Chapter Leadership Brief 12.19.18

By president-Elect Steve Jacobson 

As we head into the heart of the year-end giving season, it occurred to me how much pressure fundraisers are under to meet their goals.  After all, next year’s budgets often depend on successful year-end fundraising campaigns.   So, while we appreciate the stress, angst and anxiety that fundraisers have this time of year, we often tend to forget about the people in the back office that make it all happen.  The folks that we couldn’t do without.  I’m talking about those unsung heroes: the men and women in Advancement Services/Development Operations.

Did you ever stop to think about how many transactions your Advancement Services team processes each day during peak season?  And, as we know, it’s not just about the volume.  It’s about all the pieces that they have to get just right.  They are the ones to make sure that the gift is coded with the right fund designation, the proper appeal, and the correct campaign.  But that’s not all.  Is there an address change?  How about a matching gift?  Is there a soft credit to be applied?  They take care of it all!

And our Development Operations teams know all of the ins and outs of what’s allowed and what’s not.  Can I pay off my personal pledge with a check from my family foundation? No!  I volunteered 200 hours this year at your nonprofit; can I get a gift receipt for my time?  No!  But, of course, our Dev Ops teams are great at saying “no” with a smile and a gentle explanation (no matter what they’re really thinking!).

As this year winds down and we give thanks to our donors, let’s also set aside some time to thank our Advancement Services/Development Operations folks who work so hard, who do so much and who make the rest of us look so good.  

To welcome in 2019, please join us for AFP-NYC’s Annual Meeting, being held on Friday, January 18, at 8am at Chelsea Piers.  Not only will you have an amazing breakfast provided by world renowned Abigail Kirsch, you’ll hear from leaders in philanthropy who will speak frankly about what the future might look like and its impact on our profession.  We will also have the distinct pleasure of honoring AFP-NYC past president, Mark Hefter, with the Chamberlain Award, in recognition of Mark’s longtime service to the chapter.  I look forward to seeing you there!


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