What a way to end the 2014 IFC in Noordwijkerhout, with a closing plenary from Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, who got out of his sick bed to come and talk to us. In equal parts inspirational and challenging, his message was clear; change is possible, but not without concerted action, and sacrifice. His example of the Arctic 30, charged with piracy by the Russian Government for their protests against drilling in the Arctic, and the way that raised awareness of the issue, showed both what can be done, and the price those who believe in the cause might have to pay.
As a fundraiser, it’s probably unlikely I’d ever be called on to make a sacrifice like that; but helping organisations and people who are working to change the world, is why I get out of bed in the morning and do what I do. It’s why I love being a fundraiser and working for the (original!) IFC; not because of the money we raise, but because of the work that money allows our clients to do around the world.
So, reflecting back on IFC2014, it was a very positive few days – although four full-on days in a conference centre is not for the light-hearted. As I headed back to the airport, squinting slightly at the bright light, I’d almost forgotten what the sky looks like! Still, I’ve had a great time, met huge numbers of new people from all over the world, and learned from some of the best fundraisers out there. I’d highly recommend it to anyone.
The highlights, other than Kumi’s closing plenary, were hearing Tony Myers talk on Major Donors – one of my particular areas of interest – Charlie Hulme’s session on storytelling, and the opening masterclass from Stephen Pidgeon and Anita Yeun on recruiting and retaining donors. All fascinating, and all have given me new ideas to take back to the people and organisations that I work with.