President's Perspective Blog

What Being the Impact Profession Means in the Darkest of Times

light breaking through dark clouds

The fundraising profession does not exist in a vacuum. We work in the now, the current, and the day-to-day, creating impact even as we deal with the emotions, challenges and opportunities that come from our constant, 24/7 culture and increasingly interconnected world.

Many times, this dynamic leads to incredible joy: Seeing the impact of a new program touch someone’s life. Watching a donor’s face as they make the gift they have been dreaming about forever. Feeling the momentum and energy of a community transformed. These are moments that keep us inspired and remind us that we are the impact profession.

On occasion, our work exposes us to the darker side of the human experience. Sometimes it might be a natural disaster, and we must respond to the immense suffering and need. But with a tragedy such as the Christchurch shootings, we come face to face with the actions of a human being that are so removed from our values, principles and teachings.

Our hearts and thoughts go out to the Muslim community in New Zealand and to all those affected by this senseless act. AFP condemns all forms of violence and hate, and we unflinchingly affirm our values of tolerance, respect, inclusion and equity for all people.

No matter what issues we address, no matter where we are located, after a tragedy like Christchurch, we are all impacted because we are all connected.

We will talk with a donor who confesses to worrying about the future.

We will support a volunteer who is scared about their safety and well-being.

We will lift up a supporter who is downcast and pessimistic about what’s happening in our world.

I have confidence you will all be courageous, empathetic and understanding. I have confidence you will talk about the amazing things that are happening in the community because of your work and the work of other incredible charities. I have confidence you will calm, comfort and inspire those who are feeling troubled and unsure and motivate them to again engage with their world.

Because that’s what we do in our jobs. Our profession. Our calling. Our causes are long-term, but we work in the now—today—addressing the dreams, goals, concerns and fears of our community.

Our immediate impact might be different after a tragedy like Christchurch. It is not the impact of finishing up a multi-million-dollar campaign to complete a new building or start a new program. It is a quiet impact. A personal impact. A one-on-one impact. But one that is equally important.

All of us at AFP thank you for everything you do to inspire and support your community in the most challenging of times. We remain your partner, your advocate and your colleague as we all focus on creating impact.

I’m Mike Geiger, president and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Though I’m the one posting, it’s really your thoughts and views that we'll be posting, as much as mine —it's about the AFP community and the fundraising profession. I want to keep you up-to-date with what’s happening at AFP, but I really want to hear from you. So e-mail me your comments, questions, concerns, feedback, and items you think I should be covering.

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