International Fundraising Congress in Noordwijkerhout - 800 people, 250 countries, a transformative journey of change
My first two days were spent touring Amsterdam, the city, the museums, and touring the city on the water. This picture is from my canal tour. A few thoughts on Amsterdam: a cashless society for the most part, you tap to get on a tram, train, or bus and tap to get off, no tickets; walkable city; I felt safe but am a careful traveler; museums and galleries were lovely; the people were friendly and helpful. I journeyed by train back to the airport to catch the bus to Noardwijderhout and attended IFC for four great days. On Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning I attended a Master Class focused on leadership and organizational change. Then the rest of the week was filled with learning, fun, and new and old friends. I met a student, Ehab, from Jordan, who took a class at the Fundraising School in 2008. The rest of the week was packed with speakers sharing their strategies that added new methods and approaches, emphasizing adaptability and resilience as critical drivers of success. The consensus emerged—change is not a challenge to be faced but an opportunity to be seized.
In the age of artificial intelligence, fundraisers discovered the transformative power of AI Fundamentals. From predictive analytics to personalized donor engagement, the discussions illuminated the potential of AI in optimizing fundraising strategies. Attendees left with a newfound appreciation for the symbiotic relationship between human ingenuity and machine intelligence.
A timeless art, storytelling continues to be a way of connecting with donors on a profound level. Workshops and sessions unfolded the magic behind compelling narratives, urging fundraisers to craft stories that not only tug at heartstrings but also inspire action and ignite the spirit of giving.
Fundraisers eagerly embraced the possibilities shared on digital fundraising, from harnessing the potential of social media to implementing effective email campaigns. The message was clear. Digital is not just a channel; it's a gateway to a global community of supporters.
Gaming and Innovation:
In an unexpected yet delightful twist, the fusion of Gaming and Innovation emerged as a frontier for fundraising possibilities. The power of gamification to engage and motivate donors was unveiled, showcasing a new fundraising method for me. It became evident that thinking outside the traditional fundraising box can yield remarkable results. Gaming and Innovation surprised me because I loved it. I know very little about it, but I want to learn more.
Seizing the opportunity to change requires changing how you do things in your life and work. Readying yourself for change requires new opportunities to learn. I have every intention of going back in 2024 and contiuning to build on the relationships I made and the new experiences I had. This time I will spend a couple days in Rotterdam and explore the new modern city of the Netherlands.