IFC Asia: A crucial investment and learning experience

By Meg Gardner

To make a reConversational difference, those of us in the social impact sector must be more than fundraisers. We must be visionaries, and we must be as tenacious as the problems we’re working to solve — even more so. We must think toward the future by challenging how we operate today.

The key is creative collaboration for sustainability … trailblazing models, innovative partnerships, social enterprise, and educated-but-daring investment.

That’s what IFC Asia, The Resource Alliance’s first conference curated specifically for the Asia Pacific social impact sector, is meant to encourage. The theme is “Beyond fundraising – innovative collaboration for the future.” Featuring dozens of speakers from the region, as well as experts who are known globally for their leadership and expertise, it will give attendees the tools, insights and inspiration they need to move beyond the challenges of day-to-day income generation and into a more sustainable future.

The Resource Alliance has been producing the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands for nearly 40 years. IFC Asia will bring many of the most compelling elements of the IFC to Bangkok, and also make it easier and more affordable for fundraisers here to benefit from the IFC experience and ongoing support of The Resource Alliance.

Esther Kwaku, who is working on IFC Asia on the ground in Bangkok, has been gathering insights that have been instrumental in helping us shape this undertaking.

“I’ve been asking them, ‘Where do you go when you want to talk about your work, when you want to network and connect, when you want to share big ideas with people who just get it,’” Esther told me about her experiences in Bangkok. “And there’s no place. There’s no place for them all to gather in one place, at one event that is so laser-focused on them, their needs, their growth.”

Our goal with IFC Asia, simply, is to change that. And to change it in a way that will leave dedicated change-makers energized, and hopeful, and inspired, and so full of ideas and of truth that they can’t wait to get back to their organisations and start shaking things up.

Fundraisers and other professionals in the social impact sector here should have the same resources and deserve the same high level of learning and networking opportunities as fundraisers and change-makers in the UK and throughout Europe, in the US, and elsewhere.

That’s what we hope to bring with IFC Asia.

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