President's Perspective Blog

Mike's Monday Message: Post-ICON Wrap Up 2024

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Nneka and Nicole

Every year, AFP ICON blows me away. And this one, which just wrapped up in Toronto last week, was no exception.

I got a chance to see over 3,000 members of our AFP community — some familiar friends and many new faces — including many of our Canadian members. About 16% of this year’s speakers and 27% of this year’s attendees were from Canada. This is the first time in over a decade that ICON has been in Canada, so I want to recognize the amazing turnout and hospitality that we received from everyone in Toronto. 

Speaking of recognition, I want to give a few shout outs. To our attendees, I want to thank you all—one final time—for taking the time out of your busy work schedules and your personal lives to join us. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and more importantly, learned a lot that will both improve your organization’s fundraising AND advance your career.

Anytime that many fundraisers come together, you can feel the shared passion and the collective impact made by the dedication you all have to the causes you support. 

I also want to say thank you to everyone who made this event possible — our dedicated AFP staff, our speakers, our sponsors, our vendor partners, the city of Toronto, and guests, such as Chief Sault, who joined us on Sunday (despite losing her voice) to accept our land acknowledgement and welcome our community. I appreciate everyone’s willingness to come together and learn from one another, as we continue on this journey towards inclusion, diversity, equity, access, truth, reconciliation, and belonging. 

Much Needed Conversations from Keynotes
This year’s keynote speakers, Nikole Hannah-Jones and Phyllis Webstad, both confronted difficult, but important, thought-provoking topics. They addressed the challenges faced by minority communities, historically and in our current world today, and how we, as fundraisers and fellow citizens, can work towards meaningful change. 


Youth Awards 2024

Seeing the Future of Philanthropy
Honoring the recipients of this year’s William R. Simms Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, sponsored by Carter Global, filled me once again with hope for the future of our profession. Hanson Yan and William Cabaniss are two outstanding young men who, while still in high school, have already done so much for the communities they support. It’s clear that the future of fundraising is in good hands. .

Walking Through the Exhibit Hall
We wouldn’t be able to host AFP ICON without the support of our sponsors and exhibitors. I hope everyone got a chance to walk through the exhibit hall, chat with these companies, and enjoy networking with one another during our happy hour. Our partners have some great, innovative solutions to offer, supporting our fundraising community in numerous ways. 

AFP Exchange






The (Disappointing) Eclipse 
Perhaps the sole disappointment of the event was that it was too cloudy to properly see the solar eclipse at peak time on Monday, but we still had a great time going out to stare at the clouds with our fellow attendees!  


Judging by the wrap-ups I’ve seen, it seems like a good time was had by all.  Check out a few of the highlights on LinkedIn.

Even though we just got back, we’re already planning for AFP ICON 2025, April 27-29 in Seattle. I hope seeing this year’s presentations inspired you to submit a proposal of your own for next year. The deadline to submit your proposal is May 12, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. CT.

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

Author Information

Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA

President & CEO (Ex-Officio Director Without Vote)
Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA, 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...
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