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Fundraising Gone Global: Key Takeaways from IFC

Production Solutions

Two weeks ago, the Resource Alliance hosted the 2017 International Fundraising Congress (IFC) in the Netherlands. Our very own Chief Relationship Officer, Greg Albright, packed his bags and traveled across the pond to partake in the 4-day congress that brought fundraisers and change-makers together to collaborate, educate, and innovate with one another on social changes and industry evolutions.

The International Fundraising Congress is bigger than what’s going on and currently trending. It drives fundraisers to globally think outside of the box and start a new conversation. So, what did Greg take away from the event? Here are his key insights:

  1. Privacy concerns are on the rise globally. Privacy issues are affecting global nonprofits. We live in an opt-out world here in the US, while other countries require donors and potential new donors to opt-in before receiving any solicitations. Also, the EU is currently taking a very close look at how social networks influence the way content is shared and promoted.
  2. Big data could be the next big topic in fundraising. How will our industry use big data and how will we find a balance with growing privacy laws? Big data will continue to grow its power and influence and it is incumbent upon our community to use the tools available to us. New models of engagement are emerging and how nonprofits model donors and prospects will be a part of top discussions in the future.

  3. Face-to-face is a favored channel in Europe. Establishing lasting relationships with new donors is essential for the success of every fundraising program. The face-to-face acquisition channel has proven to be a leading channel in European countries, far more than it is in the United States. Though is it an expensive acquisition channel, if an organization can effectively create a genuine relationship with these new donors, the retention rate will justify the cost to acquire. It will be interesting to see what the US-based organizations can learn from our European counterparts.  
  4. Every organization should have a broad range of channels. Relying too heavily on one channel puts any program at risk. There’s a balance that must be found and lifetime value should be considered when planning for investments in new channels. Outside influences such as economic, environmental, political, or governmental can and will happen and having limited channels increased the risk of any fundraising programs. The IFC is a great place to learn and explore other channels. Experts in one channel can learn about channels that they may not be as familiar with and begin to plan to expand.

The Congress provided a memorable experience for the attendees – just like fundraising aims to do for donors by creating lasting experiences and relationships. Our Globetrotter Greg even got groovy at the disco party hosted by the Resource Alliance!

The encounters develop and flourish through these congresses. He is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to merge thinking caps and perspectives together to collaborate and start a new conversation – he can’t wait to see what next year’s Congress brings!