4th – 6th July 2016

It’s time to tackle the sector’s challenges, and explore its opportunities

: Liz Tait

Around now tends to be the time of year when we reflect on the year gone by and look forward to the year ahead. And sitting around the table talking about the highlights of 2015 with the Tait family, I admit nothing can quite compare with the joy of spending maternity leave with my little girl, although on a work level there were some major highs and lows too.

On a beautifully sunny day in March, Battersea opened some new desperately needed kennels, and our fundraising team were able to see the direct impact of our hard graft over the last five years, as well as our wonderful charity embarking on a new exciting project to build a veterinary hospital.

Then after learning about all things ‘baby’ I was immersed back in the fundraising world - a world that I live, breathe and love – at Fundraising Convention in July and was able to learn from brilliant colleagues across the sector. And as the storm of negative publicity continued to hit the sector over the summer months, I was able to watch from afar as my brilliant colleagues at Battersea did all they could for our animals and to protect our fundraising future.

All in all it’s probably an understatement to say that 2015 wasn’t without its challenges for fundraisers and is a year that we aren’t going to forget very quickly, for all the wrong reasons. Last year cancer heartbreakingly took our former Convention Board Chair Liz Monks from us and our community is still feeling from the tragic loss of Fundraising Giant Tony Elischer last week.

Our world in 2016 is now one of intense media scrutiny as well as unparalleled challenges to recruiting new supporters, and that’s unlikely to change in the near future. Our work shows no sign of slowing down with new sector initiatives such as the Fundraising Preference Service on the horizon and its now more than ever that we need to be at the top of our game.

By July this year I’m sure we will all be ready for another brilliant Fundraising Convention and a chance to reflect with, and learn from, each other. What I'm looking forward to most is the time to link up with the best in the business to grapple with the challenges we're facing as a sector, as well as to explore opportunities for the future. And we'll also be sure to mark the very special contribution that Liz and Tony made to our sector and the Convention.

But what else can you expect from this year’s Convention?

The Convention Board - fantastic fundraisers themselves - have crafted a forward-thinking programme, bringing back the best speakers from previous years’ as well as welcoming new rising stars, to share insight into a multitude of fundraising disciplines and campaigns. We’ll be sharing the latest sector developments, exploring eye opening campaigns and the most useful new trends from the sector. Here is what’s lined up:

  • 114 sessions and workshops from 200 speakers
  • A new UN-Conventional series of talks where delegates will be exposed to learning in a different light
  • An inspirational plenary speaker on each of the three days
  • Social and evening events for networking in a relaxed environment


Helping you to get the most out of the day, and showing you everything you need to know, will be an incredible team of Convention volunteers. And it’s not just those attending that feel the energy of the Convention. Last year there were over 4,000 conversations and mentions over social media, the event trended on Twitter on each of the three days, with people over the world lending their thoughts to the fundraising action.

And we don’t, of course, have to wait until July to start the conversation. I, for one, am already excited. The Convention Board would love to hear if you’re thinking of attending this year and what you are looking forward to most, so please get involved on social media with #fundraisingconvention

Liz Tait, Director of Fundraising at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and Chair of the Fundraising Convention Board

Liz will also be speaking in the 'Best in fundraising - developing and managing top teams' session at Fundraising Convention

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