In the TechKnow

8 Jun

For anyone who has been in the nonprofit world for any length of time, you probably are familiar with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the vision, connections, and education they bring to the philanthropic world. With over 50 years of experience working in the charitable fundraising realm, they have stayed abreast of the difference strategies and technological advancements that have changed the landscape of how we garner dollars to promote a cause. At the beginning of this week, the AFP put on its first annual AFP TechKnow Conference in Orlando, FL and has proven to be a forerunner in strategic planning combined with social networking.

At the core of the TechKnow conference is the idea that fundraisers should know what tech tools are available to them without using complex jargon. In this world of instant messaging, a tangled web of social network contacts, and a new language of communication comprised of 140 characters or less, fundraising has more opportunities than ever before. Without the basic knowledge of current media forums, these opportunities can be major obstacles in reaching donors and supporters. At the TechKnow conference, these barriers were torn down with informative presentations, interactive workshops, and in-the-know exhibitors.

With social media being at the hub of the varying topics presented at the conference, the many speakers brought valuable insights to the sessions such as Laura Howe, Vice President, Public Relations for the American Red Cross and her discussion on case studies using social media success in fundraising and reputation management. International fundraising consultant Adrian Sargeant, Ph.D. focused on donor retention using technological strategies. Other topics included donor engagement, collaboration, and taking your social media strategies to the next level. The event closed with Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak, his “vision for tomorrow”, and his challenge to nonprofit leaders: “Once you know something is possible, you can do it!”

Were you not able to get away to attend this extraordinary event? Obviously technology can come to your aid. Check out their website, http://www.afptechknow.org, for links to their Facebook page, to read up on Tweets posted from the conference, and to download valuable handouts that were distributed at select presentations. Online fundraising is a huge asset to any nonprofit organization. While this new cyber world can be intimidating and complex, there are great resources out there to help you tackle this medium to reach your fundraising goals.

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