This year's Scottish Conference was held this week at the Dunblane Hydro Hilton. The theme of the Conference was 'Getting Scotland giving - a fresh look at fundraising'. The opening plenary tackled this theme by recalling the inspiring story of how the Giving Scotland campaign was launched a year ago.
The purpose of the campaign was to counteract the negative publicity that surrounded several cases of charity mismanagement that had blighted the Scottish fundraising scene and had resulted in a marked drop in charitable donations.
The Giving Scotland campaign turned this situation around and, thanks to the work of a group of committed fundraisers (later honoured at the awards dinner), paved the way toward a brighter future.
Sessions also focused on the implications of the new charity Bill for Scotland and how it will affect the fundraising community. Jane Ryder, chief executive of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, spoke about how charities could work with the regulator to ensure an effective operating environment for charities in Scotland.
At the awards dinner, Lord Laidlaw spoke about his personal experiences of giving in Scotland before presenting the awards. New this year, refresher sessions such as speed networking provided light relief and the chance to meet new people. In all, 185 delegates, 41 speakers, 10 exhibitors and 13 sponsors attended the two-day conference. Here's to next year's event being just as successful!