EMF Membership

It's all change at the Event Managers' Forum.
After a few months of discussion with the Institute of Fundraising we are moving from a membership model to a pay-as-you-go structure. From here on membership to the group will be free and instead we'll be asking a small fee to attend our meetings. 

This change ensures we, as part of the Institute of Fundraising, are compliant with GDPR in the way we store data and accept registrations.

Our members should notice very little difference in the short-term. Rest assured that the Forum section of this site will be protected by a log-in to ensure this is only visible to those working for charities. We will also be issuing a discount code with the next meeting invitation to all existing members so they can attend any of or Meetings for the rest of this year for free. 

If you have any questions about this change please drop us an email on emf@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk

Many thanks.

Events Fundraising Conference

The team at the Institute of Fundraising are looking for suggestions for the Events Fundraising conference on 18th June.  

If you have five minutes to feed back on the following questions it would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Wendy: WendyM@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk

  • Would you and your team be interested in attending an event focusing on Events Fundraising
  • What are the key issues you see in Events Fundraising at the moment?
  • What would you like to know more about?
  • Are there any charities that you would like to hear more about?
  • Anyone specifically that you would like to see speak?
  • To sum up, what would you say is the top piece of information you would like to bring back from a conference on Events Fundraising?

Many thanks.

Go Skydive

Our Event Sponsor for our March event is Go Skydive. In addition to purchasing the beers for the meeting they also help over 2000 people a year choose to tandem skydive in aid of a charity and work with 100's of charities across the UK. They are the only specialist first-time tandem skydiving centre in the country so are the ideal partner for charities whose fundraisers who have never jumped before. Their high levels of customer care have resulted in long term partnerships with charities and in 2017 we helped our charity partners raise over £1 million for good causes.

Not only that, they also make great videos.

National Fundraising Convention and Awards 2018


The Fundraising Convention website has launched! See www.fundraisingconvention.uk for more details.

The convention also features the National Fundraising Awards and the best way to secure a ticket is by winning one! 

Has your fundraising team had an extraordinary success story in 2017? Has an individual fundraiser's determination and passion led them to achieve something truly remarkable?

Highlight your excellent fundraising success by entering them into this year’s National Fundraising Awards - nominations close 23 March it’s free to enter so nominate now!


Charity Escapes

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Charity Escapes is a new and exciting fundraising charity that specialises in sourcing donated holidays and experiences.

We know that finding auction and raffle prizes is difficult and in some cases it can be expensive. Our aim is to make it easier for fundraisers by offering a range of prizes to help raise money at fundraising events.

Charity Escapes works with hotels, holiday home owners, and holiday agents who are willing to donate prizes for a wide variety of good causes. The donated holidays are then matched to fundraising events - ensuring the most amount of money possible is raised.

Since September 2017, Charity Escapes have sourced over 150 prizes and to date has helped over 50 charities, large and small. Some of the prizes available are featured on our website (www.charityescapes.com) but the variety and number of prizes on offer is growing all the time. We are currently working with Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Hilton Hotels, Malmaison and many others.

In return for offering a prize to help you raise money, we ask two things of a charity and the event organiser -

1.    A thank you tweet and FB post thanking the prize donor
2.    For 16.6% plus VAT (so 20%) to come back to us from the total amount our prize raised
(E.g. if one of our holidays sold at auction for £500, we would ask for £100 to come back to us.)

We are a not-for-profit and the money we ask to come back to us is to help cover our reasonable costs.  There are no other charges for providing these prizes.

Remember, we are sourcing new prizes all the time, so register now on our website to secure a prize (or two) for your next fundraising event!

For more information about how it works and to apply for prizes, please visit www.charityescapes.com. If you would like more information or would like to discuss in more detail, please email katie@charityescapes.com or call 0191 3037837.

Sports Fundraising Monitor 2018

Work is kicking off work on the 2018 Sports Fundraising Monitor.

The Report is compiled by Massive who believe it is the most authoritative resource on the state of sports fundraising in the UK.

In 2017 they combined data from 30 of the biggest charity players and all of the major online giving platforms to report on trends in participation, fundraising and share which events are the most important for charity fundraisers.

This year we’re aiming to increase the number of charities involved to provide even more detailed insight and after a successful pilot last year, we'll be offering bespoke sports fundraising strategy sessions for members to allow help them dig deeper into our findings and develop a clear plan and tactics to grow the effectiveness of their sports fundraising activity.

If you would like to be involved in the report, please get in touch with John and he will get the data templates and agreements over to you. The deadline for completing the data is February 23rd so move quickly to be included.


Institute of Fundraising appoints expert panel to advise on how to make fundraising a more diverse profession

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF), the professional membership body for charity fundraisers, has announced the appointment of an Expert Advisory Panel on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

It is widely recognised that the fundraising profession is less diverse than the population, as well as other professions and functions within the charitable sector.  Women are well represented (though not in senior roles) but ethnic diversity is low and little is known about disability, religion, LGBT+, or class (see Who’s doing the asking?  Diversity in the fundraising profession, a report by the IoF and Barrow Cadbury Trust, published in 2014).

Last year the IoF developed a new strategy with its members that commits to developing fundraising as a respected profession that attracts and retains talent from diverse backgrounds and develops excellent fundraising in organisations of all types and sizes.

To achieve these ambitious and challenging objectives this new Expert Advisory Panel has been established to advise on how the Institute should address both its own internal practices to become an exemplary employer and professional body, and on how to support the profession to become more diverse and inclusive, better able to attract funding from a diverse donor base that meets the needs of the diversity of the beneficiaries we serve.

As part of its work the Panel will advise on a range of issues including barriers to entry to the profession, attracting and retaining fundraisers, and changing the perception of the profession within BAME and other communities.

The Panel is being independently chaired by Sufina Ahmad of the City of London Corporation, and includes advisers with a wealth of experience in fundraising and in championing equality, diversity and inclusion. The Panel held its first meeting on Friday 2 February and will end its remit at the IoF Fundraising Convention in July 2019.

Sufina Ahmad, Chair of the Expert Advisory Panel on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “I am humbled to be involved in such an important programme of work to support the Institute and the fundraising community it serves. There are so many challenges facing fundraisers and by acknowledging the importance of diversity as a tool to embrace them I hope the advisory panel and I can help the IoF shape the changes it wants to make as an Institute to make the profession a more diverse and inclusive one that truly reflects and understands the communities it serves.”

Amanda Bringans, Chair of the Institute of Fundraising, said: “Our sector talks a good talk when it comes to championing diversity, but there is much more we should be doing to make this rhetoric a reality. I am excited that Sufina Ahmad has agreed to chair this panel, which has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with us. We have a lot to do and much to learn, but we all know that we must act if we are going to better reflect the communities we serve.”

Members of the IoF Expert Advisory Panel on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: 

Sufina Ahmad, City of London Corporation (Chair); Paul Amadi, MS Society; Lucy Caldicott, UpRising; Emily Casson, Cats Protection and Chair of IoF North East; Charlotte Fielder, Battersea Dogs and Cats; Hayley Gullen, Tommy’s; Alex Gwynne, Stonewall; Tufail Hussain, Islamic Relief; David Mbaziira, HOME Fundraising; Jaz Nannar, Burnett Works; Kunle Olulode, Voice4Change England; Ruth Pitter, Voscur; Stephen Rimmer, Barnardo’s; Samir Savant, London Handel Festival; James Taylor, Scope; Anthony Earle Wilkes, Cancer Research UK. IoF Trustees Carol Akiwumi and Isobel Michael are also members of the Panel.

Biographies and terms of reference for the Panel can be viewed here.

Further background information about why the IoF set up this panel and prioritised this work can be accessed on the IoF website’s Diversity resources.

Who’s doing the asking?  Diversity in the fundraising profession, a report by the IoF and Barrow Cadbury Trust, published in 2014 can be read here.

The Lucidity Network

Do you ever feel like you are stuck? Perhaps you are looking for your next career step or want to make more of an impact in your current role? Maybe you just want to improve your creativity and innovation skills?

In my experience people can achieve incredible results with a small amount of help and support. That’s why I'm developing the Lucidity Network; online learning, group support and 1:1 coaching combined with a programme of networking events that you’ll actually look forward to attending.


This offer is open until the 12th February so get involved fast! 


The Lucidity Network is a mix of offline and online learning and support to help build your confidence to think differently, be creative and get the results you want.

Guest Blog: The fundraising landscape is changing

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Blockbuster, speed dating and the Nokia 8210 were all things we loved. In 2004. The world has changed and digital is the future, our lives are run through smart phones and apps, and the event fundraising landscape is starting to look like that too.

However, virtual events aren’t the future of fundraising. They aren’t the ‘next big thing’. They are the big thing now. They are events that will help salvage the failing 5k and 10k charity runs. Just recently we have seen the massive Top25 (via wearemassive.co.uk) being released, in which the 25 biggest mass participation events are ranked in order of fundraising revenue, and for the first time ever there were virtual events on the list. Notably BHF’s MyMarathon, which was the highest ranking virtual event. Other big hitters making the list were, Movember, Brave the Shave, Dryathlon and The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, raising nearly £45m between them and all in the top 10. The common theme? Accessibility.

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You decide the event
If you can track it, we can create it. Cycling, running or even walking are great activities to build your Virtual Event around. Just set a target for your supporters!

everydayhero's integration with MapMyFitness and Strava connects your fundraisers effort to their supporter page and contributes towards their goal set out by you.

Before, during and after your event, participants share their supporter page, raising money for your organisation.

Virtual events are an exciting peer-to-peer event that bring fundraising, fitness and communities together to unite people and create a digital community around a cause. Unlike traditional events which take place on a specific date in a specific location, virtual events allow supporters to participate wherever they are, whenever they want.

In the last 18 months, the British Heart Foundation has trialled and launched ‘MyMarathon’, an event which asks supporters to run the length of a marathon over a specific month, meaning the event is accessible to all.

Traditional marathons and many other challenge events can be out of reach for many charity supporter’s due to difficulty, cost to enter, the size of the fundraising target and event location. Likewise, it is getting increasingly risky for charities to bulk buy places in events as demand and levels of participation in certain events is slipping.

Virtual Events cut this out – they enable your supporters to take part in a fun, unique event whatever their ability and wherever they are based, and at minimal risk to the charity.
Furthermore, the administration work is greatly reduced, compared to say, traditional run, walk, swim events. An everydayhero virtual event will offer you a low maintenance all in one event solution from event registration to automatic fundraising page creation, with all the data being stored in an easy to use back end system. And virtual events can be for one or more activities. From running to cycling to space hopping. Essentially, if you can track it, we can build it.


Last year, Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) and parkrun partnered to create their first virtual event, Running Down Dementia. A national event that ran across the whole summer, with a specific fundraising and distance target, which saw unprecedented success. The event seamlessly combined a live running community through local parkrun, with an online digital community for all participants through the event microsite. It even led ARUK to win the Best Use of Digital at the IOF awards in 2017.

This blog started off by saying that virtual events are not the future, they are the now. There can be no denying the impact that digital is having on the events fundraising landscape, as well as the wider sector. We’ve seen the importance of embracing digital across most industries, and to add context, in 2000 the CEO of Blockbuster turned down the chance to buy Netflix for $50m. Netflix is now valued at more than $30bn, and Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010.

Long gone are the days of charities expecting good returns on 5k walks, cycling events aren’t seen as the ‘challenge’ they used to be due to the increase in cycling popularity. So, instead of planning events around 10km runs, or 100km cycles, why not challenge your entire community to run around the world over two months? Or cycle from London to Rio in 4 weeks? With virtual events the possibilities are endless, and the technology is ready. Are you?

Contact - Mark Scobie on mark.scobie@blackbaud.co.uk or on 020 7601 7224.

Roundtable Meeting #05 (August 2017)

Our August meetings had the added bonus of views of Tower Bridge on the Thames as we visited the Blackbaud offices in London Bridge. 

The Seniors meeting kicked off with Half Marathon performance, team structures, due diligence, business planning and of course, our favorite, GDPR.

The Fundraisers discussed collaborative working, lead-in times, the Manchester races and digital marketing, not mention plans for the bank holiday weekend ahead.

Many thanks to Mark at Blackbaud for hosting. 

Meeting (July 2017)

Our July meeting was held at Diabetes UK in Aldgate.

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Our July meeting featured a couple of A-Listers. First up was Alex Carley from Mind who presented on how her team had worked as part of the Heads Together campaign for the London Marathon 2017. The logistics behind stewarding 1,500 runners plus Prince Harry's love of Haribo were duly covered in detail.

Next up was Bruce Daisley, European VP of Twitter, who talked about workplace culture and how to get the best from your working day. His tips came from the first season of his podcast Eat Sleep Work Repeat which can be found below. Informative advice and cat gifs kept the audience well entertained. 

Thanks for your feedback on the meeting, all those who attended and our speakers.  



Roundtable #04 (June 2017)

We enjoyed the exposed vents and brickwork at the on-trend Diabetes UK offices for our June Roundtables.


We had a lower turnout for these meetings but went into detail on third-party suppliers, virtual events and acceptable returns on investment. We even had time to delve in to reporting and compliance.

Many thanks to Laura and the team for their meeting rooms. We'll be back for the main meeting in July.


Meeting (February 2017)

Our February Meeting was held at the JustGiving offices in Southwark. 

Guests were welcomed by the founder and MD, Anne-Marie Huby, before Keith Williams, General Manager, gave a presentation on events insights they had gleamed from their data over the previous twelve months. Next up, Lucy Gower spoke on innovation in the sector and charmed the crowd with free gifts in reward for bravery. 

Groups then took a tour of the offices - meeting each team at JustGiving and discussing what they do and the latest projects they are working on. 

We've had some great feedback on this meeting, thanks to those of you who joined us and our speakers on the day. 



Roundtable #02 (December 2016)

Our Christmas Roundtable meetings were held at Sense in Angel. Many thanks to Sarah Bowes for hosting. 

The eclectic agenda moved from Santa runs to HMRC then on to Real Buzz and JustGiving. We discussed the rise in virtual events and compared post-event comms.

None of this proved helpful at the local pub where Team EMF fared terribly in their quiz, if only they had included a console deadline round... 

Roundtable #01 (October 2016)

Ryder Roundtable

The first Roundtable meetings were hosted at Sue Ryder where topics ranged from data consents and HMRC to team structures and workloads. But it wasn't all fun, we also got through the serious matter of third party agreements, portfolios and marketing packages too. 

As is becoming traddition, the conversation moved on to the pub opposite afterwards. Many thanks to Sue Ryder for hosting.

Roundtable #00 (August 2016)

The last of the Rebels.

Our final meeting as the Rebel Fundraisers was held at the very flash Breast Cancer Care offices. We saw record numbers on the day, filling the boardroom in Southwark with more than thirty Event Managers.  

Top of the agenda was RideLondon followed by top tips on Overseas and UK tour operators. There was mutual appreciation for the virtual events offered by attendees and suggestions for On The Day Registration processes. Data Consents came up again and 2017 portfolios were discussed. 

The meeting moved on to the pub opposite with a chat about Ironman events, ironically over a few pints.

Many thanks to Sarah Osborne for hosting, great biscuits.