President's Perspective Blog

Mike’s Monday Message: Looking Towards AFP ICON 2024: Impactful Together

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Impactful Together

When we started the planning process for AFP ICON 2024, we wanted to capture that feeling we get when our community comes together – the overwhelming sense that we are able to make a collective difference by sharing our expertise and making these connections. That’s how we landed on this year’s theme “impactful together”. Fundraising is the impact profession because of the invaluable nature of the work that you do. When we come together, that impact only grows stronger, and AFP ICON is THE place to come together. 

I’m excited to say that we already have over 750 people registered and that number is only going to grow in the next 5 months. 

Because this is an international conference (for our U.S. members) I do highly recommend registering early and making sure that your passport and travel plans are in order. The current routine processing time for U.S. passport renewal is 10-13 weeks.

Information on Renewing a U.S. Passport
Information on New U.S. Passports

Another benefit of registering early is taking advantage of the early bird rates. You can save $700 USD by registering now, as opposed to waiting until March or April! 

Once you register, you can focus on what sessions to attend. An obvious can’t-miss is this year’s keynote speaker, Nikole Hannah-Jones. Nikole is the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of The 1619 Project, an initiative from The New York Times that aims to reframe American history with 1619, the year the first ships containing enslaved Africans arrived in the British colony of Virginia, as the U.S.’s birth year. The project sheds light on the impact of slavery on our history, and how this history has subsequently shaped every aspect of our culture. 

Her 1619 Project work, in addition to her other journalistic projects focused on race, have earned her much-deserved recognition, but she has also experienced significant controversy and pushback, including from a major donor at a university that offered her a position.  

Because of that experience, Nikole ended up instead accepting a tenured position as Knight Chair in Race and Journalism at Howard University. She brings with her to Howard $20 million in donations from the Knight Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and an anonymous donor, to create the Center for Journalism and Democracy, with the goal of increasing diversity in journalism.

I think Nikole has a lot of valuable insight to share about fundraising, the impact of social justice on philanthropy, and standing up for the causes you are passionate about. 

I can’t wait for everyone to join us in Toronto, April 7-9, for her presentation as well as over 100 other education sessions from the fundraising industry’s top minds. 

As always, please feel free to email me at or connect with me directly on X at @AFPMikeGeiger. I’d love to hear from you.

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Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA

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