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3rd – 5th July 2017
The Barbican

Boosting Brand You

: Ben Petts

Ben Petts, Community and Events fundraiser at St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice, looks back on learning from last year's Convention - and the importance of boosting 'brand you'...

I attended my first Institute of Fundraising ‘Fundraising Convention’ in 2015, thanks to the IoF East Midlands group. Having worked for St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice for two years, I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to see examples of best practice from other national charities.

I learned through the numerous workshops which all gave instrumental information regarding diverse forms of fundraising; which in turn will equip the hospice team with the skills to be the "best we can be". Helen Jackson, Head of Sport for Cancer Research UK presented the following key points: you can never over plan, offer as much information as possible, get everyone behind what you are doing and don’t be afraid to be too ambitious. These mantras will no doubt aid my work greatly whilst planning events in the future.

I was also introduced to Jessica’s Promise by Catherine Miles & Sam Butler from Anthony Nolan; this demonstrated the importance of supporters being empowered to begin their own fundraising and to shout about it using their familiar social media channels. An additional learning point from the convention that I shall capitalise on are the ideas and innovative thinking that all fundraisers need to embrace in order to ensure that supporters keep coming back.

networking

“I need to promote myself in the local community, be making decisions outside of my comfort zone, take pride in my achievements and ultimately make some noise."

Discovering trends in fundraising was particularly helpful. Listening to various charities and leaders in their fields, the “Fundraising in 2040” session led me to understand the power that mass participation events have, raising substantial amounts of money for our causes. Sonya Trivedy from the Terrence Higgins Trust used figures from past mass participation events such as Comic Relief to make this point. Meredith Niles, Head of Innovation from Marie Curie impressed on me that we have the ability to change the future, shape it and construct it by asking our donors what they want and by then supporting their specific needs. I believe that positivity will attract positive actions and outcomes and furthermore will continue this sense of optimism with the events I plan in the future.

delegate in a session

Exuberant confidence is also a key factor that I will take into my working outlook, understanding the needs of our communities and how we can help them. I must pre-empt answers should someone ask a question, I must also reassure them that supporting our chosen charities is easy and can be done in their own time with no level of inconvenience.

I then attended “Boosting Brand You,” which initially I didn’t think I had taken much from when the Convention ended, however after reviewing my notes, this workshop brought together everything I had gained from the experience. I realised that as a community fundraiser, I need to promote myself in the local community, be making decisions outside of my comfort zone, take pride in my achievements and ultimately make some noise. By doing this we can create a buzz around our charities and get more people to support our causes. From the beginning, working in the fundraising department, I have been an avidly proud fundraiser but embracing these skills to develop myself personally & professionally will support me to truly become the best that I can be.

Ben Petts, Community and Events fundraiser, St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice

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