamo

Day 2 was busy with our very own Creative Partner Ian Boardman speaking on a panel about making legacy campaigns that stand out from the crowd. The night before we also celebrated the IoF Awards, in which we were shortlisted for Legacy Campaign of the Year for our work with Save the Children. Unfortunately we didn’t win - congratulations to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity! - but it was a wonderful night seeing so many amazing organisations and people recognised for their hard work.

So, on to day 3, the final day of the convention! Here’s just a few things that stood out for me today:

1. Millennials

It certainly wasn’t surprising to see a panel dedicated to questions about the next generation of fundraisers at this 2019 event! Everyone seems to be working hard to understand what makes millennials tick when it comes to fundraising. This panel with Morgan Kainth (SML Solutions), Leanne Ledgard (Ethical Angel), Konna Beeson (Meningitis UK) and Emily Stubbs (10x10 Philanthropy & Maanch Youth Advisory Board) highlighted some of the things that make this generation unique:

  1. Obsessed with purpose
  2. Interested in living their values at work
  3. Data hungry and data savvy
  4. Yearning for communities
  5. Energetic!

Learning how to utilise that energy is key, and a great way to do that is to combine it with their love of community. Fundraising can be live, experimental and engaging. Emily at 10x10 talked about growing organically with peer to peer fundraising (one person bringing 10 people).

2. Radiate your brand

Do you radiate your brand? The idea of constantly ‘radiating your brand’ comes from audiences these days being very fragmented. Segments and silos can now be broken down to a greater extent, making it impossible to know who is watching your brand when, or from what channel. So make sure that you are radiating your brand consistently and effectively.

One way to make sure this happens is internal engagement. If your people aren’t inspired, then how can your brand radiate to people externally?

There was also mention of not focusing too narrowly on brand identity. The panel posed the question: what do you think of when you hear ‘John Lewis’? It’s probably not their logo, but their values and the experiences you have with the brand.

3. Product development

There’s a real desire in the industry to create products - often time, budget, process and lack of insight gets in the way. But there’s a misunderstanding of some of these ‘problems’. A belief that a product has to be ‘big and new’ feeds a lot of these reasons to hesitate, but that needn’t be the case. Look at the top 10 charity events: 5 of them are walks.

Daniel Field, Innovation Manager at BHF, talked about their Face a Fear campaign. Initially it bombed, with only 2k sign-ups and a few thousand pounds raised. Why? Without audience insight and testing, the product was created from a good idea purely motivated to make money, and that created a blinkering affect. So he advised to let products be led by insight, and what the audience wants. Not to get carried away with a great idea that is pushed through just on a purely monetary basis.

An amazing extra

Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes was the final plenary speaker of the convention. She spoke about pushing yourself to succeed and being willing to take risks, but also about empathy and passion being at the real heart of making a charity succeed. Helping other people empowers you, and that’s something to remember when there are barriers and you need to draw on your own resilience.

Signing off for 2019

The IoF Fundraising Convention is always a highlight of our year, and there’s so much to take in and apply to our work. We will be thinking on these lessons for a long time!

Ellie Adamo

Ellie Adamo

Account Director

Ellie embodies that covetable combination of razor-sharp strategic skill and an instinctive ability to connect and engage with people. She cut her teeth in commercial advertising, but moved to fundraising agencies when she found charities ignited her passion in a way that banks never would. We’re delighted to benefit from her considerable experience, read more about Ellie here.