President's Perspective Blog

Fundraising: The Impact Profession

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This week, executive vice president - AFP Foundations for Philanthropy, Lori Gusdorf, CAE, takes over Mike's message to share the role the AFP Foundations play in leadership development and how your investment helps with the development and implementation of high-quality programming.

First, thank you to the many donors to the AFP Foundations for Philanthropy. AFP has three foundations—located in the U.S., Canada (EN, FR) and Mexico—all raising funds for the fundraising profession and their role in the broader philanthropic sector.

I’ve been asked many times: why should I make a gift to the AFP Foundations for Philanthropy when I already pay for my membership dues? A past chair of the AFP U.S. Foundation for Philanthropy, Susan Hosbach, CFRE, said it best. “I pay my membership dues as an investment in myself, and I make a gift to the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy as an investment in the fundraising profession.”

The Foundations provide scholarships to attend educational programs, research for the profession, supporting ethics awareness, and IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) through additional scholarships, translation of materials, the AFP/Alford Group Women’s Mentoring and Leadership Development Program, and the Women’s Impact Initiative.

All of these programs and resources fall under an overarching priority for the Foundations around leadership development. Did you know that:

  • Every year for the next 10 years, 80,000 senior nonprofit managers will leave their jobs, partially due to retirement of the Baby Boomer generation.
  • Only 20% of current nonprofit leaders are confident they have the leadership abilities to move into senior positions and guide their organizations.
  • Women make up 70% of fundraisers, yet only occupy 52% of fundraising leadership positions.
  • Fundraisers self-identify as 82% White, and only 6% Black.
  • People of color occupy less than 20% of executive director/CEO nonprofit positions.

The AFP Foundations for Philanthropy recognize the critical need for more qualified fundraising professionals to lead the nonprofit sector to meet the growing societal demands and will implement crucial programs to train and empower current nonprofit fundraising professionals as well as educate and recruit new individuals to the fundraising profession. Leadership development will not, by itself, solve all the problems facing nonprofits or the fundraising profession. But by creating larger cadres of effective leaders with vision, courage and expanded skills, the sector can begin to make greater strides toward remedying serious issues.

While there are many opportunities for general leadership training, none are focused on fundraisers and the unique role they fill in nonprofit organizations. The AFP Foundation for Philanthropy and AFP are creating a Leadership Development Program specifically for the fundraiser.  This three-component program is well on its way and will include:

  • Component 1-Focused on the Individual: Virtual Education
  • Component 2-Focused on the Organization: Week-Long Leadership Seminar
  • Component 3-Focused on the Sector: The Cohort Program

These initiatives will yield a large new wave of fundraising leaders. Ensuring the health of the nonprofit sector requires urgent steps to better connect the community of donors to the needs that they hope to fill. Doing this requires that the fundraising professionals working at the intersection between nonprofits and the philanthropic community have the tools needed for success, the vision to lead, and the skills to help raise the sector to higher levels of effectiveness and productivity.

Your investment helps with the development and implementation of high-quality programming to address the critical challenges facing the nonprofit sector.

Thank you for your support. It truly makes a difference for the profession in which you have invested in both financially and through your ethical participation.

If you would like to make a gift, whether it is your first-time, or an additional gift, here are the links.

AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – U.S.  

AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada

AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Mexico

Thank you.

Lori Gusdorf, CAE
Executive Vice President
AFP Foundations for Philanthropy

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Read More

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