Fundraising Convention 2022

12/04/2022 | by Paul Laird

Shaping the Chartered Institute’s flagship Fundraising Convention alongside our volunteer Board was an exciting (and daunting!) task to take on and one that I’m really pleased to see launch today.

Since joining the Chartered Institute last year to head up our volunteering, membership, and events activities I’ve been so impressed by the excellent work of our volunteer Groups across the UK and their tenacity in supporting members despite considerable uncertainty. Seeing first-hand the commitment and passion of our members I knew that our Convention Board would be absolutely central to making it a success, and I take my hat off to our talented volunteer colleagues who are committed to making this year’s event the best it can be. It’s a privilege to be involved in making this happen.

The decisions taken about Fundraising Convention were by no means easy. We’ve had long conversations between colleagues and the Convention Board about how it should run and what it should look like given all the changes and developments that we’ve all had to contend with over the last two years, as well of course as the views and preferences of our members. So as the early-bird tickets launch today, I wanted to share with you some of the thinking and reasoning behind the decisions which have shaped the event that you’ll see, and more information about how we are making it safe and accessible.

 What Fundraising Convention 2022 looks like

This year we will be hosting Fundraising Convention in person again at the Barbican Centre in London. We are doing it in person because members have told us how much they’ve missed being together and value the opportunity to share, network, and learn in a face-to-face environment. Previous delegates have told us that they come away energised, motivated, and enthusiastic about the connections they wouldn’t have made otherwise and look to us to facilitate this.

While the experience and preference of our members must always come first, we also did have contractual obligations with the venue that needed to be honoured which we of course had to consider too.

But virtual events which so many of us have run or attended in the last two years are here to stay. During the pandemic, we hosted Fundraising Convention Online. They were successful events and we had great feedback from delegates. We are also very aware that virtual events offer opportunities for some people to be able to attend who otherwise could not do so and the future of the Chartered Institute’s events will be a mix of in-person, virtual, and hybrid.

So, this year we are testing an approach that allows for both an in-person event in the summer and a dedicated virtual on-demand event later in the year. This way we can curate the best experience for attendees to suit each format. More details of the virtual event will be confirmed in the future, but we’re delighted to offer all in-person delegates access to the virtual event free of charge to add further value and the opportunity to consolidate their learning, while also offering new and bespoke sessions for delegates who will join virtually.

A Fundraising Convention that gives you choice

We’ve structured this year’s event to give you options.  The choice to glean content from a range of specialisms to broaden your exposure to multiple areas of fundraising, or the option to pick one single topic to learn and practice in a set period of time with focus and intensity.  We’ve also curated sessions that appear on more than one day so that you don’t miss out if there’s a clash.

The user-friendly event app gives you the ability to plan your experience in advance, though of course the ever-helpful volunteers and members of staff will be available throughout the event to give you guidance and support.

Because not every workshop will appeal to every attendee, Fundraising Convention offers eight simultaneous development sessions several times each day and a total of six impactful plenaries.  We truly want delegates to select sessions that fit their interests and also to benefit from an array of complementary ‘fringe’ activities running through each day.  These opportunities will expose you to fresh voices, experts from within and outside of the sector, CPD and facilitated networking that’s second to none.

Putting people first

Sexual harassment (any other form of harassment), abuse or discrimination is never acceptable.  Every single instance must be treated seriously and with respect and sensitivity.

New and updated safeguarding processes and procedures are embedded into the planning and delivery of Fundraising Convention, following a series of successful trials in previous Chartered Institute events.  All speakers and delegates will need to commit to the Code of Behaviour for Training and Events, and a centrally managed screening process will ensure that anyone who has been suspended or expelled due to an investigation or is currently subject to a formal complaint or investigation, cannot participate. Training has been provided for all staff, volunteers and trustees to ensure that everyone understands how to manage, record and act on any concerns or complaints.

Reducing barriers to access

The Chartered Institute is a charity, and we do what we do for the benefit of our community, not to make a profit. Fundraising Convention has been developed in a way that will enable us to break even rather than to make a surplus.   

As a membership organisation, it is of course right that there is a heavily discounted member ticket rate. But in addition, we’ve included features that will reduce the barriers posed by cost:

  • The introduction of a new ticket rate which offers the largest discount for small charities
  • A small charities bursary scheme
  • Subsidised tickets to allow our amazing volunteers to attend at a specially reduced rate
  • Group bookings for multiple delegates from one organisation - will attract a further discount, starting from a lower threshold of ticket sales
  • In addition, some of our regional, national, and special interest groups will offer bursaries to increase the diversity of our attendees and to increase accessibility for those who might not otherwise be able to benefit from the fresh, high-quality content that you’ve come to expect from Fundraising Convention.

To ensure the event is as successful as possible and reduce barriers to participation we will also be providing payment to speakers who would otherwise not be able to join us.

Our focus is on bringing the fundraising community together within a learning environment, creating opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, facilitated and informal networking, as well as personal and professional development. I’m excited to meet many of you in July at an iconic, accessible location with high-quality refreshments, great customer service and where you’ll be greeted with a very warm welcome.

Paul Laird
Director – Learning & Volunteering

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