President's Perspective Blog

Nine Extraordinary Ways AFP Helped You Change the World in 2018

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I hope you personally had a great holiday season and that your organization met (and exceeded!) its fundraising goals.

In my first full year as president and CEO, my goal was to have AFP be your partner and help you change the world. Throughout 2018, we reviewed our programs, listened to your feedback and comments, and delivered products and services that focused on increasing member value and supporting the incredible impact you make possible every day.

Below are nine key AFP achievements and member benefits from 2018. If you haven’t already, check them out and see how each can help you be a better fundraiser, professional, colleague and leader.

1. AFPGLOBAL.ORG: All of us at AFP were so proud to be able to launch the fundraising community’s new website both early and on-budget. Based on your feedback and input, we developed a website that not only provides member benefits like education, networking and the latest trends and information, but also helps tell the story of our profession and the impact we have on society. The new website will serve as the hub for much of AFP’s work in the future, and many thanks to all of you who helped us on this project from day one!

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2. Microlearning Videos: You told us you’re busy, you want content in different formats, and you want it fast and to the point. We heard you loud and clear. Our microlearning videos are short informal videos—2 to 3 minutes long—that share key learning objectives about important topics. More videos will be coming every month, and most will be members-only.

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3. Women’s Impact Initiative (WII): It’s not enough just to provide education and training—AFP works to ensure that every member of the profession has the same opportunities to find success and advance as far as they want in the profession. In March, we published the first-ever comprehensive survey about sexual harassment in the fundraising profession, sponsored by the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – U.S. and partnership with The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and just recently launched a new women’s mentoring program. Our Women’s Impact Initiative continues to work on issues related to harassment, the salary gap, and many others, with more research and programs coming this year.

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4. AFP Connect: We know that networking is such an important member value and that members get so much information and perspective simply from talking with each other. That’s why we launched AFP Connect in late 2018—so you can share with fundraisers from around the world—and there are already hundreds of conversations on these members-only online forums. Ask your question, join a group, share your own experience and get the information you need from professionals who understand your challenges and opportunities.

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5. Advancing Philanthropy: Even with so many programs moving online, we know many of you still want a written publication giving you in-depth knowledge and perspective from experts and pioneers in the field. We remade our flagship publication, Advancing Philanthropy, and are now sending a copy to every member, though you can still read it online if you wish. Comprehensive, forward looking, and chock-full of information you need to know, our magazine is a must-read!

AP January 2019 cover


6. ICON (International Conference on Fundraising): I attended my first International Conference on Fundraising in 2018, and it was an event I won’t soon forget. Seeing so many fundraisers all together—more than 3,500—was so inspiring and made me realize why it’s so great to work at AFP. We started to reimagine ICON in 2018, and that process will continue into 2019. You can still get continuing education credits and order recordings of sessions from ICON 2018, and be sure to check out the sessions for the 2019 ICON in San Antonio, March 31 – April 2.

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7. Research: Research is an important member benefit, and I made it a priority in 2018. Our Compensation and Benefits Survey showed another significant gender gap, so we’re developing new research on that issue. Findings from the Nonprofit Research Collaborative and the Fundraising Effectiveness Project are generating discussions and content about donor retention, the impact of the economy and other issues. We also launched the fourth iteration of our What Canadian Donors Want survey. AFP and our foundations authored and/or sponsored research on these issues and many more in 2018.

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8. Leadership Academy: Leadership development is going to be a huge emphasis for AFP in 2019, and we started our work by redesigning the Leadership Academy. We sold out the Academy for this time this year, and you’ll see even more changes next year in Phoenix, Oct. 3-5.

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9. Policy and Advocacy: Government policy can have a huge impact on our organization’s fundraising, and AFP represented the profession on numerous issues in 2018, including to Congress, the Internal Revenue Service and several state and local governments, as well as to the Canadian Parliament and the Canada Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector.

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Derek Fraser, CFRE meets with MP Stephanie Kusie, Calgary Midnapore, Alberta as part of AFP’s Day in the Ridings.


The entire staff and I are very proud of these accomplishments—and so many more throughout 2018—and we hope they will continue to help you raise more funds in the future.

But we’re not going to rest on our laurels. We have a lot planned for 2019, and I’ll be discussing those in my next post. 

For the moment, let me just say thank you for your participation in the AFP community and your dedication to ethical fundraising. Your work truly changes the world, and we are humbled to be able to play a small part in your 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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