I’ve just come back from Planet Philanthropy, and I’m all jazzed up. This is the annual conference for the Florida chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). The event was so worthwhile! I learned new things, discovered new technology, had really great face-time with members of our team (we typically work remotely, so this was an added benefit of some of us attending together), and we made many new connections as a result of our attendance. We even got the chance to record our podcast in person for the first time!
Having attended both the national and statewide AFP conferences in a two-month period, I’ve been reflecting on the value of both my AFP membership and my Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential. Joining AFP and getting my CFRE were two of the most valuable things I did to further my career as a nonprofit professional. I’ll save my thoughts on the CFRE credential for another time, but here I’ll share my thoughts about what I value about my AFP membership.
There’s no doubt that AFP membership is expensive, but it’s an investment worth the dollar value. Being a member of AFP has provided me with so many benefits over the years. The association has been my go-to resource for standards in fundraising practice. The Donor Bill of Rights and the Code of Ethics and Principles and Standards have guided my development as a fundraiser and helped me over the years as questions arose. The questions have become more complex as my career has advanced, and I’ve been able to turn to the AFP Global Ethics Committee for guidance. With AFP as a resource, I’ve been able to ensure that my team and I uphold the highest ethical standards in fundraising. This provides our clients with the reassurance that when they hire us to assist them, they can feel confident that we will conduct ourselves with the highest level of integrity and guide them to do the same.
Another major benefit of AFP membership is the learning, networking, and camaraderie. The conferences have high-quality speakers and an incredible expo hall that keeps me in touch with innovations in fundraising technology and trends in the nonprofit sector. The networking opportunities at the conference and the chapter meetings allow me to expand my network within the nonprofit field. Being able to surround myself with other nonprofit professionals gives me the opportunity to discuss fundraising challenges and successes in-depth with others who really understand the profession. This helps me learn from my peers and further develop as a professional. The workshops and dialogue with peers about our profession deepen my knowledge and expertise. Plus, I feel surrounded by an extended family of fundraisers who share some of my values and care about many of the same things I do.
The AFP website is helpful for members and nonmembers alike, but it’s the members-only section that I value the most. Here they have resources, such as templates, articles, and pre-recorded webinars. I have many times turned to AFP for tools and resources that I have used in my work over the years. I know that when I read or download something from AFP, I can count on the accuracy and quality of the information. I also read the AFP magazine every time it’s delivered (and yes, I still read the printed version!)
There are certainly other benefits, but these are my favorites. If I’ve convinced you to check out AFP membership or maybe inspired you to renew, fantastic! You can join by visiting the AFP website at https://afpglobal.org/. If the financial commitment is holding you back, please reach out to me at Sheryl@SoukupStrategicSolutions.com for more info on your options, such as payment plans, shared investment, and financial assistance.