Q&A with Katlynn Balson, Recipient of a Scholarship to the 2016 AFP International Conference
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Q&A with Katlynn Balson, Recipient of a Scholarship to the
2016 AFP International Conference
Katlynn visited the Boston Red Sox Stadium while attending the Conference
What did it mean for you to be able to attend the conference with a scholarship?
It meant I was given an experience of a lifetime that I could not have afforded to attend. I was able to gain a great deal of knowledge about the fundraising profession as well as myself. I was also able to gain knowledge and experience outside the office setting and network with individuals from around the world.
What was your favorite part about the conference?
My favorite part of the conference was networking and meeting others from around the world. I was able to talk to other fundraisers about different techniques that have worked for them and what has not. I was able to walk away from the conference with a larger network of fundraisers, that if needed, I could reach out to after the conference concluded.
What was the most important takeaway that you learned from one of the sessions?
One of the most important things I learned at one of the sessions was that one phone call to a donor will increase the retention of that donor by 30%. And if you ask one of your board members to call within 24 hours after you have called, their next gift will be a 39% increase from their first gift. This has stuck with me, if you can take 30 seconds away from your day to make that first call, it can have a substantial impact on donor support. I feel in today’s busy world we have lost that interaction, but this session reminded me that a simple 30-second phone call could make a huge difference!
What would you say to someone who was thinking about applying/going to the conference?
I would encourage them to apply or go if they have the funds, for they will gain new knowledge in the fundraising field. They will also gain more confidence, for the more networking you do the more you find out you are not alone in your struggles. It will be an eye opening experience that will help you professionally and personally.