Most of my time is spent in the Unity Walk office in NJ but last week was a productive and busy week in Washington, DC. I spent Sunday through Tuesday in National Harbor, MD attending the 2012 Blackbaud Conference for Non-Profit Organizations. It was great to learn from my colleagues at other non-profit organizations. The focus was on understanding best practices and how we can make it easier for our supporters to fundraise on behalf of the causes they are passionate about. On Tuesday, Stephanie Burnett, Director of Client Services at Zuri Group and I co-presented a session on strategic email campaigns. It was satisfying to share our experience with other organizations and hear their perspectives.
I spent Wednesday with one of our walkers who has expertise in market research and benefitted from his input on our post-Walk survey. You can expect our survey to be very different next year!
Then it was on to the Parkinson Action Network’s Morris Udall dinner on Wednesday night. It is PAN’s largest fundraising event of the year. We got to hear Diane Rehm interview Patrick Kennedy, who spoke about his launching One Mind for Research in 2011. The mission of the organization is to change the way brain research is funded, combining private philanthropy, government funding, and corporate investment with policy improvement, with the goal of accelerating the time from research to cure. The evening was a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the PAN staff, State Coordinators and volunteers for their advocacy work. Congratulations to Michael Church and Gretchen Garie-Church on winning the Milly Kondracke Award for Outstanding Advocacy and to Colonel Kark Friedl for receiving the Morris K. Udall Award for Public Service.
Amtrak is very efficient and I was back at my desk by 11:00am on Thursday. It was good to be away and it’s good to be back. We are busy gearing up for the 2013 Walk and look forward to implementing all that we learned at the conference!