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2014 AFP ICON—The Conference That Keeps on Giving!

April 1, 2014

It may have been in Texas, but it was certainly an International affair! Thousands of fundraisers came together at the 51st AFP International Conference on Fundraising—attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, fundraising celebrities—all coming from around the globe. From Japan, to Egypt, to the United Kingdom and even locally in Texas—no matter where they came from, they were all there for one thing: to SHIFT.

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Attendees from Japan jump for joy—they're ready to SHIFT!
(Jim Anderson Photography 2014, GoalBusters Consulting

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Several of our constituents from Egypt make the trip to SHIFT at the 2014 AFP conference!
(Jim Anderson Photography 2014, GoalBusters Consulting

Maybe you were in San Antonio for the conference, or maybe you were following the hashtags #afpicon and #afpshift on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and beyond. Whether you were in the flesh or following along via the blogosphere, there were some moments, takeaways, pictures and one-liners that really made you SHIFT. Until next year’s fundraising conference in Baltimore (save the date—March 29-31!), this round-up featuring those moments and snapshots of pure SHIFT will keep you tied-over—and hopefully hungry for more.

Education Overflow

The education sessions offered Sunday through Tuesday were overflowing—with attendees, moments of laughter and actual takeaways that anyone could take back to their nonprofit. The sessions were packed and with big names and topics that drew participants in, and who could blame them? Thankfully, the blogosphere was buzzing, so those takeaways are now in “print” for all to see and share.

 2014 ICON roundup story 1 

Thoughtful Engagement to Retain Supporters – A Storify recap of a panel discussion on donor retention by Frank Barry, Rachel Muir, Pamela Grow and Shanon Doolittle.  

“@FundraiserBeth: Do you know your retention rates? Compare donors giving 2 years ago with 1 year ago… That is the rate. #npexperts #afpicon”

Plus, check out a post from one of the panelist themselves—Frank Barry wants you to know how your donors feel about you. Go ahead, ask them!

4 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Lessons from AFP 2014SHIFT was in the air, and for nonprofit Kimbia, peer-to-peer fundraising was a big shift to focus on. They break down their top four takeaways that could help transition (or, shift, if you will) your supporters to a peer-to-peer-friendly fundraising world. 

39 Provocative Tips From #AFPICON That Will Make You a Smarter Fundraiser in 2014 – All in 140 characters or less! A round-up of 39 of the top tweets from ICON. Who said you can’t learn anything in 140 characters?

If there’s only one tweet you take seriously, let it be this one—this video will be life changing! It will completely SHIFT your thinking on social media for your nonprofit:

@GoalBustersJim: Very Cool! MT @JoshHirsch1: Opening video of last General Session “Social Media Revolution 2013” -  #AFPicon #AFPeeps

2014 ICON roundup story 2

Kaleidoscope of Philanthropy – Called “inspiring” and moving more than one attendee to tears, this two hour stage performance used music, visuals and wisdom to portray the “Kaleidoscope of Philanthropy”. This Storify breakdown hopes to give you a sense of what happened.

2014 iCON roundup story 3

“Start at the top, with stories, then move to connection, cross into inspiration, move to engagement, curve to conversation, then build to belonging, cross into inspiration again, the move to spirit. That is how the event will move through the phases of connection/relationships with donors.”

2014 iCON roundup story 4

Putting Those Takeaways to Use 

For the thousands of fundraisers who attended the conference, and even for those who followed along online, the fortune of takeaways that came from the three-day SHIFT can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, you have a whole year to take stock of what you learned and implement it before joining us for a bushel load more next year! But, just in case you’re still overwhelmed, these six tips will help you conquer the abundance of takeaways jotted down in your notebook, and will help you SHIFT now that you’re back to the grind. 

Want MORE!? We’ve got you covered! You can download an Mp3 of each education session, including synced handouts (if offered) here. Not only will you get to add a few more pages of takeaways to your notes, but you’ll also earn CFRE points just for tuning in!

If you still have a few burning questions that you didn’t get to ask a speaker at the close of their session, or if you didn’t make it to a session and you really want to know something specific on the topic, or even if you weren’t at conference but wish you were so you could ask XYZ—it’s not too late to get in on the conference action!

AFP Q&A is giving you the chance to ask questions of speakers from the conference up until April 11—THEN, on Wednesday, April 23 we’re bringing you the answers from the speakers themselves! Use us as your middle-man—submit a question today, and tune in on April 23 to get the skinny on all of the underlying questions that came out post-conference.

Until next year in Baltimore, keep the conversations going online using the hashtag #afpicon—share what YOU learned, how you’re using it back at your nonprofit, what you liked and what you want to see next year. We’ll see you in Baltimore, hon!