The Catholic Fundraiser

Tips to Use & Habits to Lose: The Annual Conference

Posted by National Catholic Development Conference on 11/5/15 1:00 PM

Attending a national conference is, perhaps, the most expensive single educational event for mission advancement and development officers and staff. It is important to include the staff you left behind as well as the persons to whom you are accountable know what you learned, what you would like to share from your experience. There are several ways you can do this.


  1. If several of you from one office have attended the conference, find time to talk about what was learned and possible ways to take that learning and turn it into action steps.
  2. If you attended the conference alone, find time to write down what was learned and possible ways to implement these ideas and share them with your staff.
  3. Create a summary sheet or chart of ideas learned and possible action steps.
  4. Share this summary with your Development Advisory Board or Committee.
  5. Share this summary with your Board of Directors, Executive Director, and Leadership.
  6. Revisit this summary every three months to see if you are implement­ing some of these ideas.
  7. Go to the NCDC Conference Website and look at the archived presentations from the 2014 Conference for other ideas or purchase one of the conference presentations.
  8. Pull out the various business cards you exchanged among your peers and in the exhibit hall and use them as resources for further development of an idea.

These are just a few things you can do to get the most out of your conference experience.

Don’t come home from the confer­ence and return to business as usual or only talk about all the fun you had or a new restaurant you discovered.

Other Resources


  1. If you participate in a webinar, invite other staff to join in the session, if possible.
  2. If you attend a regional, share the handouts or information you learned with other staff members.
  3. Find opportunities to share what you have learned through these experiences with your staff, as well as those to whom you are accountable.

Don’t simply file that information for future consideration. Act on it in some way as soon as possible.

Dimensions or other publications


  1. Take publications to read when you travel, especially for work.
  2. Share something you may have read with your staff.
  3. Choose something to discuss as a staff from a publication.
  4. If there is a particular article or issue of Dimensions you would like to share with others, contact the NCDC Office and we will send you either the article or additional copies of that particular issue.

Don’t just put the publication on that stack of things to do that never really gets done.

The more we are able to share what we learn with others, the better everyone will understand what we do and support our development efforts and our efforts to stay professionally educated.

Don’t presume your staff or those to whom you are accountable know how valuable these educational and networking opportunities are to the success of your ministry of mission advancement.

Finally always thank those left at home for covering for those who attend and thank those to whom you are accountable for the learning opportunities they offer you. 

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Topics: Conference, Tips to Use & Habits to Lose

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