“Pivoting” to Serve the Profession—and You—Better

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The term “pivot” has become a buzzword referring to a significant change in business. For many associations during the time of COVID, it has meant focusing on virtual products and reimagining services and programs that can be produced online.

Using this standard definition of pivot, I’m especially proud of how AFP responded earlier this year when our in-person AFP ICON conference had to be canceled and we pivoted to AFP ICON VIRTUAL. In three weeks, we managed to attract nearly 1000 participants to our online conference. If your organization is doing the same, or still looking at how best to hold online events, I would recommend our case study that provides tips and advice from our ICON pivoting experience.

As proud as I am of our work in creating an online conference, “pivoting” for me has an even bigger, more important meaning. In the context of the AFP community and serving the fundraising profession, pivoting is really all about understanding our members—understanding not just how COVID is changing the profession, but how it’s changing each individual personally.

These are tough times for all of us, but often in very different ways. Some of us are dealing with isolation, while others are trying to work from home while trying to handle kids and other family members. Still others have been laid off, furloughed, seen their pay cut, or any combination of those. And we’re all still trying to make sense of the murders of people of color across the U.S. and working to create change both personally and around the world.

AFP understands all of those challenges.

AFP understands the economic situation that many members are currently facing. That is why we are now making available online an "installment plan" option that breaks your annual membership fee into manageable monthly payments over the course of the year. This option is limited to the Professional or Associate categories of membership, and you can learn more here.

We’re also offering scholarships to some of our events, like the 2020 Summer Sessions, for those who have been furloughed or lost their jobs because of COVID. (Please contact the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy at foundation@afpglobal.org for scholarship opportunities.) Top-notch continuing education is critical for everyone, especially those looking for new jobs so they can jump right into a new position and have immediate impact.

AFP members also have access to resources to help them find new jobs, such as the AFP Career Center and programs like AFP360° powered by Korn Ferry.

We also understand that during this time, you need different sorts of services, supported by the community, guidance, experience and leadership that you’ve come to expect from AFP. I invite you to take a look at our new case for membership, which identifies some of the top resources we’ll be providing, including a number of free items and programs, such as webinars, workshops, panels and others.

Because we want to support you. Not just as fundraisers. But as people. Individuals who are committed to creating impact in the world and who deserve our respect and understanding.

That’s a promise to you as part of our community—and it’s never going to change even as we pivot to ensure you have the most critical and most relevant programs, services and opportunities.

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