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August 19th, 2019

You collaborate … develop ways to advance your fundraising … and hopefully get the chance to attend conferences where you can share ideas, network with others, and learn about the latest trends and technologies in the non-profit sector.

This year’s Bridge Conference had no shortage of interesting and enlightening panels, workshops and keynotes. Here are five of the highlights we took away from the 2019 Bridge Conference:

  • Consider multiple investment lines during budgetingBudgets are typically based on last year’s core program performance, with only a few incremental adjustments. While core performance can be predicted with a high level of confidence, leave some room for the expansion of new ideas. Consider additional budgets as R&D for emerging ideas that might be higher risk/reward but can lead to immediate growth potential … or perhaps couple new tactics with longer-term investments that lay the base for steady growth with a balanced program.
  • PerspectiveTim Shriver, Special Olympics Chairman and the keynote speaker, had an interesting observation while telling a story about a Special Olympics photographer who saw some athletes looking through their cameras in the reverse direction. He thought they were trying to take selfies, but they were actually using the viewfinder lens to magnify the speaker to see better. Everyone has their own perspective and something to offer.

Consider additional budgets as R&D for emerging ideas that might be higher risk/reward but can lead to immediate growth potential …

  • Welcome to the Roaring 2020s: No one can deny that we are in an age of disruption from technology, geo-politics and society. Bruce Mehlman, Founder of Mehlman Castagnetti and Friday’s keynote speaker, discussed how technology has created a permissionless landscape. Anyone can publish a blog, post a video to YouTube, build an App or send a tweet. Although the lack of an information gatekeeper has resulted in improved transparency, it has eroded trust. What does this mean for fundraisers? The landscape will shift to gain back the people’s trust with actions like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act. Just like America had to confront Prohibition in the 1920s, we’ll need to find ways to manage the new data landscape. At least we’ll have our bourbon!
  • Be conscious of time when presenting: With a limited time for each presentation, explanations and questions—include only what is absolutely needed to get your thoughts and ideas across to your audience. Practice in advance, starting with an outline to prevent too many digressions. Don’t leave your attendees hanging with an incomplete story.

Having fun at a booth generates more traffic and interactions than a hard sellWhile many of our colleagues attended sessions, we spent most of ourtime at the MarkeTeam Booth, meeting attendees. Some were reluctant participants in trying to shoot a basketball through the hoop at our booth, while others came back again and again. Having fun and engagement brings people together—the excitement was contagious. At MarkeTeam, we have a great team of talented, smart people who like to have fun. Join us next year at our booth and we promise to introduce you to some very talented fundraisers!

Blog written by MarkeTeam conference attendees