Monday 13 – Tuesday 14 May 2024

  East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham

Headline sponsor

IDPE 2024 Annual Conference programme

Our all-new programme offers even more opportunities to meet with development professionals from schools across the UK, to learn from each other, to share challenges, and to work together to find solutions, with two full days of professional development.

Conference session types

Horizon (50 mins)

Step outside your comfort zone and explore the emerging trends in the wider school and fundraising sectors

Leadership lunches (30 mins)

Learn from leaders from across the education sector and beyond

Listen, learn and share workshop (80 mins)

A deep-dive into a specific area of development which encourages peer-to-peer learning

Personal effectiveness (80/50 mins)

Providing you with the skills you need to be an effective schools' development professional

Plenary panel (50 mins)

Join fellow delegates to hear our panel of experts discuss prominent issues facing the sector.

Roundtable discussions (30 mins)

An opportunity to discuss specific topics with our partners

Steps to success (30 mins)

A practical session, providing step-by-step guidance

Conference programme

Sunday 12 May 2024

15:45 - 18:00

Leadership forum                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Gallery suite                                                                                                                             

What does the future hold for schools' development?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Join development directors from across the IDPE community for a leadership session that will explore how to: make the case for continued investment in development; better demonstrate the value of development internally; support our development teams through a period of potential change and uncertainty; and enhance our resilience and remain effective leaders. 

Please note that places are limited and you will need to book to attend this forum. 

Speakers: Becki Mckinlay, Conference Committee Co-Chair; Salima Virji, Director, Salt Coaching and Consulting 


20:00 - 21:30

Sunday welcome reception                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Atrium                                                                                                                                                                                                                      



Monday 13 May 2024

09:15 - 10:15

Registration                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Foyer

Coffee with sponsors and exhibitors                                                                                                                                                                                              Exhibition hall 

09:30 - 10:00

Networking for those new to conference                                                                                                                                                                                                   Atrium 


Sponsored by   

10:15 - 10:35

Welcome to conference                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Exhibition hall 


10:40 - 12:00

Session 1 - listen, learn and share workshop

Listen, learn and share session

Brave conversations - how to speak like you mean it and get what you want

Imagine walking away from every conversation knowing you were heard and your ideas were taken seriously. No more frustration that you didn't get your point across or feeling awkward. Get the tools to consistently show up as your calm, centred and most confident self in difficult communications that matter.

Speakers: Wendy Windle, Company Director, Huzzah for Schools; Katie Howard, Company Director, Huzzah for Schools


Listen, learn and share session

From pages to pledges - harnessing the power of story in school fundraising 

"All children, except one, grow up." J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan. Six words, and immediately you're captivated. In this session, delve into the science behind why our brains are naturally drawn to narrative, making it a potent tool in the realm of fundraising. Explore the keys to crafting compelling stories and practice developing stories around real fundraising challenges. You will leave ready to infuse your campaigns with powerful storytelling, driving engagement and donations.

Speaker: Kurstin Finch Gnehm, Group Head of Philanthropy, Corporate Partnerships and Trusts, Dog's Trust

Listen, learn and share session

Squad goals – how to get the most from the people around you 

In a busy school, how do you build your internal relationships to ensure you have the right team onboard? From the common room to boarding staff, leadership to your own team, this session will give you time to think creatively and focus on building your squad to deliver exceptional engagement and prospect relations.

Speakers: Becki Mckinlay, Conference Committee Co-Chair; Natalie Pretsell, Head of Engagement and Fundraising, Stamford Schools

Listen, learn and share session

Making the ask

Watch live as two experienced fundraisers role-play different scenarios of The Ask. Explore what went well and what didn't, gain top tips, and take your turn role-playing some unrehearsed scenarios with fellow delegates. This will be a hands-on session when attendees will be asked to actively participate.

Speakers: Isabelle Blake-James, Director of Philanthropy and Alumni Relations, St Dunstan's College; Murray Lindo, Head of Wellington College Community, Wellington College 


Listen, learn and share session

How to manage competing priorities 




12:00 - 12:30/12:40

Coffee with sponsors and exhibitors                                                                                                                                                                                              Exhibition hall 

12:30 - 13:00

Session 2a - steps to success

Listen, learn and share session

Transforming philanthropic income from £85,000 to £3.3 Million in 18 months  

Discover the award-winning journey of Loughborough Schools Foundation and how they transformed philanthropic income from £85,000 to £3.3 million in 18 months. Recognised with the 2023 IDPE Award for Ambition and Progress, the session reveals Loughborough's major gift strategies, impactful alumni and supporter engagement, and 'village' approach to influence internal stakeholders and build a culture of philanthropy.
Speaker: Laura-Jane Ryves , Associate Head of Philanthropy (Principal Gifts), University of Warwick (formerly Director of Development and Alumni Engagement, Loughborough Schools Foundation)

Listen, learn and share session

How to talk banker - finance for non finance people 

This session will explore the exciting, complex and often highly paid world of bankers and financiers. Cut through the jargon and investigate how much and when bankers, fund managers and private equity partners are paid, what you can tell from their job title and optimum times to make an ask. This will be a high-paced session where you will gain confidence in understanding the financial world.
Speaker: Jonathan Jeffrey, Co Founder/Director, Pyro.Solutions and Pyro Talks

12:40 - 13:10

Session 2b - steps to success

Listen, learn and share session

Creating a stellar brief for your next appeal         

Want to know the secret of a successful fundraising campaign? In this 30-minute interactive session, you'll work with Heather Eggelton and Kat Carter (Hubbub) to create a strategic brief that aims to increase the results of your next campaign. Whether your next campaign is a direct mail, telephone appeal, giving day, stewardship activities or even a legacies appeal, a good brief is key to ensuring your next campaign is a success.

Speakers: Kat Carter, Lead Consultant, Hubbub; Heather Eggelton, Consultant, Hubbub

Sponsored by 

Listen, learn and share session

Global engagement - insights and opportunities   

In a world transformed by the pandemic, rising global conflict, inflation and economic uncertainty, why should we commit people and resources to global engagement? To answer this, this session will explore global wealth insights, global engagement opportunities, planning and best practice.  

Speaker: Michael Joyce, Executive Director, Sevenoaks School Foundation


Listen, learn and share session

From ISAMS to Raiser's Edge - how to seamlessly (as possible) import your parent and pupil  data
Are your parents major prospects? Do you spend days (or weeks) manually inputting new pupil and parent data into Raiser's Edge? Discover how Eltham College overhauled their data input practices and developed a system for ISAMS to 'talk' to Raiser's Edge (revolutionising data entry speed, accuracy and quality) - enabling the team to focus on prospecting their parents.
Speaker: Russell Joyce, Development Manager, Eltham College

13:00 - 14:10

Lunch with sponsors and exhibitors                                                                                                                                                                                               Exhibition hall 

13:00 - 14:10

Networking with colleagues from across your region                                                                                                                                                                Exhibition hall 

13:30 - 14:00

Leadership lunch ('Take your plate')                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gallery suite

14:10 - 15:00

Session 3 - horizon/ PES

Listen, learn and share session

Perseverance pays off - sustaining ambition and playing the long game

Senior leaders often expect quick results. Fundraisers may think otherwise! How do you persuade your Senior Leadership to invest in long-term relationships, rather than gaining quick wins? In this session explore the benefits of playing the long game, how to stay motivated, and secure significant donations over time.
Speaker: Henry Cosh, Foundation Associate Director, Radley College


Listen, learn and share session

Horizon session with ToucanTech
Speakers: ToucanTech

Sponsored by  


Listen, learn and share session

Redefining resource sharing - a new era of charitable initiatives in independent schools

Explore the evolving landscape of fundraising in independent schools, shifting from traditional financial drives to resource-sharing and innovative collaborative efforts. Gain insights from ACS International Schools and the Royal Grammar School, and their holistic approach to partnerships with charities, industries, and educational bodies, to offer expertise, time, and resources as well as financial aid. Learn how your school can leverage its unique assets to contribute meaningfully to the community and create impactful educational experiences, and foster relationships which lead to a more committed approach by partner organisations.  

Speakers: Graeme Lawrie MBE, Partnerships Director, ACS International Schools; John Smith, Director of Partnerships, Royal Grammar School Newcastle

Listen, learn and share session

Careers and mentoring - engaging the alumni of today to inspire alumni of the future

Explore how the development offices at The Manchester Grammar School and Hymers College work with their alumni to enhance the student experience. Reflecting on their contrasting team resources and individual roles, the speakers will demonstrate how they maximise time and create efficiency by using their current network to enhance their careers offering. 

SpeakerLauren Tidey, Development Officer and Careers Lead, The Manchester Grammar School; Emily Pennack, Development Manager, Hymers College

Listen, learn and share session

Leadership coaching - managing upwards and increasing gravitas

Speaker: Salima Virji, Director, Salt Coaching and Consulting

15:10 - 15:40

Session 4 - steps to success

Listen, learn and share session

Legacy communications - the channels, content, design and tone of voice for a great campaign  

You never know whether a legacy communication has landed on a day that really could upset legacy prospects. How can you ensure that your message is delivered appropriately? In this session, explore the most effective channels (from social media to events), the best tone of voice to use and what you should be communicating, when and how, to help encourage greater engagement.

Speaker: Richard Radcliffe, Founder, Radcliffe Consulting

Listen, learn and share session

Planning a year in fundraising with the help of Blackbaud Raiser's Edge NXT® 

George Watson's College has one of the largest communities of current and former pupils, their parents and staff in the world. In this session, the development team shares their strategy, data-driven approach and tools for delivering an annual programme of activities that strike a balance between engagement, fundraising and stewardship.
Speakers: Andrew Grant, Head of Development, George Watson's College; Ben Waite, Customer Success Manager, Blackbaud


Sponsored by 


Listen, learn and share session

Digital belonging – strengthening community connections online 

Reunions and in person events are a fantastic way to create a sense of belonging in your community, but how can you replicate that digitally? This session will look at some tried and tested techniques for fostering new connections and strengthening existing ones online.

Speaker: Jamie Robertson, Managing Director, SocialArchive

Sponored by 

Listen, learn and share session

Launching an annual appeal - the basics 

You've decided that an annual fund would be an appropriate method of fundraising for your school, but where should you start? In this session, dive into the basic tasks and requirements to successfully launch an annual appeal. Explore how to pitch your concept to the right stakeholders, create compelling fundraising assets and ensure a coordinated launch for maximum impact.

Speaker: Claire Bath, Director Of External Relations, Strathallan School

Listen, learn and share session

Handling difficult news with alumni and donors 

As representatives of your institutions, you will likely need to navigate difficult conversations with members of your community at some point. In this session, discuss practical steps you can take to prepare for and manage these situations well - and even turn a tricky moment into an opportunity. 

Speaker: Liz Reilly, Partner, More Partnership

15:40 - 16:10

Afternoon tea with sponsors and exhibitors                                                                                                                                                                                Exhibition hall 

16:10 - 17:00

Session 5 - plenary panel


Listen, learn and share session

Growing philanthropy in schools - what can we do differently?
With the ongoing economic and political uncertainty facing the schools' sector, how can we respond positively and proactively, to ensure development survives and thrives? The panel will explore how we can continue to grow our school ambitions through new approaches to philanthropy.

17:00 - 19:30

Free time


17:10 - 17:40

Meet the IDPE trustees                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Atrium

Come along for a coffee or something stronger (the bar will be open!) and meet the IDPE trustees and senior management team. This is an informal networking event providing you with an opportunity to ask the charity's leadership team about plans for the future, share your thoughts and ideas and discover what's involved in being an IDPE trustee. 

17:45 - 18:30

Buffalo Stampede - get your steps in!                                                                                                                                                                                                            Foyer
Join Buffalo for either a guided walk or a 5km jog around Highfields Park Boating Lake - we'll make sure you're back in time to get changed for dinner! We'll meet in the foyer to set off promptly at 17:45 - you can let us know you'll be coming either at the Buffalo stand or by emailing info@buffalofc.co.uk

19:30 - 23.45

IDPE's 25th Anniversary celebrations                                                                                                                                                     Conferene theatre and exhibition hall 
Join us to celebrate IDPE's 25th anniversary. Diners can take their seats at 19:50 but drinks will be served from 19:30.  The formal three-course dinner will finish at approx. 22:00 followed by evening entertainment. Carriages at 23:45.

Sponsored by


Tuesday 14 May 2024

09:00 - 10:00

Registration                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Foyer

Coffee with sponsors and exhibitors                                                                                                                                                                                              Exhibition hall 

09:00 - 09:30

Networking for those new to conference                                                                                                                                                                                                    Atrium

Sponsored by 

09:30 - 10:00

Roundtable discussions: sponsored by corporate partners                                                                                                                                                      Exhibition hall                                                                                                                                    

Listen, learn and share session

Roundtable discussion with Toucan Tech 

Facilitator: ToucanTech

Listen, learn and share session

Roundtable discussion with Almabase

Facilitator: Almabase 

Listen, learn and share session

Roundtable discussion with Blackbaud

Facilitator: Blackbaud

Listen, learn and share session

Evaluating the impact of bursaries: a new Bursary Impact Framework

Facilitator: John Atkinson, School Partnerships Officer, ImpactEd Evaluation

Listen, learn and share session

How can we do wealth screening and prospect research and comply with GDPR?

Facilitator: Kerry Rock, Chief Executive, Prospecting for Gold

Listen, learn and share session

How can we refocus telephone campaigns to increase their success

Facilitator: Heather Eggleton, Consultant, Hubbub

Listen, learn and share session

Kickstart your campaign with a feasibility study

Facilitator: Chris Goldie, Director, Gifted Philanthropy Ltd

Listen, learn and share session

Navigating GDPR and data protection in development and alumni relations

Facilitator: Jamie Robertson, Managing Director, SocialArchive

Listen, learn and share session

Roundtable discussion with Wrigleys Solicitors

Facilitator: Wrigleys Solicitors

Listen, learn and share session

Roundtable discussion with Potentiality

Facilitator: Potentiality

10:10 - 11:30

Session 1 - listen, learn and share workshop

Listen, learn and share session

Brave conversations - how to speak like you mean it and get what you want

Imagine walking away from every conversation knowing you were heard and your ideas were taken seriously. No more frustration that you didn't get your point across or feeling awkward. Get the tools to consistently show up as your calm, centred and most confident self in difficult communications that matter.
Speakers:  Wendy Windle, Company Director, Huzzah for Schools; Katie Howard, Company Director, Huzzah for Schools 

Listen, learn and share session

The 7 basic plots of storytelling 

Stories are magic ⭐
They can motivate people to apply, attend, partner, volunteer, donate. But where do you start? Well, why not start with the basics? Every memorable story follows the 7 basic plots of storytelling. By embracing these plots, your school can craft truly compelling stories to inspire your audiences.
Speaker: Simon Fairbanks, Head of Community Engagement, Pickle Jar Communications

Listen, learn and share session

Squad goals – how to get the most from the people around you 

In a busy school, how do you build your internal relationships to ensure you have the right team onboard? From the common room to boarding staff, leadership to your own team, this session will give you time to think creatively and focus on building your squad to deliver exceptional engagement and prospect relations.

Speakers: Becki Mckinlay, Conference Committee Co-Chair; Natalie Pretsell, Head of Engagement and Fundraising, Stamford Schools

Listen, learn and share session

Making the ask

Watch live as two experienced fundraisers role-play different scenarios of The Ask. Explore what went well and what didn't, gain top tips, and take your turn role-playing some unrehearsed scenarios with fellow delegates. This will be a hands-on session when attendees will be asked to actively participate.

Speakers: Isabelle Blake-James, Director of Philanthropy and Alumni Relations, St Dunstan's College; Murray Lindo, Head of Willington College Community, Wellington College 

Listen, learn and share session

Dealing with stress

Speaker: The Better Health Generation

11:30- 12:00/12:10

Coffee with sponsors and exhibitors                                                                                                                                                                                              Exhibition hall 

12:00 - 12:30

Session 2a - steps to success

Listen, learn and share session

How do I thank thee? Let me count the ways

Stewardship is key to any fundraising programme.  There are so many ways to say thank you to your donors. This session will explore strategies, approaches, and cost-effective ideas that make stewardship a significant part of your programme and show your donors they are valued and appreciated.

Speakers: Kristina McClendon, Deputy Development Director, Magdalen College School  

Listen, learn and share session

Steps to success - session details coming soon

12:10 - 12:40

Session 2b - steps to success

Listen, learn and share session

How to plan your first giving day 

Ever thought about running a giving day but not sure where to start? Join Hayley Bryce for this guide to giving day planning. This session will go through an example project plan and explain the steps involved from setting the date to completion.

Speaker: Hayley Bryce, Owner and Founder, The Giving Day Gurus

Listen, learn and share session

How digital engagement programmes can lead to increased alumni giving  

If you're a small team looking to raise more funds from your alumni, then digital engagement programmes might be the solution. In this session, discover how Merchant Taylors' School leveraged Almabase to create digital engagement programmes their alumni LOVED, which led to an increase in funds raised.

Speakers: Lisa Connor, Head of Development and Alumni Relations, Merchant Taylors' School; Nikita Seth, Customer Success Manager, Almabase

Sponsored by 


Listen, learn and share session

Steps to success with Potentiality 

Speaker: Lila Brewer, Alumni Relations and Development Trust Officer, Maidstone Girls Grammar School 

Sponsored by 


12:30 - 13:40

Lunch with sponsors and exhibitors                                                                                                                                                                                               Exhibition hall 

12:30 - 13:40

Network with others from the same type of school or in a similar development role                                                                                                         Exhibition hall 

13:00 - 13:30
             

Leadership lunch ('Take your plate')                                                                                                                                                                                                 Gallery suite 

13:40 - 14:30

Session 3 - horizon/PES

Listen, learn and share session

Enhancing development with AI 

How can you and your team adapt your processes in order to harness the efficiencies which AI offers? In this session Dr Andy Kemp will explore the potential of AI in development, and how AI tools can help you do more in less time to promote your schools and connect with your communities.

Speaker: Dr Andy Kemp, Principal, The National Mathematics and Science College

Listen, learn and share session

Pupil power - putting bursary pupils at the centre of campaigns 

Two different and successful bursary campaigns (the 500 Campaign at Bristol Grammar School and the Marlborough Difference Campaign) with one shared goal - to put the bursary pupils at the centre. In this session explore approaches to destigmatising bursaries, and hear how each school has involved bursary pupils in their campaigns, empowering them to lead the fundraising efforts.

Speakers: Nadine Latte, Director of Development, Bristol Grammar School; Simon Lerwill, Director of Development, Marlborough College

Listen, learn and share session

Stewarding a legacy pledge 

Listen, learn and share session

Trusts and foundations - what's fundable?

Freelance bid writer and Trust Fundraising Manager for DEBRA UK, Matthew Dear explores what grant-making trusts are, the different ways in which they operate and are resourced, the role they played during his time as Dirctor of Development at Oundle School, and how the wider charitable sector engages with them. Following the presentation, put your grant funding questions to our experienced panel as they discuss 'what's fundable' for schools.

Speakers: Matthew Dear, Bid Writer and Researcher, bidforward; Bill Friar, Director of Development, Haberdashers' Elstree Schools; Emma Styles, Head of Development, Colyton Grammar School Academy Trust


Listen, learn and share session

Fundraising and engagement showcase - I wish I'd thought of that 

Share your successes and be inspired by others in this year's Fundraising and Engagement Showcase: a collection of case studies and examples of innovative new projects that have made an impact in the sector. This is the place to share the initiatives that you're most proud of - and to encourage others to share the work that you wish you'd thought of.

Speakers: Various

14:30 - 15:00

Afternoon tea with sponsors and exhibitors                                                                                                                                                                                Exhibition hall 

15:00 - 15:50

Session 4 - plenary panel                                                                                                                                                                                                        Conference theatre 

Listen, learn and share session

Sharing impact - how can we demonstrate the value of philanthropy in schools? 
From funding bursary and partnership programmes to enhancing facilities and resources, development enables schools to provide the best educational opportunities for young people - but how can we demonstrate the difference philanthropy makes? The panel will discuss how we can measure development success and share the value of philanthropy both internally, with senior leadership and colleagues, and externally, with donors and the wider school community.

15:55 - 16:15

All delegates gathering                                                                                                                                                                                                           Conference theatre 



Speeches and reflections                                                                                                                                                                                                       Conference theatre 

16:15

Conference close                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Conference theatre


Please note* that although we aim for as little change as possible, sessions are subject to change.