President's Perspective Blog

Research Leadership for the Profession

Leadership and Teams: Boards and Volunteers
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“COVID-era fundraising stalls as donations soften and donors and retention rates fall in first quarter 2022.”

“More than 75% of fundraisers have experienced sexual harassment in their career, while 42% percent have experienced sexual harassment over the past two years alone.”

“Three-quarters of fundraisers anticipate remaining in their current jobs for 2022.”

Those are all headlines and key data points from just some of the research that AFP and both our U.S. and Canada Foundations for Philanthropy have produced this year alone. (In fact, that last one is a little preview from our upcoming annual Compensation and Benefits Report, which will be published later this week.) 

We often take for granted the news, articles and information that we get from different sources, and research doesn’t always sound exciting and glamorous. But it’s one of the most important roles of any professional association, and it’s one of the most critical aspects of AFP’s leadership and member value proposition. We are indebted to the work of our Research Council (which is a part of the AFP U.S. Foundation for Philanthropy) and all of our partners and organizations that ensure our community has access to the latest and greatest news, trends, data and innovations about fundraising through various research projects.

So, I’m always excited when we start or participate in a new research endeavor, and our newest collaboration is in Canada, through AFP Canada and the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy - Canada, with the “Canadian Knowledge Hub for Giving and Volunteering”.

The Hub is a project to increase awareness and knowledge about key data sources on giving and volunteering in Canada, including the General Social Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating (GSS-GVP). Fundraisers in Canada will likely know of the GSS-GVP, one of the most comprehensive data sources on giving and volunteering that is conducted every five years by Statistics Canada.

AFP Canada and the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada are partnering with Volunteer Canada, Imagine Canada, Ajah and the Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada to help fundraisers, charities, businesses and the public to better understand the nature of giving and volunteering in Canada. There’s so much data in the GSS-GVP and other resources to help fundraisers plan, recruit and retain volunteers and increase their capacity to harness Canadians’ contributions of time and money to support missions and meet fundraising goals.

Specifically, AFP in Canada will be providing input into the development of different research-based products through the expertise of our members; hosting learning opportunities to explore how the Hub can be used, including workshops on Data-Driven Engagement at different conferences and events; and promoting the project across the country.

Over the next two years, the Hub will be expanded to include more resources from the most recent 2018 GSS-GVP, data and resources from previous GSS-GVP surveys, and other relevant data and resources on giving and volunteering.

You can find the Hub website here, and there’s already a significant amount of data about key issues in giving and volunteering, including topics related to Who Donates and How Much Do They Give, What Keeps Canadians from Giving More, and Understanding Top Volunteers.

I want to thank all of our volunteer members working on the Hub project, and you’ll be hearing more about AFP’s work on Canadian Knowledge Hub for Giving and Volunteer in the near future.

Plus, we have much more research coming out soon, including the previously mentioned Compensation and Benefits Study, the next Fundraising Effectiveness Project report and new data about the effectiveness of different fundraising solicitations (funded through a Wilson C. "Bill" Levis Fundraising Research Grant through the Foundation).

Research is an important way fundraising advances and grows, and a critical means by which AFP leads the profession. I know we’re about to get very busy with the giving season approaching and lots of year-end fundraising, but I encourage you to schedule sometime each week to read through the latest research—AFP’s (of course!), but others’ as well—that can position you for success this year.

If you have any thoughts about our research projects, or any other aspect of AFP, please email me at or contact me via Twitter at @AFPMikeGeiger.


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Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA

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16 Jul 2024 Member Story
15 Jul 2024 President's Perspective Blog
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