Fundraising Convention: The Power of Connections

01/03/2023 | by Paul Laird

Fundraising Convention is undoubtedly a highlight for many across the fundraising community, as well as being a special event for us at the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. Now in its 33rd year we're again proud to facilitate an event which brings our members and fundraisers from across the UK, as well as around the world, together to participate in a positive, energising, and creative professional learning environment.


Committed to delivering for you

Attending my first Convention last year introduced me to new expressions of the warmth, openness, and determination of this community, so it's a joy to be involved in shaping Convention 2023. It's clearer than ever that many fundraisers love to connect with each other and value the sense of belonging this brings. It's what drives our excellent Convention Board volunteers and our passionate staff team to deliver a first-class experience for everyone attending.  

An exciting programme ahead

With over 300 proposals submitted by people to take part in delivering a session at Convention I’m really excited for what promises to be a fantastic programme for you.

Fresh ideas, impactful campaigns, successes and failures, thought leadership and practical tips will be shared in a variety of plenary and interactive sessions in keeping with our peer-to-peer learning model. The Convention Board – made up of experienced fundraisers – are busy skilfully curating a series of learning and development experiences to cater for our diverse audience.

I'm truely grateful for the insight, tenacity and commitment that they have already shown while designing an inspiring 2023 programme.


A Fundraising Convention built on what you want 

As we were planning this year’s event, we put your views and desires at the heart of what we do. We sought and listened carefully to feedback from former delegates, members who didn't attend but would be interested in attending in future, and other stakeholders within the fundraising community. This has directly influenced the event content, format, location, and duration, meaning that this year’s Convention signals new territory both for us as the Chartered Institute, and you as a delegate.

Fundraising Convention 2023 will take place in-person at the QEII Centre in London and complements a broad range of events and activities offered by the Chartered Institute across the UK and virtually.

In addition, I'm excited to confirm that we will be livestreaming a bespoke virtual Convention programme to welcome and engage with a valuable audience that cannot or choose not to travel to a centralised location. This hybrid offer allows delegates the chance to hear live sessions selected by the Board at the same time as in-person delegates, to have live interaction with speakers, and network with peers. Virtual delegates can also enjoy fringe activities such as bookable virtual one-to-one coaching slots and lunchtime workshops.


Accessible ticket prices  

The Chartered Institute is a registered charity, and our purpose includes equipping fundraisers and fundraising charities. All our conferences, events and training are a part of delivering that purpose. We recognise that rising costs are affecting us all, and that you need to see continued value on the events that you attend, and so we have done our best to keep the event affordable and accessible to as many as possible.

An event like this does of course involve a range of costs, including venue hire, catering, on-site and virtual audio-visual production, exhibition build, delegate registration, branding, filming, event platform and ticket booking costs. In a continued climate of uncertainty, hosting an event of this scale also is accompanied with an element of risk and investment from our side. Fundraising Convention is at its heart for fundraisers and to maximise the experience of delegates our ticket costs and sponsorship income are set on a projected basis for the event to break even this year, rather than make a surplus.

I know that for some, ticket prices, accommodation and travel costs can be prohibitive, so a variety of opportunities have been put in place to support our aim to have accessible ticket pricing:

  • A reduced-cost virtual ticket offer, giving access to a bespoke audience experience
  • A discount on all ticket options as part of our early bird deal 
  • A special small charity rate  
  • Discounted tickets for Chartered Institute members of all types  
  • Subsidised tickets for our amazing Group volunteers
  • Bulk ticket purchase discounts 
  • Bursaries for successful applicants who might not otherwise be able to attend

And while we look forward to welcoming people in person, for people who are unable to attend or prefer to join virtually, there is a new hybrid offer for this year.


A unique opportunity to further develop as a fundraiser

Whether attending in-person or joining virtually you can expect access to a high-quality programme of content suitable for all levels of fundraising experience.

Hearing the latest research, trends, innovation and insights will add significant value in your day-to-day work and broaden your outlook or approach and you will be able to apply new learning to increase your capacity and effectiveness as a fundraiser.

You’ll have the freedom to make time to invest in your personal and professional growth to help advance your career or interests. And importantly, there will be ample opportunities to meet, chat to, and share with other fundraisers like you.

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to meeting both in-person and virtual delegates. Staying connected, having each other’s backs, and focusing on the future are drivers that have never been more important. Fundraising Convention will showcase talent, inspire and motivate, and further build community. I hope to see you there.


Paul Laird, Director of Learning and Volunteering