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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

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Scottish fundraising conference 2017 set to be bigger and better

This opinion piece is about 7 years old

Gary Kernahan updates fundraisers on developments for this autumn's Scottish fundraising conference

Less than five months ago we brought Scotland's community of fundraisers together for the biggest ever Institute of Fundraising Scottish Fundraising Conference.

As the shops surrounding our Glasgow city-centre venue were getting ready for Christmas shoppers, we welcomed 300 fundraisers on each day of the conference. Our aim over the two days was simple, we wanted to deliver a high-quality learning experience from a range of inspiring case studies and some of the UK’s finest fundraisers. We believe that is exactly what was achieved.

Gary Kernahan

For the first time, the conference programme will include five masterclasses covering topics such as digital fundraising, kick starting your major donor programme and great fundraising

Gary Kernahan

Not wishing to rest on our laurels though, since October the volunteer organising committee has been busy planning the 2017 event. Ahead of it’s launch I am keen to update fundraisers on the progress we're making and three key developments for the 2017 event.

Firstly, this year the conference, delivered in association with our headline sponsor Johnston Mailing, will be returning to the Doubletree by Hilton Glasgow central on the 3 and 4 October. The hotel has been a good home to our event since 2015.

Every year we undertake a competitive tender process to ensure we secure the best possible deal. Members rightly question if we've investigated venues in Edinburgh and we do. Unfortunately venues in the capital are more expensive – the cheapest one was £20,000 more expensive than our chosen venue – which makes it cost prohibitive.

Last year we reduced the cost of attending the conference for Institute members and this year I am delighted to announce that we'll be freezing the prices. By chance I found an invoice I received for attending the conference on 2011 and couldn't help note that it was more expensive to attend then (£189 for a standard member day pass or £170 if bought during the early bird) than it is now.

This year a 10% discount will be introduced for organisations sending five or more delegates to the conference which we hope will see the opportunity to attend offered to more fundraisers.

We will also once again be running an early bird offer and thanks to our bursary sponsor, Sharpestone Skinner, up to 10 places will be available for those who may not otherwise be able to attend conference.

The most important update I have to make though is obviously about the content. For 2017 a new sixth stream of sessions will be added to the conference programme meaning that there will be 6 sessions running at any given time providing delegates with more choice. In addition, for the first time, the conference programme will include five masterclasses covering topics such as digital fundraising, kick starting your major donor programme and great fundraising.

The recent public call for conference speakers generated an overwhelming response. As I write this blog 46 different speakers have been booked of which just 18 of them were involved last year. I take this is an incredibly positive sign that more and more fundraisers are putting themselves forward to share with their peers.

The 2017 IoF Scottish fundraising conference in association with Johnston Mailing will launch in March. Keep your eyes open for our exciting programme and I do hope you’ll be able to join us on the 3 and 4 October 2017.

Gary Kernahan is the IoF Scottish fundraising conference chair