This month, I head to the DMA Nonprofit Federation Leadership Summit in Coral Gables, Fla. I’ve attended the past two years, and each time I’ve been reminded of what invaluable opportunities these conferences can offer — to learn, network and just plain chill with the people whose contact info populates your address books.
As I’ve said before, the Leadership Summit takes chances. It doesn’t look or feel the same as other conferences. It moves. And it makes you think. All hallmarks of what I hope is a new generation of events where the status quo gets a swift kick in the pants.
Last July, AFP/DC and DMAW teamed up to produce the Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference in Washington, D.C. Brand-spankin’ new, it was fresh and uber-energized. I was pretty sure that excitement would translate into a second year but, of course, there were no guarantees.
The creative minds behind the Bridge Conference are taking no chances on losing momentum, so they’ve invited both The Resource Alliance and the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network to host entire tracks on the agenda.
NTEN is the hip educational group that offers organizations up-to-date information on pertinent technologies. And The Resource Alliance is behind the International Fundraising Congress that happens in the Netherlands each fall — a conference about which I’ve become particularly passionate. These powerhouses no doubt will up both the wattage and the educational quality of the Bridge Conference even more.
An unabashed endorsement? OK, yeah … I’ll cop to that. I’m a great supporter of any conference that understands that you can’t just tell fundraisers that they need to do their jobs with passion and an eye toward innovation. Rather, you have to imbue them with that passion through the proper mix of speakers, topics, events and attitude. And I applaud any conference organizers with the foresight to stay on the cutting edge and the balls to shake things up. Find out about the Bridge Conference at www.bridgeconf.org and the IFC at www.resource-alliance.org.