Nine months ago, I became president and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Hundreds of conference calls, countless media interviews, 81 chapter visits, 50-plus speeches, ten new partnerships, two board meetings, and a Leadership Academy later, I am more convinced than ever of the critical importance of the fundraising community and AFP’s role in advancing philanthropy and ethical fundraising.
I heard it at chapter meetings when members told me what they needed from AFP in order to be successful.
I felt it at National Philanthropy Day celebrations when donors talked their stories and how they were inspired to give and get involved.
I saw it in the faces of fundraisers from around the globe who thanked AFP for providing expertise and resources.
I experienced it when meeting with our partners and their desire to change the world, working with AFP and the charities and fundraisers we represent.
And I read it in articles every day about the growing problems our world faces, and how the philanthropic sector—not government or the business sector—is best prepared to address these challenges.
And the mainstay is fundraising. Our profession—and our association—is the key to addressing the challenges of the future.
Nonprofits can’t raise money ethical and effectively without well-trained and knowledgeable fundraisers. And fundraisers can’t raise money ethically and effectively without the education, networks, resources and support systems that AFP provides.
Your work is awe-inspiring. What you accomplish every day to improve your community is awe-inspiring. Working together we can address the larger problems that our world faces.
I’m proud to represent you and—along with the AFP staff, board members, chapter leaders and partners—will do everything I can to help you reach your goals in 2012 and beyond.
Thank you for your work as a fundraising professional. Enjoy the New Year, and I wish you the best in your professional and personal lives.