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publication date: Sep 12, 2018
author/source: Ann Rosenfield, MBA, CFRE

A few years ago, fundraising expert, Amy Eisenstein, and Dr. Adrian Sergeant collaborated on a research project on effective major gifts for small charities. One of their interesting findings is that people who go to conferences raise over $30,000 a year more. In fact, attending a conference is the most beneficial way to improve your professional growth - far outstripping webinars and other, less personal methods of learning.

Conference season is upon us and there are a host of great opportunities out there. But how do you justify taking the time, and the money to attend?

Here are 4 reasons you should attend a conference this fall.

Real time help

Got a problem? A conference has a building full of experts for your question. And if a speaker can't help you, there will be another conference attendees or vendor who can.


No money? No problem. Many conferences offer bursaries for delegates who might not otherwise be able to attend.Don't let working for a small charity stop you from learning.


We are a high turn-over profession. Sooner or later (but likely sooner), you are going to be looking for a new job. Looking now? What a great way to find out what jobs are there.

Not looking now? What a great way to keep yourself high profile for that next great opportunity.

A jolt of energy that is not caffeine

Attending a conference is a great opportunity to recharge your personal batteries. Being at a conference, surrounded by like-minded professionals, is a great energizer.

Don't neglect yourself and don't let money get in the way of investing in yourself. By attending a conference you can be sure that you are able to learn and improve in your important work.

Ann Rosenfield, MBA, CFRE is the Chair for AFP Congress 2018 happening November 19-21 in Toronto. Early bird registration closes Friday, September 14.

To apply for one of the many AFP Congress bursaries, go online. Application deadline is Friday, September 14

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