Isn't it easy to assume what people want? If you ask me what my boyfriend Dom wants right now, I would give you a pretty confident answer. If you're reading this past 12pm, it's a Pepsi Max. If you're earlier than that, it's his secret craving for Foam Strawberries. And if you're thinking bigger than Foam Strawberries, the latest Lego botanical set is definitely getting his heart green. But actually, the last time I asked him what he wanted, already reaching for the Pepsi Max... he asked for an alcohol free beer. And I realised I don't always know what he wants: I just assume. Yet when we're doing something for someone, we often make these assumptions. And pretty often, we get it wrong.
That's why, when Michelle Muri and I came together to plan the Evolve conference, we conducted a survey. We asked 39 fundraisers... How do you want your fundraising to evolve? And the clear answer from 31 of the 39 fundraisers was: I want to do fundraising that is transformative, not transactional. From the survey notes and conversations we have had with people, it's clear that fundraisers are becoming increasingly tired of techniques that have been handed down to them. The ones that centre a wealthy elite, and don't necessarily put the service user at the heart of the strategy. That create an 'us fundraisers' and a 'them service user', rather than setting out from a place of 'do no harm'.
Michelle and I are really excited to have the line-up of the conference live now. To ensure it's the conference you want it to be (rather than our assumptions), each section will end with Q&A to ensure any questions you have get answered. So we have one question for you: are you ready to evolve?
What can transformative fundraising achieve? How do we tell ethical, emotional and effective stories? How do I find, and share, my power?
You can find the answers to these questions, and so many more, at Evolve. You can get your tickets here. The Early Bird finishes on the 7th of September, so make sure to get yours now! We'd love to see you there.