The best parts of conferences are learning new ideas, developing new relationships, and seeing a new city. San Antonio did not disappoint on all three measures.
The following is my top 10 list from the 2019 Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Conference on Fundraising.
- San Antonio is stunning, even with record cold temperatures.
- AFP has partnered with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Korn Ferry on professional development and career growth programs for members. AFP is also naming October as ethics month. Read more here.
- The field has no shortage of software solutions. I was surprised at the options available for everything from donor databases to giving platforms to event management. See a list of all the exhibitors here.
- The opening keynote speaker, Spencer West, told a remarkable story about his life, what inspires his work and fundraising, and the power of asking for help. Learn more about him by viewing his YouTube channel.
- Marianne Pelletier had keen insights on data analytics. She shared that disposable income is highest September to November and lowest in March and April. Do you know how and when your donors want to be solicited? If so, do you follow suit, and have you tracked it in your database?
- Marianne Pelletier also shared that 82% of global wealth is owned by 1% of the world’s population. Yes, the 1% really is a thing. In fact, the old 80/20 or 90/10 adage of 80%–90% of your goal given by 20%–10% of your donors has changed. It’s now as high as 95/5 or 97/3. Wow.
- The trio of Bernard Ross, Alan Hutson, and Thomas Kurmann has given me a new outlook on patriarchy. Their sessions were smart, funny, relevant, funny, and incredibly valuable for the sector. They are now on my go-to list of thought leaders.
- BoardSource’s new “dependency quotient” is a strategic data point to assess fundraising effectiveness and the health of your organization’s philanthropic mix. The quotient measures the impact of your five largest donors. Anne Wallestad, CEO, asked, “Are you five decisions away from disaster?”
- Laura Fredrick has perfected her philosophy on how to ask. My favorite take-away is the “two sentences and a question” model. To our clients — I’ll be sharing this with you soon.
- Penelope Burk’s session on “donor-centered fundraising” was spot on, especially the story of her mother’s philanthropy. The short version: Penelope’s inheritance is safe.
For my colleagues who also attended, what’s your list?
Article by: Kerri Laubenthal Mollard, Founder & CEO