Jenna Pudelek: Convention journal

Nerf guns, feathers and bears - it's fundraising, but not as we know it ...

Jenna Pudelek
Jenna Pudelek

- About to phone a millionaire? Feeling apprehensive? Well, why not have a three minute 'nerf battle' with your colleagues? (Nerf battles, we think, are shoot-outs using kids' guns that fire plastic 'nerf' darts.) Better still, you could tickle each other with feathers. You might think it could land you in an employment tribunal, but apparently it's exactly what fundraisers at some charities do to psych each other up. Two delegates, who shall be nameless, let this one slip in one of yesterday's sessions: could you make it up?

- Congratulations to Alan Gosschalk, director of fundraising at Scope, who picked up the Lifetime Contribution award at the national awards on Monday night. But, boy, does he like to stir things up. In his acceptance speech, aside from the usual stuff about being honoured and so forth, he took the opportunity for a bit of controversy. "I've even been under a great chief executive," he said, "but I'm not necessarily saying that is now." Cue the sound of a thousand jaws smacking against the table.

- Every IoF member at the convention is entitled to claim a 'membear' from the institute's stand, and one joker has been running a Twitter feed - @IofFMembear - about her furry little companion's adventures. On Monday its evening began with a modest aperitif, but quickly degenerated: the hirsute hellraiser was soon pictured halfway out of its IoF-issue T-shirt with the caption "OMG I'm a bit pished. The clothes are coming off ...". Then the tipsy toy was shown flat on its back among the wine glasses with the message "Eek. Think I've had too much". The plastered plaything was pictured the following morning with headache tablets, a water bottle and the caption: "Oh dear. The head hurts a bit today".

- IoF chair Mark Astarita welcomed yesterday's recognition by the shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper that political parties could learn a lot about raising money from professional fundraisers. He suggested they should come to the convention to get some tips and sign up to the Code of Fundraising Practice. He said he'd also like to see political parties receive Gift Aid on their donations: "They would feel the pain we feel in having to claim it - and then they'd get it changed."

- Read more on this year's IoF National Convention

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