We spoke to Angela Hughes and Gabriella Lee from the Third Sector team for a Fundraising Week breakdown.
What is Fundraising Week all about?
Ultimately, Fundraising Week is an immersive experience which aims to address the issues that are fundamentally changing the way fundraisers work to develop the future of giving.
“It’s also a bit like a not-for-profit festival for learning” says Gabriella Lee.
“At Fundraising Week we aim to inspire, educate and celebrate the best of the profession” Angela Hughes explains.
At the event, you’ll have the opportunity to attend and experience some top notch knowledge based fundraising events as well as hear from some of the sector’s most prolific characters and speakers from influential organisations such as Cancer Research UK, Action Aid and the NSPCC.
“The not-for-profit sector has been under a good deal of scrutiny externally and internally. It’s a good time for fundraisers and organisations to come together, talk about the issues in the sector and think about possible solutions”, adds Lee.
Third Sector has incorporated all of the best aspects of its initial launch event to create and build a personalised programme of learning, one that will be relevant for you and your charity.
“There’s something for everyone.” says Lee, “Fundraising Week has been tailored in such a way that people from different sectors and departments can take the opportunity to learn about fundraising. It’s an immersive experience that allows people to learn together and share their sector knowledge and understanding.
“Last year, Fundraising Week didn’t incorporate so many of the sector’s themes into one week. This year, we’ve really made sure it was all inclusive and addressed the needs of the community.”
Are there any events you think fundraisers should pay particular attention to?
“The talent management section focuses on the talent shortage in the industry. It aims to help recruiters and hiring managers to attract and keep top talent for fundraising teams”, says Lee.
“Definitely ‘Big Questions Live’” adds Hughes. “It is the opportunity of a lifetime to have your questions answered by sector influencers in one of the week’s most engaging events.”
Members have the chance to debate with Stephen Lee, professor of voluntary sector management, Cass Business School, Mark Flannagan, chief executive for Beating Bowel Cancer and Paul Farthing, director of fundraising at the NSPCC. The floor’s open to all questions. And the debate will be live streamed so that those who can’t make the event don’t have to miss out!
What are the biggest trends you think we’ll be tackling this year?
“The sector’s top concerns surround digital and regulatory changes so a lot of Fundraising Week’s events and talks will be zeroed in on that,” says Hughes.
“The concern around digital and how the fundraising community would incorporate it is why Third Sector launched it’s Third Sector Digital platform earlier this year”, adds Lee.
Digital has generated a lot of conversation around face-to-face and door-to-door fundraising, discussing its merits and challenges. At Fundraising Week there will be a focus on thinking about new ways to adopt the digital age into the sector.
But the big issue is regulation. People are worried about fundraising’s future, especially with challenges around public trust.
“Who could forget the Olive Cooke situation of last year which spurred the change?” adds Hughes emphatically. “The top speakers at Fundraising Week 2016 will be debating the issues around ethically sourcing donations and the minefield created by the new Fundraising Regulator which is aiming to ensure best practice across the sector. Don't miss Rob Wilson, minister for Civil Society, kicking off Fundraising Week with his keynote!”
Tips for those planning to come to Fundraising Week
- Keep your eyes peeled for pop-up events: Expert hubs will be dotted around the event so make sure you keep an eye out.
- Start establishing a network: There will be some invite only breakfast briefings and roundtables dotted around Fundraising Week. You don’t want to miss out!
- Organise your tickets to get the most out of the experience: You can have up to three members from your organisation on one ticket so make sure those on it can definitely attend.
- Maximise the amount of learning you get out of your ticket: With three people on one ticket, the range of events you can attend are quite large! Take advantage of this. Take notes. And share them with your colleagues!
- Check out the schedule to optimise your experience: Look at the different streams and events and get familiar with the days to fully take advantage of the week.