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Greater Toronto Chapter ' 1,000 And Counting

September 22, 2003

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WASHINGTON (AFP eWire - Sept. 22, 2003) - Congratulations are due to the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter, which recently reached a significant milestone: 1,000 members and going strong. This makes it only the third AFP chapter - and the first outside the United States - to reach this mark.

'We are thrilled to have our 1,000th member,' explained Susan Mullin, chapter president and executive director of the Surrey Place Centre Foundation in Toronto. 'However, it was our members one through 999 who made this possible. They all make this chapter what it is.'

So why has the Greater Toronto Chapter, which was established in 1970, been so successful? According to Cynthia Quigley, manager of administration, there are several reasons:

A strong board is vital, Quigley said. 'Starting at the top, we have an incredible board of directors. They're mostly senior-level fundraisers. When we're recruiting our board, we're always trying to get a good cross section ? that can bring a lot of expertise to the table.'

Quigley is one of the chapter's two full-time staffers, along with Meredith Meads, the membership services coordinator. Together they run the day-to-day chapter operations and there is always someone who can field telephone calls and emails from members.

The chapter's wide range of programs and services are a true member benefit. 'The educational programming is a highlight and members really take advantage of everything that is offered,' Mullin said. 'The chapter has taken a real lead role for much of Canada, especially with regard to government policy issues.' In addition, Quigley added, the chapter offers CFRE study groups, a mentor program, networking opportunities and the chance for members to post jobs on the chapter website.

The chapter also has a database filled with nonmembers who are regularly contacted and invited to conferences, luncheons and workshops. 'Once we get them coming to something, they tend to see the benefits and networking opportunities [and they become members],' Quigley said. 'We must be doing something right because we have a lot of members who want to volunteer - almost too many.'

The chapter focuses heavy attention on lapsed chapter members as well. 'We phone them; we email them. We really work hard to keep them on board,' Quigley explained.

The chapter is always planning for the future. It recently completed a new strategic plan and sent it to members for their comments. Soon, committees will begin meeting to discuss goals in line with the new plan. The chapter is also gearing up for its four-day conference in November.

While the chapter may not have a goal of 2,000 members yet, its members are always working hard to recruit new fundraisers to join. 'We hope to always bring in about 100 to 120 new members a year,' Quigley said.

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