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FIA offers scholarships to smaller charities to attend conference

Starting today, FIA is taking applications for its annual conference scholarship program, designed to hone the fundraising skills of staff working in smaller charities and not-for-profits.

The FIA Conference National Scholarship, established last year and through the generosity of Strategic Grants, provides an opportunity for members of smaller organisations to attend the three-day event in cases where their charities and non-profits do not have the financial resources to send them.

The scholarship covers conference costs for talented fundraisers to network and learn from local and international presenters at the biggest fundraising event in the Southern Hemisphere.

“We understand it is hard for smaller charities and not-for-profits to find the resources to send their staff to conferences when budgets are tight and there are many other priorities to consider. The FIA Conference National Scholarship recognises the importance of fostering talent at smaller charities and giving them access, where possible, to the same learning opportunities as staff at larger not-for-profit organisations,” said FIA CEO Rob Edwards.

This year there are eight scholarships available, one for a member from each state and territory. The scholarship covers the cost of a full conference registration (valued at $1,345). Flights and accommodation are not included.

Ana Davy, Director-Scripture Union ACT, wrote a letter to FIA, saying she really appreciated the association’s generosity in providing her with a scholarship to the 2016 conference.

“As a small organisation we have very limited funds available for professional development, so I would not have been able to attend the conference without the scholarship. I appreciate FIA’s willingness to make their fantastic training accessible to smaller organisations,” she wrote.

“For me though it was not just the formal sessions that were useful. I was able to build networks with fundraisers from other organisations, which have been helpful as I wrote my first grant application and considered employing a dedicated fundraiser,” she said.

“The expo was also really important to me. We were in the process of moving to a new CRM and being able to visit all the different options and see how they worked saved me a lot of time, and helped us choose the best option for our organisation,” she added.

You can read the criteria for entry on the conference website and download an application form.

Applications close Friday, 13 January 2017 with scholarship winners announced Wednesday 1 February.

The FIA 2017 Conference takes place from February 22-24 on the Gold Coast.