Looking forward to IFC

In October 2017 I spoke for the first time at the International Fundraising Congress (IFC), held in the Netherlands. I was there with the American Cancer Society to share a joint area of interest, strategic volunteering. We talked about Relay For Life, which is a volunteer-led programme of year-round fundraising, culminating in a 24 hour event of celebration, remembrance and hope.

It was a perfect opportunity to share our combined knowledge, expertise and skills around managing and developing volunteers, with an international audience. Delegates to the Congress are open, questioning and determined to learn. All of this makes it an amazing opportunity for speakers who are passionate about their subject.

Imagine my delight when THINK and the American Cancer Society were chosen to speak once more in 2018.  Again, the topic is volunteering.  This year we are speaking about the implementation of strategic volunteering, in a practical and hands-on session.  It is heartening to see organisations embracing the philosophy of being volunteer-led. The next stage is to have a good understanding of how to translate the strategy into operational reality.  The session is designed for practitioners who need to build their tool kit, knowledge base and skills to work with volunteers with confidence and conviction.

Our sector is filled with committed people who have a generous spirit of sharing what’s worked well and what has failed, all to help other people get there faster.  The content of the session is very much influenced and created by bright and brilliant Relay For Life volunteers, the very people who can best articulate how and why staff and volunteers can work together to deliver organisational mission.

The theme for IFC 2018 is ‘Together We Can’. This is the anthem of the third sector and the impetus that gets so many of us jumping out of bed in the morning. I can’t wait until 17th October 2018, where once more I will be part of an incredible collective of people from across the world, united by their activism and belief that this planet can be a better place because of our work.