FIA Conference 2024: Data Driving Purpose


At the conclusion of another successful FIA Conference, we have an opportunity to reflect upon the experience. The theme for the conference was “where passion meets purpose.” From the opening plenary session on, this year’s conference emphasised the vital role that data has to play in fundraising—now, and in the future.

Stand out sessions from this year’s conference included the delivery of the “fundraising success recipe,” from the Royal Flying Doctors Service’s Kate Rule, who was also last year’s winner of the Myth Smashers session.

The DCA Data Services team was in attendance, and each of us was delighted to be able to catch up with our old industry friends and forge new connections. As a proud data partner to FIA and sponsor of the FIA Conference, it was a familiar setting to us—but our stand was especially popular this year, and it wasn’t just because attendees were magnetised to our 360° photo booth (although it was very fun).

It was because data is on every fundraiser’s mind right now.

Non-profits increasingly operate in a data-empowered world, and fundraisers have a strong appetite to deliver on the promise of those technologies. Sessions ranged from how to use data to lift engagement, reduce waste and drive ROI on fundraising campaigns, through to the AI Talk Track that featured thoughtful use cases, roadmaps and perspectives on operationalising the awesome power of generative AI for non-profit organisations.

A lot of our stand visitors wanted to produce better automated reports, create efficiencies, slash administrative load, or cash in on the AI revolution with digital assistants and marketing support. Overwhelmingly, the people with whom we spoke understood that these tools would not be successful if they rested on weak foundations. Accordingly, the DCA Data Services team spent a lot of time chatting about the foundational aspects of data, rather than quick fixes or fancy novelties.

We found that while delegates were perfectly aware that digital maturity among non-profits is strongly associated with successful fundraising, it was challenging to see a clear path from “where we are now,” to “where we could be in the future.” We had conversations about strategy, governance, integrations and CRM systems—things that can build strong foundations for any future project, no matter how ambitious.

The FIA Conference is a pillar of the industry for good reason, offering thoughtful educational opportunities, fun networking events and a fantastic line-up of insightful speakers. If any of the thought-provoking conversations around innovative technology, data, or AI sparked left you with questions about how your organisation can take advantage, you can always contact the DCA Data Services team for a free, no-obligation chat about your data.

– Mei Ying Liew
Head of Data

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