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Catching Up With...AFP Vancouver

May 22, 2012

A chat with Giovanni Festa, president  of the AFP Vancouver Chapter and director of annual fundraising for Vancouver Artgallery

Can we start with the basics about your chapter?

Sure, our chapter was founded in 1996 and we serve members in Metro Vancouver. Our chapter administrator is Karline Mark-Eng.  You can find us on the web at

When did your involvement with AFP start?

I joined as a member in the late 1990s and have been involved in our AFP chapter for about 10 years.  I started as a volunteer on the professional development committee.

What changes have you seen in the chapter from the early years to now?

The board is a much younger board. We have to make a special effort to reach out to more seasoned professionals.  They aren’t really interested in being on boards or committees. We asked these members how AFP could better engage and serve them. We got two significant responses:

  • We don’t need professional development
  • AFP could help facilitate smaller meetings between them

As a result, we’ve recruited some of these senior fundraisers onto an advisory council looking at what their staff needs in the way of professional development.  Breakfasts and other networking “minglers” are being held quarterly.

What are your chapter goals for 2012?

Right now membership is at an all-time high with more than 460 members. Having the AFP International Conference in Vancouver was definitely a help.  Now the challenge will be to engage and keep all those new members.

As a value-add, one thing we are considering is offering webinars free to members as well as having corporate-sponsored professional development events.

Our diversity committee is working well. We had a very successful “Women in Philanthropy” event that involved sponsorship by the Vancouver Foundation. 

Government relations is one area for future improvement. Leveraging relationships with other AFP chapters and satellite offices in the province may help in that regard.

Are you on social media?

You can follow us on Twitter - @AFPVancouver; Facebook and LinkedIn.

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