Let me start by saying THANK YOU.
Thank you for your commitment to ethical and effective fundraising.
Thank you for your commitment to the AFP community and all who are a part of it.
Thank you for your commitment to your causes and the people on whose behalf you work so tirelessly.
It has been a very complicated almost three years since the “beginning” of the pandemic and yet, as a community, you remain committed and dedicated to creating a more just and equitable world. We, at AFP Global, stand side by side with you in this important work.
Think about everything you’ve had to address this year. Think about all the challenges. Think about all the times you could have fallen down. Think about all the times you DID fall down—and got back up. Remember, it’s not important how many times we fall, what matters is how many times we get back up.
We have also made mistakes this year—and when we make mistakes, it is important to own up to them, and work to correct those mistakes and the harm caused. I have made mistakes, I have owned them and apologized for them, and I have focused on the journey to do better and to heal the damage. I believe very few people intend to cause harm, but impact is much more important than intent.
In many cases this year, we have been able to meet in person and on a regular basis—AFP ICON and AFP LEAD, our premier leadership conference, were both very well attended and it was wonderful to see our members come together and reconnect in ways they haven’t been able to in several years. For this, we are thankful.
We have seen the giving trends remain strong albeit with the continued split of fewer individual donors but the high-net-worth donors giving more. We’ve also seen incredible innovations, all-new programs and gifts by thoughtful philanthropists that have left us inspired. For this, we are thankful.
As I have said many times—this is your community, the AFP community. There is no other community like it. We are strong, vibrant, resilient, and optimistic, and together, #OneAFP, we will find success in the future, no matter what awaits us.
Thank you for being part of our community and the fundraising profession.
I will be taking a break from writing my Monday Message next week, but will return on Monday, December 5.
Good luck with your year-end fundraising and enjoy the holidays. I look forward to working with all of you in 2023.
If you have thoughts on year-end fundraising, being grateful, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to reach me via email at Mike.Geiger@afpglobal.org or on Twitter at @AFPMikeGeiger. I’d love to hear from you.
Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA