Four Trends to Follow at AFP’s 2017 International Fundraising Conference

April 19, 2017 Erin Duff

This year’s AFP fundraising conference is all about disruption. How are the rules of philanthropy changing, and what does that mean for fundraisers and the supporters they’re accountable to? The 100+ educational sessions offered this year will give plenty of food for thought for anyone looking to learn these new rules of the game and enhance their fundraising potential.

Here are the four key trends we’ll be following at the fundraising conference, and a few can’t-miss sessions that promise thought-provoking takes on the trends:

The Changing Landscape of Philanthropy

As the landscape of philanthropy continues to evolve, it’s more important than ever for fundraisers to keep an eye on these larger trends shaping our field. Thankfully, many speakers this year are focusing on how we can continue to meet the changing expectations of our supporters, from individual donors to funders and even our own colleagues. These sessions will share more on the forces you need understand and how you can harness the opportunities they create:

  • Philanthroculture: The Effects of Culture on Generosity – Houssam Chahin, UNHCR; Alphonce Brown; Docere Consulting, Inc.; Carlos Garcia, CETYS University System; Tamaki Onishi, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Lesley Ray, Mater Foundation; Laurie Trujillo, Aliados Consulting Group; Lilya Wagner, Philanthropic Service
    • Sunday, April 30 – 10:00 am – 11:15 am
  • What Funders Want 2.0: Outcomes for the Frontline FundraiserRachel Hutchisson, Blackbaud and Annie Rhodes, Blackbaud
    • Sunday, April 30 – 10:00 am – 11:15 am
  • What If the Answers Were All Around Us? Fundraising Bright Spots – Jeanne Bell, CompassPoint and Kim Klein, Klein and Roth Consulting
    • Sunday, April 30 – 12:30 pm-1:45 pm

Making Nonprofit Data and Analytics Work for You

As the nonprofit sector shifts toward a more donor-centric and results-focused model, this buzzword isn’t going anywhere. This year, you’ll see sessions digging deeper beyond defining terms and answering ‘why analytics is important.’ Now it’s all about real, workable tactics that can make data analytics work for your organization, even if you don’t have a team of data scientists at your disposal. Check out these top sessions to learn more:

  • Data Driven NonprofitsSteve MacLaughlin, VP, Data & Analytics, Blackbaud
    • Sunday, April 30 – 2:00 pm-3:15 pm
  • Segmenting for Success: New Data Insights and Best Practices to Power Your Segmenting and Marketing StrategiesMelissa Bank Stepno, Practice Manager, Blackbaud
    • Tuesday, May 2 – 1:45 pm-3:00 pm
  • Real Life: How I Became a Data-Driven Fundraiser – Steve MacLaughlin, Blackbaud
    • Monday, May 1 – 9:45 am-11:00 am

Digital Fundraising Strategies and Tools

It’s no exaggeration to say that digital technology has transformed the way we fundraise and connect with supporters. The percentage of total fundraising that came from online giving reached a record high in 2016, and digitally-focused campaigns like #GivingTuesday are finding unprecedented success. This ever-evolving field can be overwhelming, but you can look to these sessions to help you stay on top of the newest opportunities:

  • Ready to Respond: Real-Time Lessons to Drive Impact When Every Second Counts Robyn Mendez, Blackbaud and Jeanette Russell, Blackbaud
    • Sunday, April 30 – 12:30 pm-1:45 pm
  • Payment Trends That Will Change the Fundraising Game and What You Need to Understand to Stay AheadFrank Barry, Blackbaud; Eric Lasker, Stripe; and Eric Morse, VISA
    • Monday, May 1 – 1:45 pm-3:00 pm
  • #GivingTuesday: Doing a World of Good – Joao Paulo Vergueiro, Brazilian Fundraisers Association (ABCR); Anita Gallagher, Hispanics in Philanthropy; Asha Curran, 92Y
    • Sunday, April 30 – 10:00 am-11:15 am

New Perspectives on Fundraising Fundamentals

One of the most exciting aspects of this year’s #AFPFC is all the sessions that are taking a new look at fundraising fundamentals to see what really works. Fundraising truly is a science in many ways, and this year you’ll see speakers highlighting traditional methods that deliver real results. To learn which best practices you shouldn’t leave behind and how you can refine your own methods, check out these sessions:

  • Sustainers in Focus The Real Value of Monthly Giving Programs – Chuck Longfield, Blackbaud
    • Monday, May 1 – 12:15 pm-1:30 pm
  • Direct Response vs. Major Gifts: Overcoming the Culture ClashRachel Muir, CFRE, Pursuant; Mark Rovner, Sea Change Strategies; Vicky Barret-Putnam, Sierra Club
    • Sunday, April 30 – 12:30 pm-1:45 pm
  • 10 Traits of Highly Successful Major Gift NegotiatorsGail Perry, Fired-Up Fundraising
    • Sunday, April 30 – 10:00 am – 11:15 am

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