Chapter Leadership Brief 8.02.2018

By Craig Shelley, CFRE, Chapter Treasurer & Managing Director, Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI)

In the summer of 1991 DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince set the expectation that the summer was the time to sit back and unwind.  They lied to us.
If there ever was a time where the summer slowed down for fundraisers it has been long forgotten.  And I think that’s ok.  The needs we fundraise for don’t shut down in the summer nor does the interest of our donors.  For some causes and donors, I’d actually argue the summer is the time of greatest need and opportunity.  We have an obligation to use the summer to connect with donors and attract philanthropy just like we do the rest of the year.  The challenge is how do we do so while still carving out time for ourselves and our families.
Unlike Will Smith, I don’t want to set any false expectations so let’s be clear I do not have a magic solution that will allow you to hang out at the Jersey Shore all summer yet still actively raise funds.  My only suggestion is to maximize the time you can when you are at work.  Stack up the donor meetings you can during the days you are working.  That prospect with a home in Brick, NJ? Perhaps you can arrange a visit during your drive down to LBI on a Friday killing two birds with one stone.
I know it can be daunting balancing the needs of the missions and donors we serve as well as those of our families and our own internal need to relax and recharge.  My only advice is to relax and as a mentor told me long ago remember that we aren’t doing brain surgery.  By and large our work will always be there tomorrow.  But I’d simultaneously remind us all the urgency of our work.  Every day we don’t raise the funds needed to advance the missions we work on is another day the challenges we face go unsolved.
So, happy summer.  Enjoy it.  But don’t entirely sit back and unwind.
If you have ideas or suggestions for our AFP chapter please always feel free to contact me directly at  If you’re interested in my thoughts on fundraising and news in the sector, sprinkled with the occasional picture of my kids, please follow me on Twitter @craigshelley.
Thank you for everything you do.

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