President's Perspective Blog

Honored, Humbled and Grateful - An Important Update from Mike Geiger and AFP Global

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Dear Friends,

After more than seven years at the helm of AFP, I will be leaving this great organization at the end of 2024. I have been honored and blessed to serve as your President & CEO and to lead the greatest fundraising organization in the world – yes, I’m biased, and I hope that every other CEO out there feels the same about their organization!

It was not an easy decision for me to make but I’m a strong believer that CEOs should not stay too long in their roles or risk getting stale and/or complacent. If you look at my career, my last four roles have all been approximately seven years – in fact, I remember when I joined AFP in 2017, one of the AFP board members, knowing how I felt about this, said “so I guess we will have you for no more than seven years before you decide to move on.”

Therefore, after much soul-searching last fall and over the 2023 year-end holidays, I decided that the end of 2024 would be the perfect time to begin the next chapter of my life.

So, this past February, I shared this decision with AFP Global’s board chair, Birgit Smith Burton. We decided to hold off sharing this news until now so that the organization’s staff and volunteers could focus on several important strategic priorities, without the distractions that this decision will naturally bring.

I am very proud of the work we have accomplished so far – and, by we, I mean the ever-committed volunteers, the Board, and the incredible staff.  No one achieves anything of substance or significant positive change on their own.  

Together we:

  • repositioned the organization financially such that AFP Global is in its healthiest position in at least two decades,
  • raised more money for the AFP Foundations than during any other period in AFP’s history,
  • brought intentionality to our staffing and board composition resulting in the most diverse staff (at all levels) and the most diverse board (in all aspects) in AFP’s history,
  • transformed the Leadership Academy from a meeting that focused primarily on chapter leaders with limited attendance to a true leadership-focused conference with more than double the attendance,
  • launched the Leadership Institute specifically for fundraisers interested in moving into senior level/C-suite leadership roles,
  • created Ethics Awareness Month (every October) and established Fundraising as “the Impact Profession,”
  • successfully weathered the effects of the pandemic, we pivoted (remember that term?), consolidated, innovated, refocused and ultimately emerged stronger than pre-pandemic, 
  • worked intentionally to make AFP and our sector more inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible (IDEA). There is still much more learning and growing to do, and I know you will support the next President & CEO as you have done with me,
  • continued to expand and deepen our relationships with premier like-minded international organizations – relationships I look forward to continuing post-AFP,
  • and finally, on January 1, 2025, AFP’s new Strategic Plan, our updated and revised Code of Ethics, and our new Member Code of Conduct will go into effect, so there is much to do preparing our membership.

Throughout it all, I have had the distinct pleasure of working alongside some incredible people – many of whom I now count as true friends, including some great Board chairs, from whom I have learned much.

So, what’s next for me in 2025 you may wonder? Well, while I do not have answer to that at this time, I hope my relationship with this incredible organization and all of you continues in some way. The AFP Community is special and has become an important part of my life.

For the next seven months, my focus is to continue leading this organization until my successor begins. I will also assist in any way I am called upon by the AFP Global board with the recruitment of and successful transition to the next AFP Global President and CEO. I will add that this is a once-in-a-lifetime role, and it should be at the top of every current or aspiring CEO shortlist of roles.

This has been an amazing journey and, dare I say, a journey that has positively changed me, challenged me and humbled me. I am grateful to each and every one of you with whom I have had the privilege of crossing paths.

It has been my honor and privilege to serve you – thank you!

As always feel free to reach out to me via email at Mike.Geiger@afpglobal.org or on X at @AFPMikeGeiger if you have any questions or comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA

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Author Information

Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA

President and CEO, AFP
Mr. Mike Geiger is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), representing individuals and organizations that raise more than $100 billion in charitable contributions every year around the world for...

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