Chapter Spotlight

AFP Chapter Spotlight: Lubbock Area Chapter NPD Celebration

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NPD Lubbock

Founded in 1993, the AFP Lubbock Area Chapter has over 90 members from organizations such as Texas Tech, Lubbock Christian University, Wayland Baptist University, the major health care systems, Lubbock Area United Way, Volunteer Center of Lubbock, Community Foundation of West Texas, alumni associations, religious nonprofit organizations, and other health and human services agencies.

Since 1996, the chapter has been celebrating National Philanthropy Day each November, recognizing outstanding members of their community who have demonstrated a commitment to making life better on the South Plains. 

We asked them to share with us the work that went into their 2023 NPD Celebration Luncheon and provide a roadmap for chapters who may be interested in replicating this success. Download the Chapter Spotlight: Share & Reapply Form to see key takeaways that you can use to improve your own chapter NPD event. 

Q: What was the goal of your NPD Celebration Luncheon? 
A: The primary goal of the NPD Celebration Luncheon was to showcase new event ideas, new stewardship techniques, how to recognize someone, and really have our guests walk away with a smile on their face, a good feeling in their heart, and possibly an idea they wanted to steal for their event! We knew the more engaging this event was, the more people would want to attend, or recognize someone.

Q: Who is responsible for planning and implementation of your NPD event? 
A: We have an NPD committee, which is overseen by the NPD chair, and includes several sub-committees for various aspects of the event. I would recommend taking the time to recruit people for the committee that will really help with the planning and sponsorships. We meet monthly through Zoom to go over sub-committee updates, sponsorships, important dates and deadlines, and any challenges that the committee might be facing. 

Our executive board also does an amazing job of stepping in to help us secure sponsorships and we rely on local partners for much of the on-site production. 

Q: What type of promotion do you do for your event? 
A: We start sending out save-the-dates for our event 4-6 months out, using a variety of channels including social media, email blasts, mailed postcards, and our chapter meetings. A lot of our communication with the community is through emails or phone calls. Paper mailouts are a nice touch (we send them to past and present members and donors, and prospective members), however, we have gotten more response by making a personal phone call or email to specific donors or members.

We tried to position our NPD Celebration Luncheon as just that, a celebration. Although it technically is a fundraiser for our chapter, we didn’t want to have that as the driving force for the event. We really tried to embody the fact that this event should be the turnkey event for all of our fundraisers, philanthropists, and event planners for that year. We invite our local city council, mayor, news stations, and public figures.  

Q: Do you recognize award recipients at your event? 
A: Yes. We open nominations up online 6-9 months out and we usually send several reminders. We honor up to 7 Outstanding Award recipients. We also do our Spirit of Philanthropy (SOP) Awards, which are purchased by AFP members to recognize someone in the community. We had our highest number of SOP honorees this year in chapter history (20 awardees). Each Outstanding honoree and SOP Award recipient is presented with an award. Pictures are taken and presented in our event program with a descriptive paragraph. Each Outstanding honoree has a dedicated 2-4 minute video that is prepared for them, that highlights multiple local figures talking about their achievements and successes. We do a press release on the event as well and feature them on our NPD website and AFP Lubbock social media. At the event we also feature signage in the hallways of all our honorees.

Q: What advice do you have for new NPD chairs? Was there anything that you learned while planning your event that other chapters could benefit from? 
A: Don’t blow your budget, but don’t go cheap. It’s hard to plan events for event planners and fundraisers, so think outside the box. It’s not everyday that our philanthropists are stewarded, so be creative and thoughtful. 

We have a Google Drive that the board and NPD committee have access to. It has past marketing materials, sponsorships packets, mailing lists, pictures, etc. Take some time for your new chair and/or NPD committee members to look over that, review it, and see what has been done in the past.

Lastly, do a recap report (SWOT Analysis) after the event. The good, bad, and the ugly. It is so much at one time, but getting all the feedback and documenting it can help the next chair, or repeat chair, remember specifics.

Q: Is there anything that you are considering for the future or that you would like to improve about your event? 

We have not tried an exhibitor area, however, that might be something we look into. We discussed having a young & new professionals table for recruiting fundraisers, or a table with more information on how to join AFP Lubbock.  

We could also do a better job in the upcoming year of incorporating our IDEA chair into the awards nomination process, so we ensure diversity of our award recipients. 

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