President's Perspective Blog

Mid-Year Check In

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Whew, it’s a busy time!

 We had an amazing ICON in early May and a very productive Chapter Lobby Week at the end of the month. And the “busy-ness” continues as this week I’ll be attending and speaking at some exciting in-person AFP events.

First, it’s Planet Philanthropy, a conference held by all our Florida Chapters, June 5 – 7, and always draws a great crowd – this year’s event has more than 350 attendees! My remarks there will be focused on what we are calling the Decade of Fundraising Leadership and how AFP intends to be your partner in developing and enhancing your leadership skills.

 And then it’s off to Mexico for the 10th Hemispheric Congress of Latin American Fundraising, which will take place on June 10 and 11 in Guadalajara, Jalisco.

I’m looking forward to being able to talk with members in different parts of the world about how fundraising is going, how your office is operating and how you’re addressing issues like the pandemic.

I’m hearing some very positive feedback from members right now about fundraising, but it’s not good news across the board. The term “donor fatigue” is a common theme amongst fundraisers right now, and many are worried about the impact of inflation and low consumer confidence on giving for the rest of the year.

I know many of you continue to deal with different workplace situations and schedules as well. We all wish the pandemic would just end—I just read an article about how COVID-19 is not done with us, but “we” are done with it.

But even as cases are going down (generally), hospitalizations and serious cases are going up (generally). We’re also expecting a surge in the fall and winter. Plus, the sudden increase in monkeypox cases, while presenting a very low risk to the general public, should remind us that viruses continue to surprise us by mutating.

As an example, here’s how AFP Global is operating right now. We have not lifted the mask mandate in our office, though we’ll look at the policy again at the end of the summer. We’re also experimenting with staff coming in twice a week on specific days so we can meet together, continue to strengthen our connections, and benefit from in-person conversations where we can share and innovate. We’ll also be reviewing that policy at the end of the summer.

My point in saying all this is that there’s no right way to do this. We’ve never been in this situation before, and you need to do what’s right for your organization and your community—and what’s right today may not be right tomorrow.

What’s really challenging is that uncertainty continues to rule the day—whether it’s fundraising, general office operations, the pandemic or whatever else you might be addressing (and that includes donor expectations and how they’re feeling). And uncertainty is very difficult to deal with and address day in and day out. It is exhausting, and we need to take it day by day.

Some days are going to be good, and some days are going to be tough. Please take the time to take care of yourself, and make sure your colleagues, friends, donors and supporters are doing ok as well. We’re not going to be able to care of our organization, our cause and our goals if we’re not taking care of our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

I’d really love to know how you’re doing. Send me an email (Mike.Geiger@afpglobal.org) or message me on Twitter (@AFPMikeGeiger) and let me know how your organization or department is addressing any of these issues, or feel free to talk about whatever else is on your mind. We’re here to support you any way we can!

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Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA

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