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AFP Strategic Plan 2011 – 2013

October 2, 2010


Following discussion at the January 2010 Executive Committee Retreat, a Strategic Planning Committee was constituted to revise the plan for the years 2011-2013.  A link to the full strategic plan document can be found in the Attachments section below.

The Committee agreed:

  • To use AFP's existing divisional structure as its primary audience for reviewing and refreshing the current Strategic Plan.
  • That AFP's existing Core Ideology-Purpose, Values, Mission and Vision-would not change.  Core Ideology clarifies what doesn't change for an organization despite changes in the business environment.  AFP's Core Ideology is set forth elsewhere in this document.
  • To emphasize clearly defined outcomes for the goals and specific metrics to measure the outcomes. Defining the outcome statements will be critical to define what success will look like when AFP has achieved the goal, as well as for setting targets in future strategic plans.  Metrics are the measures used to determine progress toward achieving the goal and will be further developed and refined by various AFP divisions.

AFP's 2011-2013 Strategic Plan places increased focus on developing skilled and prepared practitioners and creating positive member experiences that allow fundraisers to meet the current economic challenge. This focus is extremely important in that the economy is forcing individuals and organizations to look closely at their professional development budgets and determine how to use those limited funds most effectively. AFP must be committed to providing the strongest member value proposition possible, and the 2011-2013 plan acknowledges and supports this commitment.

But AFP cannot focus solely on the current economic environment. The association's own studies have found that despite the economy, more than 50 percent of members raised more money in 2009 than in 2008, and those figures are expected to be higher in 2010. Organizations are still finding success in their fundraising, and while AFP must support members in their efforts here, simply focusing on the economy is too reactive and overlooks other important key trends and factors, including:

  • The proliferation of nonprofit organizations and growth of the fundraising profession, intensifying the competition for the charitable dollar;
  • The availability of new technology that is increasing public expectations of what charities can provide and how they provide it;
  • The escalation of legislative and regulatory activity by government related to fundraising and other aspects of the nonprofit sector;
  • The increasing diversity and sophistication of donors and their growing focus on effectiveness and impact;
  • The demand for greater accountability and transparency within the charitable sector, especially as it relates to the use of charitable gifts;
  • The increasing globalization of fundraising and philanthropy and
  • The increasing leadership gap as Baby Boomer leaders retire and the number of open positions rise significantly.

All of these factors are having a significant impact upon the profession and are reflected in AFP's goals and objectives for the 2011-2013 Strategic Plan. While the economy is the most important concern for members now, AFP believes that by focusing on these trends, the way is paved for a stronger profession and much greater future success long after the economic malaise has left. In this manner, AFP continues to demonstrate leadership by helping members address both short-term and long-term issues.



2011 -2013 AFP Goals and Outcomes


Knowledge:  Developing Superlative Practitioners

  • Goal:  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­AFP will develop skilled, knowledgeable and ethical professionals worldwide.
  • Outcome:  Professionals demonstrate best practices as a result of knowledge gained through AFP educational offerings and resources.

Strengthening the Profession:  Educating External Audiences

  • Goal­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­AFP will advance effective, ethical and accountable fundraising standards as an essential component of global philanthropy.
  • Outcome:  The fundraising profession is viewed increasingly as a vital part of the philanthropic process.

Advocacy and Public Policy:  Shaping Public Policy

  • Goal:  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­AFP will aggressively promote and defend public policy that encourages philanthropy, supporting principles important to AFP and the fundraising profession.
  • Outcome:  Legislation and regulations are protected and enacted which are favorable to philanthropy and the profession. 

Optimal Value:  Enhancing the Member Experience

  • Goal:  AFP will deliver optimal value to members.
  • Outcome:  Chapters and International headquarters will work together to deliver optimal value and experiences with members consistently rating their overall experience with AFP as exceeding expectations.

Advancing Diversity:  Establishing a Diverse Profession

  • Goal:  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­AFP, a community of inclusion, will seek, embrace and engage diverse individuals, groups and organizations with a broad representation of experiences, perspectives, thoughts and cultures within the fundraising profession.
  • Outcome:  AFP will be viewed as a leader in engaging diverse organizations and as the member organization of choice for diverse fundraisers. 

Outreach:  Supporting the International Community

  • Goal­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­AFP will provide strong leadership in promoting and supporting the fundraising community worldwide.
  • Outcome:  AFP will be a leader in establishing the most effective environment for fundraising communities worldwide by ensuring that best practice knowledge, experience and expertise are accessible to fundraisers.

Succession:  Preparing for the Future

  • Goal:  AFP will engage young professionals and youth exploring philanthropy and building their fundraising careers.
  • Outcome:  AFP will become a relevant and critical resource that enhances fundraising careers and builds professional networks for the next generation.


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