Sunday, January 18, 2009

SOFII is a Gift for You

In my year end post from last year I listed what I learned. This provoked some thinking about the importance of actually doing something with your learning. The first was mindmapping. The second is SOFII.

Those of us who work on SOFII or The Showcase for Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration, are the first to admit it is a work in progress. Yes it is badly in need of being redesigned, also more content is essential and money is needed to keep it going. All of that will happen in time. (Although the money part is becoming increasing important).

In the meantime, there are a lot of things to love about SOFII. Only a few of which are:

1. SOFII helps you see beyond your own organization and stay in touch with what others are doing.

2. SOFII helps you learn from experts between conferences. The exhibits aren't just pretty pictures, they outline results, strategy and cost benefit too.

3. SOFII teaches about the history of fundraising.

4. SOFII reminds you that even if you work alone you don't have to be lonley in your work.

I think one of the things I love most is something David Love wrote about in Canadian Fundraiser newsletter. He wrote:

“Many things make the third sector - the not-for-profit sector - unique. Chief among our sector’s Unique Selling Propositions is our willingness to share what we learn. We freely share these details because we want to see our colleagues succeed.

Can you imagine a workshop where Pepsi outlines, in excruciating details, the results of a campaign so that Coke might benefit!”

It is true that corporations are trying to do more of what we do. As long as we continue to share and learn from each other they don't have a chance.

As the volunteer Canadian Ambassador for SOFII my job is to help get more registered users, network, create a Canadian Page and gather exhibits. The first three are pretty easy.

Speaking about SOFII at conferences helps and we were fortunate to have a session at IFC last year in Holland.

Getting exhibits is a little bit harder. Unless I donate to you like I do to David's organization (mostly so I can steal his stuff and learn about how he treats his monthly donors) it is likely I won't see your work. I don't have enough money to give you all a donation.

Won't you please send in your exhibit? All exhibits are welcome, personally I'd like to see more giant screw ups. A career limiting mistake. Wasted a tonne of money. Almost lost your job. Totally blew it! There are only two of these exhibits on the website (funnily enough one of them was submitted by David Love - I'm thinking the title of this post should be changed...)

Please share your brilliance. (or lack of it!) Email me and I'll help you do it or just send your exhibit straight to Maxine.

SOFII is a gift to all of us. Let's work together to expand it, share it and keep it going.

Thank you for spending time here.

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