Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Thank You

I know it’s your busiest time of the year. I know you’re probably stressed about reaching your goal. I know your mind is probably buzzing with the thousands of things you need to do before the end of the year, whether it’s touching base with that major donor or editing the thank-you letters ONE MORE TIME!

But I hope you’ll take a moment and let me say this to you.

Thank you.

What you are doing is fundamental to our society. What you are doing is making a huge difference—not only in your geographical, local community, but in countless other communities that are affected, directly or indirectly, by your work. What you are doing is changing the world—one gift, one person, one moment at a time.

Thank you.

Because, not everyone can do what you do. Not everyone can get rejected (a lot!) and still be positive about your mission. Not everyone can deal with a board, volunteers, major donors, your colleagues, staff and your boss, all at the same time, while trying to make goal. Not everyone can inspire others and give off such confidence while inside you’re bubbling with stress and concern over a thousand little details.

We know, so thank you!

You adhere to the highest ethical standards: AFP’s valued and respected Code of Ethics.

You work hard to be a better fundraiser every day, taking advantage of continuing education and training.

You give back to the profession, whether through teaching, mentoring, or giving of your time and treasure.

You are dedicated to your cause, and to the cause of ethical and effective fundraising.

Thank you for hearing the call and being a servant of philanthropy. Thank you for being part of the AFP community and helping us advance the profession.

All of us at AFP wish you the best of luck in your year-end fundraising and a very merry holiday season and happy New Year. We look forward to serving you in 2018.

And since we can’t say it enough—Thank You!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Chapter Visits: Understanding the Fabric of our Community

In previous organizations, I’ve visited local chapters or affiliates before. I believe it’s critical for leadership to be in constant touch with local members and understand first-hand the challenges and opportunities they are facing. For me, it’s about understanding the fabric of an organization and why it really matters to members. Plus, it’s fun to meet new faces and get to know members one-on-one.

But I have to tell you, nothing prepared for me for my first chapter visit to Toronto for the AFP Toronto Congress. Wow! It was an amazing conference, superbly put on and filled with so many interesting and insightful presentations. Thank you to Krishan Mehta and all the chapter leadership for inviting me.

But it was the people who really shined. I met so many fundraisers with so many fascinating and inspiring stories of why they got involved in the profession, or challenges their organizations has overcome, or donors and constituents who’ve made such a difference in their communities. Hearing each person’s story, and the impact their cause is creating, was so moving—I’m excited to be a part of this incredible community.

I have to believe, with all due respect to the Toronto Chapter, that it’s like this in every chapter we have. The excitement of being together, the pride you take in your jobs, the inspiration you provide to each other—I’m looking forward to visiting all of you, getting to know you better, and hearing how AFP can best serve you and the profession.

Chapters and their members are the heart of our association—the true fabric of our community. I’m committed to ensuring that you have the tools and resources to be successful. When our chapters are successful, AFP is successful, and that leads to the continued success of our profession, our ultimate goal.

I won’t get to every chapter in my first year, but I hope that I’ll see a lot of you at events like our International Fundraising Conference (ICON 2018) in New Orleans, April 15 – 17, and Leadership Academy in Toronto in October. And please know that I’m always happy to meet you via email or social media. Feel free to email me or follow me (and say hi!) on Twitter at @AFPMikeGeiger.