Preconference Sessions Highlights
It’s On! Preconference Sessions Kick Off Fall Conference Events
The sun was shining on the streets of San Francisco but inside the Marriott Marquis, home of the 2011 Fall Conference for Community Foundations, attendees congregated for preconference sessions on resource development, donor service capacity, communications, and a variety of other topics.
The AdNet and CommA affinity groups, along with the Center for Community Foundation Excellence, kicked off the program. In one room, attendees engaged in lively discussions about high-net-worth giving, corporate philanthropy, and organizational development. In another, folks listened intently to a presentation about donor-restricted endowment funds, fund-agreement review, and hedge funds.
“How many people have had to work in this area?” one of the presenters asked about fair-value measurement. No hands went up. “It’s relatively new,” she assured the audience before providing a primer on a trend that could affect their efforts in the upcoming year.
Social media is on the minds of just about everybody who wants—and needs—to tap into the connective power of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Social media fundraising is the wave of the future at The Denver Foundation, and staff juxtaposed traditional fundraising models with new techniques that employ social media.
“We really wanted to get to new donors who hadn’t heard about us in other ways,” explained Sarah Harrison
, deputy vice president of philanthropic services and senior philanthropic planner. “But what we learned was that even with the magic of new media, a call to action is really different than an interesting anecdote. When it involves giving money, it’s not going to spread like wildfire.”
Conference-goers are arriving in San Francisco with great expectations—and some questions of their own. “I’m on the development side of things, so I want to know what’s going on in the field, not just in my area, and to learn best practices,” says Jonse Young
, donor services director for the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. “And the networking also is phenomenal because it gives me a chance to ask others in the field questions like, “How did you solve this problem?” or “How are you doing this?” ”