AFP Chapter Website Program Update
In This Update:
“Out with the old, in with the new” – that classic idiom could not be more appropriate when it comes to all the online and database changes instituted by AFP toward the end of 2018.
AFP greeted 2019 with a new website (https://afpglobal.org), a completely overhauled membership database, and – thanks to you all! - over 120 new websites for the chapters participating in the AFP Chapter Website Program – quite a significant advancement from where we were just a year ago at this time! That’s not to say it was easy – we know there have been some bumps in the road. But upgrading our digital properties and establishing these new online platforms is just Phase I of our three-stage approach to establishing AFP as a digital leader in the association space!
We are now finishing up Phase 1, stabilizing the chapter websites, database and reporting data to ensure you have the site functionality and member information you need. On a related note: A reminder that your AFP Chapter Reports are now available for you to download. The steps to access your reports have changed - to learn how to access and download AFP Chapter Reports, please refer to the Accessing Chapter Reports Sheet. If you have any questions or need additional assistance, please email Kelley Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are now excited to begin Phase 2 of our online initiative – optimizing and enhancing our current websites, platforms and database features, with an eye toward the start of our final phase later this year: Providing chapters with the technical and administrative tools to better access and customize the data and information you need.
To that end, AFP will soon be reaching out to you with a number of surveys to collect your feedback and recommendations regarding chapter website improvements, reporting and data needs and requirements, and any other suggestions you have on how AFP can better provide you with the tools and resources you need. This information will aid us in developing a project priority list in line with our budget. These surveys should be reaching you in early February, so keep an eye out for them!
Website Review: Tips & Suggestions
As we all close in on the end of the first month of 2019 - hopefully still refreshed, energized and ready to take on the new year! – now is a great time to take a close look at your chapter website and update/refresh it to ensure your members and the public are getting the best and most accurate information possible. Based on our observations, here are some key tips and suggestions to assist you in that effort!
But first: A quick “Welcome!” to our new chapter volunteer webmasters! If you are new to the program, please check out the “Be Sure To” section below to learn more about how to manage your chapter site. As always, if you have any questions along the way, please email email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help you out!
Double-check Your Links and Pages:
- Please check all links you may have back to the AFP Global website - https://afpglobal.org. While we have set up some redirects for key former URLs, most old links will not work. In addition, some material did not make the transition when we moved to the new website.
- Check your site for blank or placeholder pages that might still be there from when we first delivered your templates, and delete/edit accordingly. Also check for unused navigation sections and remove or rename as necessary.
- Please ensure that email addresses on your website are hyperlinked. Also check the Contact set-up in your Admin to make sure you have the right mail address there.
- Check that your campaign/donation links for BE the CAUSE (US) or Every Member Campaign (Canada) are accurate and up to date.
- Check and update your social media icons and links that appear in the footer area of your site. These social media icons were defaulted to AFP Global’s social media sites, but you can go in and change those links, and/or delete the ones you do not want to appear. To do so, go to Edit Navigation > Text Links at Bottom > Social Media Links, then under “Content” click “Social Media Links 1” and edit accordingly.
- Also take a look at your Facebook and other social media links on your About Us and other pages and make sure they are correct, current and working.
- Your chapter’s current year leadership and contact information. Most chapters will have a whole new set of volunteers leading the way in 2019, so be sure that those representing your chapter are reflected correctly on your website.
- National Philanthropy Day Award nomination information and deadlines. National Philanthropy Day may be many months away, but now is the time to update your nomination forms, information and deadline dates.
- Your chapter’s National Philanthropy Day event information and save the date for 2019. The finer details may not be available at this point in time, but it’s never too early to let folks know the date!
- Dates and information for any education programming and/or events offered by your chapter. Be certain to keep your educational offering information and dates current and remove outdated information from prior year(s).
- Scholarship deadlines for any chapter-offered scholarships and those offered through AFP Global (Chamberlain Scholarship, Diverse Communities Scholarship). Deadlines may not be until later in the year, but now is a good time to review the information provided on your site. In addition, be sure to check all links back to the AFP Global site.
- Conference dates and information for AFP ICON 2019 in San Antonio, TX March 31- April 2, as well as information for any conferences held by your chapter.
- Remove any references and information related to the AFP Resource Center. In its place, please use the following:
Need some specific information about fundraising, like how to set up a major gift program or work more effectively with your board? Or maybe you just want to learn about the latest trends? AFP’s Guides & Resources have you covered, from our Advancing Philanthropy magazine and research reports to our Ready Reference Series and Hot Topics. From the foundations of fundraising to advanced topics, this is where you can find it!
*Please be sure to link the text Guides and Resources to https://afpglobal.org/guides-overviews
Be Sure To:
- Check out these links for instructions, tutorials and other materials on how to complete and optimize your site and Discussion Community:
- Make use of the Events Calendar on your site and consider promoting your event on the AFP Global Master Calendar. Send your chapter and NPD events to: https://afpglobal.org/form/event-submission.
- Make use of your Community Library to post documents such as newsletters, award nomination forms, scholarship application forms, pictures from events, etc. It’s a great place to keep all the documents you wish to share with your members!
- Give your Discussion Community some attention. This great resource allows your chapter members to connect to share information and insights, learn more from colleagues on particular topics, and more! If your Discussion Community is not active, consider posting a “seed” question to get the conversations rolling. It’s also a good idea to regularly check in on discussion activity to make sure that member posts are receiving feedback/responses. Even if you don’t have the answer, perhaps you can point to a colleague or resource that may be of help.
- Make the homepage Slideshow Carousel work for you. Some chapters use this space to advertise upcoming events, advertise/request volunteers for committees/events, etc.
- Join the Higher Logic User Group (HUG), a support network where Higher Logic users can connect with other Higher Logic experts, customers and partners through interactive blogs, forums and discussions. In addition, you can register for ongoing webinars and courses focused on building and enhancing your new sites. To receive an invite to join HUG, please click here to request an account (be sure to put down your AFP chapter name to receive approval).
- Providing information and a link to AFP Global’s 2019 Webinar series and on-demand webinars as well as AFP’s e-courses. A good spot for this might be under the AFP Resources area located for most under the Career or Professional Development navigation heading. There are a number of professional development offerings located under the “Learn & Grow” section of the AFP Global website, so be sure to check them out and pass the information along to your members.
- Using the Community Announcements area to remind your members about upcoming events and deadlines, promote programs, share information on chapter National Philanthropy Day award winners, notify your members of current public policy issues that may be of interest, etc.
- Including a photo of the current year’s leadership or even the chapter president in the Welcome section on your homepage. It’s always good to put a face to a name!
We hope this list of tips is a useful tool as you update your websites for the coming year. Again, if you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming CWP Webinar
To start the new year, we will be presenting an AFP Chapter Website Overview Webinar in February. This will be an opportunity to present the program to chapters not yet involved but curious about these websites, as well as review the program and site features and functionality with existing and new webmasters.
Please make note of the call information below:
Date: Thursday, February 28, 2018
Time: 2 pm Eastern
The call-in information is:
Webinar Meeting Link: http://afpnet.adobeconnect.com/afpchapters
(Please log in as Guest)
US Phone Number: 303 248 1290
Canada Phone Number: 800 747 5150
Participant Code: 5198452