PhilanthroCon was AMAZING

PhilanthroCon was AMAZING

Chapter Leadership Brief 5.21.2021

By Michele Hall-Duncan, AFP-NYC Secretary, CEO and President of enCourage Kids Foundation

I am still on a high after the PhilanthroCon conference. I thought it absolutely amazing. I know that we may be exhausted from all things virtual, (believe me I cannot wait to get back to in-person events), however the conference truly met my needs for connection, information, and inspiration. Beginning with the incredible keynote speech through the closing session, there was something for everyone.

Caryl Stern, of the Walton Foundation, hit just the right notes as she opened the conference. From her observations around millennial resiliency to the five key traits which people want philanthropy to operate within:

  1. Be Bold
  2. Be Inclusive
  3. Be Collaborative
  4. Adapt
  5. Never lose sight of the specific vision and mission of our unique organizations.

That last trait really stuck with me, since so many of our missions had to take a back seat this past year while food insecurity, homelessness, COVID relief and other urgent missions took center stage. The temptation to participate in mission drift was great and yet we found ways to support, collaborate, reorganize and in many instances, simply remain still.

I also loved listening to the out-of-the box thinking of Zakiya Lord and Hannah Thomas during the Black Tie Not Required: Reimagining the Fundraising Campaign As We Know It session. Their candid commentary on rethinking gala dress code and other past best practices was really refreshing.

As the world begins to open up, I cannot help but think the timing of the conference could not have been better. As we welcome back iconic NYC events (the Marathon is back!) and begin to plan our own fall fundraisers and campaigns, we can use the knowledge that we’ve gained on new donor approaches, leadership, how to retain new donors acquired during the pandemic and so much more

I hope that you all loved PhilanthroCon as much I did, and that you go back and look at every session that you missed. You have 90 days to soak up all the incredible knowledge that was shared and implement what speaks to you. (And if you missed it completely, don't worry! You can sign up now for a $100 savings and access all the recorded sessions and materials!)

Have a great summer, stay safe, and keep doing the incredible work that each of you do.

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