Atlas Network training in Australia asks "What's your org's core focus?"

A snapshot of the 20 Think Tank Essentials attendees representing 4 countries along with Atlas Network staff Dr. Tom Palmer, Dr. Lyall Swim, and Vale Sloane.

As a kick off to this year's annual Friedman Conference (Australia's largest gathering of liberty oriented individuals), Atlas Network held a one-day Think Tank Essentials training that brought together 20 participants representing 12 organizations from 4 different countries to learn best practices on strategy, marketing, and development. As part of the session, participants created a cascading vision execution plan, developed messaging for their current work, and discussed how to create a culture of fundraising within their organizations.

"Today really helped me to think more carefully about what is not part of our core focus," said John Humphreys, president of the Australian Libertarian Society, which hosts the annual Friedman Conference. "I realized that we need to spend some much needed time thinking more carefully and critically about our vision/mission statements."

Several participants expressed at the beginning of the session a sentiment that many have shared across the freedom movement, namely that they struggle to cut through all the noise and have their work really connect with people. During the session, each participant worked on a Features, Benefits, Meaning (FBM) messaging template to begin the process of really capturing the powerful and emotionally engaging meaning of the great work they are doing.

"The session was a great reminder of key business principles as they apply to our work," said Andrew Cooper, president of LibertyWorks. "The best part was that I think I finally discovered our emotive pitch."

During the final portion of the workshop, Dr. Tom Palmer, Atlas Network's executive vice president for international programs and George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty, discussed 12 principles that can help any organization create a culture of fundraising. Principles included: show appreciation, treat donors with respect, honor donor intent, and practice your pitch.

For one participant, Monica Wilkie, external relations manager for the Centre for Independent Studies, one key learning for the day came from the development session. "My big 'a-ha' for the day was the idea was that fundraising is not begging," she said.

Atlas Network was proud to be part of the 6th annual Friedman Conference in Australia and is excited to see so much great work happening in the broader region. To learn about how you can be part of a future Atlas Network training program, check out our Leadership Academy.

Monica Wilkie opposite Vale Sloane at a conference table.
Monica Wilkie (upper left), Centre for Independent Studies, participates in a case-study group discussion with (from right to left) Kate Wagstaff, Eva Christensen, Atlas Network's Vale Sloane, Satya Marar, and Matthew Lesh where participants worked to apply the features, benefits, and meaning framework.
Andrew cooper sits while working at a laptop computer.
Andrew Cooper of LibertyWorks working on a vision/mission exercise during the workshop.