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AFP Expands to Reach More Communities

April 16, 2014

At the recent AFP board meeting held in conjunction with the 2014 AFP International Conference on Fundraising, we were delighted to announce the chartering of two new AFP chapters: the AFP Bermuda Chapter and the AFP BC, Okanagan Chapter. The new additions bring us to 235 chapters worldwide, extending our reach beyond 30,000 members and countless nonprofit organizations.

NN adams
Nikki Cagle of AFP International talks to new AFP Bermuda Chapter President Jennifer Adams
about the journey to becoming a chapter and how they plan to change the community through philanthropy.

Led by Jennifer Adams, director of advancement at The Bermuda High School in Pembroke, the AFP Bermuda Chapter was the next logical step for a community with a growing nonprofit sector. With a number of at-large AFP members already regularly coming together, they thought they should make an official nonprofit “group,” and what’s more official than chartering your own AFP chapter?

Now that they are official, having been “crowned” the AFP Bermuda Chapter at the board meeting in San Antonio, their first order of business will be a huge launch to notify the public: We’re here, this is who we are and this is what we can do for you! In April 2014, they will bring together the community for their first educational offering, a session on donor retention presented by Jay Love.

To further their outreach, the AFP Bermuda Chapter members have tapped their local constituents, the Centre on Philanthropy. Since the Centre already offers an educational program on fundraising, the Bermuda chapter is looking to complement the offerings and include some higher-level education.

Their hopes in establishing this new chapter is to enhance the professionalism of the sector within their community and to create greater structure for fundraisers, as well as to bring more educational opportunities to the nonprofit sector in general.

“We want to encourage people to get into fundraising as a career, as opposed to how a lot of us have kind of fallen into fundraising,” said Adams. “We want young people to consider the nonprofit sector as a career.”

Being a member of AFP for several years, Adams was familiar with the organization and simply looked on the website for whom to contact in order to get the process for chartering a chapter going. She reached out to AFP’s vice president of membership, Lori Gusdorf, and together they walked through the process. AFP President and CEO Andrew Watt, FInstF, visited the budding chapter in October of 2013 to help get the entire community involved. Watt spoke to the local media and explained to nonprofit executive directors why they should fund their fundraising personnel’s membership in AFP—the many benefits involved and the return on investment for their organizations and the community as a whole.

Canada Grows to 17 AFP Chapters

The AFP BC, Okanagan Chapter, centered in Kelowna, British Columbia, is led by first-time president Chantelle Funk, development officer, special events, for the BC Cancer Foundation. Joining the ranks of 16 other chapters in Canada, Funk is already seeing the return on their investment in chartering their own chapter.

It all started with a simple email to AFP International inquiring whether there was an AFP chapter in the Kelowna area. With support from AFP International, Funk conducted her first meeting in Kelowna, “Not only was the community response overwhelming but five AFP members eagerly stepped up to be a part of our board,” said Funk.

From there they were off and running! After a year of consistent meetings, building invitation lists and spreading the news of the chapter via word of mouth, their membership quickly took root.

“Creating an AFP chapter in the Okanagan has already proven to be a great support network of local nonprofits,” said Funk. “They have such a desire to communicate among charities, increase individual professional development and support not only our own fundraising but also the spirit of philanthropy in our community.

Congrats and welcome to both of our new AFP chapters!

You never know where you’ll find a bevy of fundraisers, budding fundraisers and nonprofits who are eager to come together and spread the spirit of philanthropy throughout the community. Every chapter starts somewhere—and AFP International is here to help! See if your community meets these five requirements. If so, reach out to the Chapter Services Department at AFP by sending an email to Chapter.Services@afpnet.org or by calling (800) 666-3863, and start the process of bringing your fundraising community even closer today! 



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