Despite the downturn, fundraisers remained positive at this year’s convention

Fundraisers must  be a resilient bunch to cope with all the knock-backs that come with the job.

But according to our Charity Pulse survey, which asks charity workers how they’re feeling about their jobs, fundraisers are suffering from low morale.

With the economic downturn continuing to make people less willing to part with their hard-earned cash, and the rubbish summer generally making everyone feel miserable, who could blame them?

But, if there are cracks behind the cheerful façade of the profession, they certainly weren’t on show at the Institute of Fundraising’s national convention this week.

It was an exhausting but exhilarating three days of positivity and inspiration.

Of course there was mention of the bleak economic outlook and the cuts. Legacy fundraisers were worried about older people not having any money left to leave to charity after they’ve forked out for care home bills and their grandchildren’s uni fees.

But the sessions mainly focused on potential solutions to the sector’s woes. The theme was digital fundraising and online giving. Charities were told to catch up with the growing use of mobile devices to access the web.

Perhaps the most inspirational sessions were about the people with amazing ideas, who had the compassion and the tenacity to turn them into successful organisations that help lots of people.

Laura Lee from Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres, said two young fundraisers were the driving force that helped her realise Maggie Keswick Jencks’ vision of making cancer support available in uplifting, architecturally brilliant environments.

From the first centre in Edinburgh, the charity has gone global and counts Michelle Obama, Sarah Brown and the Duchess of Cornwall as supporters.

At the other end of the scale, Laura Sullivan, from Advantage Africa, revealed the fledgling charity’s first fundraising campaign features an app that let’s you design a plate for children in Africa. The innovative pitch won funding from the IoF’s take on Dragons’ Den.

They also gave cash to Louise Mousseau from Foodcycle to fund the up-and-coming charity’s plans for a magazine.

In these turbulent times we should all harness the resolve of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Wednesday’s key note speaker, who kept trekking across the Antarctic despite gangrene, frostbite and scabby lips to make millions of pounds for UK charities.

Read more news and comment from this year’s IoF National Convention