Chapter Leadership Brief 7.18.2018

By Gary Laermer, AFP-NYC President 
I am often asked about the value proposition of membership in AFP. I hear that it is easier to attend several of our excellent Professional Advancement sessions and Fundraising Day in New York than is to join. And of course, we need to do what works best for us and our organizations. However, I would like to share two points for your consideration.
First and foremost, AFP is a community. A community of philanthropy professionals and partners that support our work. This was on full display at the June 22 Fundraising Day in New York. It was so affirming and refreshing to be with nearly 2,000 others who share common experiences, understand the challenges I face every day, and can serve as friends and mentors to pick me up when I’m down and congratulate me when I succeed.
There is value in being part of something big, part of the AFP community. I also believe that, for the many professionals from small and mid-size development shops, being part of a community provides opportunities to build lasting friendships, hone our skills and best practices as development professionals, and learn about the exciting work that our colleagues are doing across the fundraising world.
It is also a powerful statement by my employer that they value my professional development and want to invest in my growth. When an organization covers the cost of an employee’s AFP membership and activities, it sends a signal that they see that employee as an asset and as an integral part of their philanthropic strategy. Beyond compensation and benefits, there is no greater commitment an organization can make in you than being committed to your continued learning and connecting you with thought leaders in your field.
If you’re engaged with AFP, whether through attending Fundraising Day or other Professional Advancement programs, thank you—and please keep coming! If you’re already a member, thank you for being a vital part of our community. And if you’re just thinking about joining, please know you’ll be welcomed with open arms!

Fundraising Day in New York 2019

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