Posted Jun 26 2024
Highlights: YAF Summer Networking Event 2024

YAF revisits key highlights from our recent summer networking event in partnership with recruitment agency, Charity People. 📖 Read on for our 8 top tips to help you build your professional network!

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Somerset House for our YAF Summer Networking Event last month. We hope you’ve left feeling inspired by all the flowing conversations, and picked up valuable insights along the way! Perhaps this event opened doors into the world of fundraising. Maybe you’ve swapped deets with someone new in the sector…or has this emboldened your future aspirations to turn over the next chapter in your career? In a complicated arts landscape, it reminded us of the power of community, to share goals, discover pathways and exchange ideas.

This also marked an incredible partnership with Charity People, who have recruited extraordinarily talented people into rewarding and vital positions in the charity sector for over thirty years. The team held a fantastic CV clinic for attendees to seek advice on how to really stand out in a competitive job market.

Networking is at the core of YAF’s activities – a springboard for early career fundraisers to connect with like minded peers and those high up in the industry. Building a network with your industry contemporaries can bring unexpected, and wonderful opportunities for career development and professional growth. You never know who you might connect with, and how they might help you later on down the line where you don’t expect it.

Looking to supercharge your networking skills? YAF’s 8 key top tips: 

💡Before the event, research into participating employers: Learn about their opportunities and see what they emphasise on their recruitment pages. 

💡Plan your elevator pitch: when you have struck up a conversation, it may be helpful if you have prepared a summary about yourself in advance. Ask yourself ‘what do you want from this exchange? Is it mentoring, career advice or simply widening your network.

💡 Networking doesn’t always have to be about looking for a job: sometimes, you might gain a great friend, or mentor out of it, learn something new or a job may come.

💡 Listen attentively: note down key points from your conversations. Think about: ‘who did you meet, what did your find out’. Use simple techniques such as preparing some open questions.

💡 Follow up on socials: Optimise your LinkedIn profile, and leverage these platforms. Remember: don’t be knocked back if someone doesn’t respond.

💡 Always be thoughtful when reaching out: waiting a few weeks to chase someone up if they’ve not responded to you, rather than sending a barrage of emails.

💡 Arrange a catch up: If you’re looking to pick someone’s brain about a certain topic or seeking advice, arrange a quick 10-20 minute chat over a coffee. Most people in senior positions are happy to help.

💡 Practice makes perfect!: even if it feels unnatural or a bit shy at first, the more practice, the easier it will become.


→ Want to stay in the loop for future networking events? 📧 Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know what’s happening.

→ Got feedback to share from your experience? 💭 Please take a moment to complete our short survey. YAF is made of a group of volunteers, and we always try to improve how we engage fellow arts fundraisers, so we’d love to hear about your experience!

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