Mike’s Monday Message: Honoring Fundraising Excellence
Every year, one of my favorite parts of AFP ICON is being able to recognize the achievements of that year’s award recipients.
There’s something very special about seeing multiple generations of changemakers on one stage — our Outstanding Fundraising Professional with decades worth of funds raised, our Outstanding Young Professionals who are just starting to make their mark, and our Youth in Philanthropy, not yet out of high school, putting us all to shame with extraordinary levels of dedication.
Regardless of whether or not you personally know the individuals on stage, I think all of us in that audience feel a connection to these fundraisers as they receive these awards because we see, reflected in them, the impact of our profession.
The truth is, everyone in the fundraising profession is doing work worthy of recognition, but I know that sometimes it doesn’t always feel that way. It’s easy to miss the forest for the trees as you go about your day-to-day, which is why nominating your fellow fundraisers for these types of awards is so important.
The more nominations that our awards committee receives, the more reflective our awards can be of the diverse talent that exists within this field, and it is extremely important for the AFP community to feel a sense of belonging when they look up at that general session stage.
So, I invite all of you to work with your chapter to submit a nomination for 2024. Think about the members in your chapter who you consider mentors or go-to resources when you have a fundraising question — they could be a perfect candidate for Outstanding Fundraising Professional. Are there any emerging leaders in your chapter that you’re excited to see grow in the profession? They could be a candidate for Outstanding Young Professional. Finally, think about your local community. Are there any kids that have reached out to partner with your organization or come to you for support of their initiatives? They may be candidates for the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award.
We’re currently accepting nominations for the following awards:
- Outstanding Fundraising Professional: To be nominated for this award, an individual must have been an AFP member for a minimum of 15 years.
- Outstanding Young Professionals: Up to five of these are awarded to individuals under the age of 31.
- William R. Simms Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, sponsored by Carter (with Individual and Group categories): The nominee must be 18 or younger on the date nominations are due.
The deadline to submit nominations for all awards is December 20, 2023, and honorees will be recognized during our plenary sessions at AFP ICON 2024, April 7-9 in Toronto, Canada. (By the way, did you see we announced the keynote speaker for ICON? Nikole Hannah-Jones! Register by November 17 to get the Early Bird Rate!) I hope to see you all there!
In the meantime, as always, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me directly on X at @AFPMikeGeiger. I’d love to hear from you.