Well, that was a great way to spend a couple of days!
The Chartered Institute of Fundraisings Yorkshire, North East and North West regional teams came together for a first-ever joint Northern Fundraising Conference, and delivered an event to remember with donorflex its delighted headline sponsor.
The two-day gathering focused primarily on collaboration and wellbeing, with a range of speakers and a memorable Day Two plenary session from Andy Burnham, Greater Manchesters mayor, who shone a light on the vast social needs the voluntary sector must continue meeting in equal partnership with public bodies as the world adjusts to life after lockdown.
The lost opportunity to immerse ourselves in chat and insights at each of the physical regional Yorkshire, North-East and North-West gatherings was one of our biggest disappointments amid the unavoidable disruption of 2020.
As wed anticipated, the online alternative filled the void.
"The postponement of all the Institutes regional conferences left a real gap in our year," donorflex managing director Brian Todd before the event. "For the past three years, the Yorkshire date, in May, has effectively kicked off our summer on the road, with a regular rhythm of conferences in the East Midlands, Scotland and Wales bringing us together with fundraisers across the UK through to the end of autumn.
"You can imagine how pleased we are to be pick up those relationships at such an important time, as charities slowly build the confidence to start planning the transition to a post-Covid world."
The event strengthened donorflexs connection with the CIoF regions.
"Thank you so much for your support with our first Northern Conference," North West chairman Fiona Ashcroft wrote in her post-conference message. "We greatly appreciate your continued support of our conferences, especially in these challenging times.
"A joint virtual conference was a learning experience for all of us, but were incredibly proud of how well it has gone and have had great feedback from delegates."
Yorkshire chairman Michael White agreed: "Your continued support to our conferences really means such a lot."
Amazing people! Grateful to be working with our friends @donorflex again and our volunteering buddies @CIOFNorthEast @CIOFNorthWest 💗 Kate Carroll (@katercarroll) February 8, 2021
This event is going to be brilliant, a superb mix of speakers, subjects, live and recorded and panel events! Book your place ⬇️ https://t.co/FvD6q0RUwQ
We work with the key drivers of the UK charity sector.