Wednesday, September 19, 2018

AFP Canada: Committed to Long-Term Growth and Success

By AFP Chair Ann Hale, CFRE and AFP President and CEO Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA

Earlier this year, we attended the Canadian Leadership Retreat in Edmonton and came away so impressed by the progress that has been made in such a short time. It was just over a year ago that we changed the course of our community and of the fundraising profession in Canada with the creation of AFP Canada.

AFP Canada was the realization of several years of thinking and consideration as to how AFP could best serve the fundraising profession across the country. A lot of tough, but important questions were asked: What is AFP in Canada? Is AFP the best voice for the profession in the country? How important is it that the fundraising profession in Canada be connected to a larger community of fundraisers around the world?

The association heard from members and chapters from coast to coast on these questions and many more. The result of that very deliberate process and debate led to the creation of AFP Canada and the AFP Canada Board, chaired by Scott Decksheimer, CFRE. Following that was the creation of several committees to guide our work in Canada, and then shortly after, the hiring of Lisa Davey as AFP’s new vice president for Canada.

AFP has gained so much new momentum in Canada now, and between the AFP Canada Board and the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada, we are poised to have great and lasting impact. We are grateful to the work of everyone involved on the board and the foundation, as well as to our chapter presidents and to all our members who provided input throughout this process.

AFP is still evolving in Canada, and how we operate in a few years may look differently than how we operate now. But we want every member of AFP in Canada—and everyone in the fundraising profession—to know that we are committed to the long-term growth and success of AFP and fundraising in the country.

AFP Canada will have its unique systems and operations—how can it not, working in a country with such a vibrant and varied culture and so many different voices and customs? We are excited about the development of the AFP in Canada Strategic Plan that, although under the umbrella of the AFP International Strategic Plan, is unique to the country.

That is the sort of relationship we envision, with AFP International working with AFP Canada to set goals and create programs that reflect the global fundraising profession’s needs and challenges but are tailored to the Canadian experience and environment. At the same time, we will continue to learn from each other. We are all part of the AFP global community, and we all gain strength, understanding, knowledge and perspective from those connections.

In an increasingly inter-connected world, we see more clearly that the challenges of one country are often similar and/or related to those of another country. But together, as one global community, we can address and overcome these challenges, even as we work to advance fundraising and philanthropy in our own areas.

Thank you for being a member of AFP and for your commitment to ethical fundraising. We’re excited to work with all of you as we move forward into the future.