President’s Message

President’s Message

This year’s Blackbaud Conference (BBCON) had “Accelerate” as its title and theme. As I led a session on integrated fundraising, talked to people at our booth, and chatted in the halls, I was struck by the sobriety of this year’s conference.

And I’m not talking about alcohol whatsoever.

This year’s Blackbaud Conference (BBCON) had “Accelerate” as its title and theme. As I led a session on integrated fundraising, talked to people at our booth, and chatted in the halls, I was struck by the sobriety of this year’s conference.

And I’m not talking about alcohol whatsoever.

What I’m talking about is the fact that nonprofit and partner participants were having conversations about accelerating their fundraising, but in thoughtful, thorough, and critically minded ways.

There were many sessions on how to use data to more effectively take care of our existing donors. There were sessions that were trying to leverage market research to make limited marketing dollars more effective. And, there were sessions of cautious tales learned from nonprofits that had tried something new and cautioned others on how to do it better next time.

I think part of this more thoughtful, more conservative, approach to improving fundraising is being driven by the recession. But, it might also be a cultural shift in how we view the potential of technology.

There were wonderful new mobile apps, cloud solutions, and more to excite any fundraiser, but the conversation about new technology was about how to leverage it to do existing fundraising and marketing more effectively. There was less of the shiny new syndrome and more maturity in the approach to use technology in fundraising.

The concept of integrated fundraising sat at the center of the conversation. From the session on The Past, Present, and Future of Integrated Marketing to Turning Peer to Peer Fundraising Benchmark Data in Action to Snag Em for Life – Tag Em in eTapestry and many more, the conversations were about bringing everything together to improve the donor journey. It was a truly integrated conversation in the many rooms at the conference.

It’s about time. And not a moment too soon as donor attrition rises inexorably, but not permanently if we get on it now.

I’ll call this the age of ambitious caution in which we want to carefully transform our fundraising to transform the world around us. And BBCON captured it perfectly.

As we move away from BBCON, how do organizations find the training, inspiration, and cautionary guidance over the next year? Here are two places where you can learn, share, and help integrated marketing move forward:

  • The first is the 1st Annual IMAB Virtual Conference in November 2013. Watch this blog in coming weeks for details!
  • The 9th Annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference – July 9-11, 2014

posted on Oct 25

One Response to “President’s Message”

  1. Another great conference to get inspired: International Fundraising Congress in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. 2014 dates are October 14th through 17th!

    It was tremendously inspiring to hear from three women and how they were impacted by the organizations that helped them.

    It was tremendously sobering to hear from two great fundraisers who shared their failures and the learning that came from it.

    It was tremendously promising to hear how there is a future for fundraising, that parts of it may look differently but are still there and the hope we can find in our young people volunteering, donating and working in the nonprofit industry…

    http://www.resource-alliance.org check it out!

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