Thursday, 28 August 2008

Chris Laurence on the preparations for ICAWC - including the IT!

ICAWC is always an interesting challenge. Not only do I get to do a couple of presentations, but I also run the IT to make sure that everyone else’s presentations run smoothly as well. Making sure everything works properly is a very time consuming exercise!

But the conference is also such fun. The range of people to chat to is vast and there’s a good social element as well talking far into the night about animal welfare issues (and other things too!). I’m really looking forward to it as I know Stresa is such a lovely place.

Chris Laurence
, Veterinary Director, Dogs Trust

Friday, 22 August 2008

Small budget, big plans: fundraising for charity through social media

Where did August go? ICAWC suddenly seems a lot closer and as the days go on I’m increasingly nervous yet excited about my presentation.

The biggest challenge for any presentation – especially in an afternoon slot – is keeping it vibrant. Thanks to a variety of blogs and community sites I have plenty of illustrations to show delegates just how well free Internet resources can attract the attention.

Isn’t ‘free’ the best word a charity fundraiser could ever hear?! And the best part is that it doesn’t mean compromising in order to avoid paying for a service. The social web is all about the people and organisations on it making it work for them.

The social web is a very exciting arena for charities to exist in. When I talk about how to start an informal dialogue with donors and fundraise without asking for money, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s such potential for a two-way conversation between supporters and non-profits that both can learn and benefit from.

‘Online fundraising’ is so much more than just having a donate button on a website (although that is pretty vital!). I look forward to sharing my thoughts with the ICAWC delegates, and learning from them in return.

Alexandra Roumbas, Dogs Trust

Friday, 8 August 2008

Clarissa Baldwin on international attendees and raising the status of dogs

I'm not really a blog writer, but reading both Adrian's and Carolyn's posts reminded me that I have to prepare my 10 minute slot at ICAWC. Yes, I'm going to have an actual slot, not just a Chairman's role, this time!

It's about raising the status of dogs. It should be easy to talk about, but I want to make sure it fits the audience's requirements; does anybody want to give me any examples?

I'm looking forward to seeing you all. Helen, my PA, came and updated me this morning about numbers of booking for the conference - so far more than 60. It's always great to see old friends but she tells me we have new delegates from Somalia and Pakistan. Is anyone coming from even further afield?

Meanwhile, we have some cheeky animal welfare friends trying to win the cash prize for registering - without attending the conference. Nice try!

Clarissa Baldwin
Chief Executive, Dogs Trust

Friday, 1 August 2008

Dog Talk's Carolyn Menteith on what to expect at ICAWC 2008

It’s getting to that time of year again. The time when the animal welfare world starts turning it’s eyes towards ICAWC. And I am certainly no exception. This will be my 6th Conference and I am looking forward to this as much as my first – in fact probably more so. I know what to expect from ICAWC; I have to say I always love every minute of it and I know this one will be as enjoyable and educational - and as inclusive - as all the others!

I enjoy listening to all the speakers – but I think even more than that, I love listening to the stories from people around the world who are managing, against the odds, to do some truly remarkable things to benefit, protect and care for animals. It always fills me full of enthusiasm and hope, and I think this is what ICAWC is really all about.

For the last four years, my job at ICAWC has been to compile and write the ICAWC newsletter… so if anyone accosts you in the bar looking for quotes on what you think of the conference, that will probably be me! This year however a page of the newsletter will be devoted to blog quotes (I am finally getting the hang of all this technology!) so please post your thoughts – both before and after the conference – here. I look forward to being able to include them in the newsletter.

I also have another job at ICAWC this year and it is one I am looking forward to but also one I am somewhat nervous about….! I am presenting a new resource that is a joint project between Dogs Trust and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home – and it is a template designed to help anyone wanting to start up a trap, neuter return programme to help their local street dog population. It is based on both their expertise and also on their experiences setting up a successful TNR centre in Oradea, Romania. I have been spending the past few (well actually quite a few!) months compiling, writing, editing and designing this web-based template, and it will have its first outing at ICAWC. I am excited about it because I think it is fantastic, and has advice from some of the very best welfare brains in the business, and I believe that it will prove invaluable in helping dogs around the world. On the other hand, I am nervous because I want it to be the very best it can be…. So a few sleepless nights for me before ICAWC!

Carolyn Menteith, Dog Talk