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2007 AFP Year-End Report

Highlights of Progress on the AFP 2007 – 2010 Strategic Plan

Goal A:  AFP will develop more skilled, knowledgeable and ethical fundraising professionals

  • Conducted 115 educational sessions involving 122 speakers at AFP’s International Conference on Fundraising in 2007. The average session rating was 5.85 out of a possible 7 points, with an average speaker rating of 6.11.
  • Held the second Nonprofit Management Institute, Sept. 25-26, in partnership with the Stanford Social Innovation Review. The event attracted more than 200 participants from around the world.
  • Established a task force to update and reformat the CFRE Review Course to align the course with the domains of the CFRE Exam. The Council for Resource Development is a partner in this endeavor.
  • Formed a Higher Education Task Force to examine the role of AFP in higher education offerings for fundraising professionals and develop recommendations for future action. Preliminary recommendations have been made and are being reviewed for next steps.
  • Developed the first annual report of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) in partnership with the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy and other nonprofit sector associations.

Goal B:  AFP will promote effective, ethical, accountable fundraising as both a recognized profession and as an essential component of philanthropy.

  • Oversaw National Philanthropy Day® efforts, providing numerous materials and information to help chapters create and host their own NPD programs and inform other targeted audiences about NPD. 
    • More than 100 chapters have participated in NPD events in 2007.
    • Created two different versions of a video to help support chapter celebrations, introduce AFP and underline importance of philanthropy, as well as two public service announcements to encourage the public to give and volunteer.
    • Created and distributed more than 300 media kits to press outlets in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Developed a model chapter marketing plan to be distributed to chapters in 2008 to assist them in promoting AFP and the profession.
  • Cultivated a partnership with the Fundraising Institute of Australia, resulting in the delivery of Advancing Philanthropy six times over a one year period, helping expand the presence of AFP and the magazine in international markets.
  • Partnered with both The New York Times and Canada’s Globe and Mail to develop and market special supplements on philanthropy and fundraising.
  • Advancing Philanthropy has become AFP’s No. 2 member benefit, second only to the AFP Code of Ethical Principles and Standards and A Donor Bill of Rights, according to the most recent AFP member satisfaction survey. 
    • Advancing Philanthropy has become increasingly useful to readers over the years to make them more skilled, knowledgeable and ethical professionals. In 2007, 42% of respondents said that the magazine is either “very useful” or “somewhat useful,” an increase from 33% in 2004 and 30% in 2002.
    • In 2007, Advancing Philanthropy won two APEX awards for Most Improved Magazine & Journal and Feature Writing. 

Goal C:  AFP will advocate for public policy based on principles important to AFP and the fundraising profession

  • Pushed for making the IRA Rollover provision permanent. Legislation passed the House of Representatives and was being considered by the Senate at the end of the year. Congress is expected to consider the provision in January 2008, possibly making it retroactive to the beginning of the year.
  • Submitted comments on the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Form 990 redesign. AFP urged the IRS to alter the form to ensure that information about charities was not read out of context and to place fundraising in a more positive light.
  • In Canada, led the successful campaign to extend the elimination of the capital gains tax on gifts of listed securities to private foundations. AFP recently testified before Parliament to request the elimination of the capital gains tax on gifts of land and real estate as well.
  • In Canada, submitted comments on the Canada Revenue Agency’s T3010 form redesign and urged changes to the form to ensure that raw data and numbers were given proper context and to provide clearer, more accurate information about Canada’s charities and their fundraising.
  • Produced a special seventh issue of Advancing Philanthropy in 2007 devoted to coverage of public policy.   

Goal D:  AFP will deliver optimal value to members.

  • Chartered nine new, including seven professional chapters and two collegiate chapters.
  • Fifty-five chapters received the Ten Star Award.  The Chapter Ten Star Award encourages chapters to perform specific activities designed to increase professionalism within fundraising and public awareness of the importance of philanthropy.
  • Expanded the website with new information on international ethics, diversity, the AFP Learning Center and the Fundraising Effectiveness Project.

Goal E:  AFP will embrace and engage diverse individuals, groups and organizations within the fundraising profession.

  • Awarded research grants (including the general grants program and the Legacy Leaders grants program) for projects on institutional strategies to enhance Black college giving; causes and correlations of charitable giving in estate planning; and identification, death and bequest giving.
  • Te Informa, AFP’s bimonthly Spanish language electronic newsletter, and Kaleidoscope, our quarterly electronic newsletter on diversity, have been well received by the membership, and both are attracting non-member subscribers.

Goal F:  AFP will increase its influence and presence worldwide:

  • Made major presentations at the AFP International Conference on Fundraising, third AFP Hemispheric Congresso in Mexico City, first AFP International Congress for Schools and Universities in Brazil, and the International Fundraising Workshop in the Ukraine.
  • Wrote and distributed op-eds or articles for the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, the U.K.’s International Journal of Educational Advancement, the Association Françoise des Fundraisers, the Fundraising Institute of Australia and others. 
  • Held the third annual Hemispheric Congress on Fundraising in Mexico City, featuring 47 educational sessions led by fundraising practitioners from Argentina, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Spain, the U.S. and the U.K. Approximately 430 individuals attended.
  • Launched the AFP/Tec de Monterrey, Mexico fundraising basics course as part of Tec’s Social Leaders program. The course is the first step in AFP’s partnership with Tec to develop a fundraising certificate for Latin American practitioners, using primarily online courses and resources.
  • Held the first AFP Fundraising for Higher Education Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in conjunction with the Faculty of Rio Branco and supported by the Brazilian Minister for Education and the US Consulate. Speakers from Harvard University; Kentucky Community and Technical College System; Catholic University in Lima, Peru; Harris Manchester College of Oxford University and experts from Brazil focused on promoting ethical and efficient fundraising. More than 300 leaders in higher education in Brazil attended..
  • Continued to offer the AFP First Course in Fundraising across Latin America. In Puerto Rico, more than 70 people attended, while in Monterrey, Mexico, and Chihuahua, Mexico, over 100 people attended each session. The First Course was also offered in January 2007 by a certified trainer from Chile at PUC (Pontificate Catholic University) and in Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Overall Accomplishments in 2007

AFP implemented a number of governance changes in 2007 that were approved in late 2006:

  • Implemented a new board of directors’ election process, allowing all members to vote on directors from 12 AFP districts. The AFP 2008 budget includes $110,000 in board travel reimbursement, ensuring broader participation from our chapters.
  • Created a Chapter Presidents Council, one of the key outcomes from our governance process, to help the association hear chapter issues more quickly and respond more ably to challenges and concerns.
  • Held the first annual Leadership Academy with 23 workshops involving about 220 AFP leaders. The academy is both a forum for members to provide insight and feedback on AFP priorities and programs, as well as a training conference to help prepare chapter leaders for the coming year. The average overall rating of the Academy was 6.32 out of a possible 7 points, with an average speaker rating of 6.59.

AFP made significant progress toward enhancing our technology infrastructure:

  • Executed a new financial management system that will allow a deeper and broader analysis of our core business operations.
  • Selected a new content management system that will improve the functionality and usability of chapter and international headquarter websites. Implementation will begin in January 2008.
  • Selected new association management and fundraising management software that will greatly enhance our ability to serve members and donors. Implementation will begin in early 2008 with completion targeted for early 2009.

AFP created new membership categories to better meet our member’s needs:

  • Adopted a new global e-membership category for members outside of North America, with services delivered in an electronic format.
  • Added a second tier to the Business Membership category (Endorser Level), with dues at $1,500.

AFP’s Code of Ethical Principles and Standards was amended and expanded to apply to for-profit businesses involved with or supporting fundraising. The changes, which include the addition of seven new standards and the alteration of one standard, allow for-profit businesses to join AFP as members and actively promote ethical and efficient fundraising.

Both the U.S. and the Canadian Foundations for Philanthropy continue to provide valuable resources to further AFP’s mission:

  • The U.S. Foundation annual fund is on track with its five campaigns to reach an all-time record in unrestricted funds, the major gifts program should increase 300 percent above last year and the Leadership Society now has 65 U.S. and 18 Canadian members.
  • As of Nov. 30, 2007, the Canadian Foundation campaign was at 85 percent of goal with a 20 percent member participation rate. Of particular note is the success of the major gifts campaign that will fund translation of the Essentials Program and the CFRE Review Course into French.

AFP reorganized our staffing around two main areas—core services and support services. Core services are directly related to expanding, serving and retaining our membership, while support services facilitate our ability to provide the core services.

Finally, I am especially pleased to report that our overall membership has surpassed 29,500 for the first time, 6 percent ahead of last year. The number of new members joining AFP is approaching 8,000 this year—a new record! 

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It’s been a busy 2007 for AFP! We are looking forward to a highly productive 2008 with a renewed emphasis on membership recruitment and retention, as well as non-dues revenue base. As always, our mission is to increase the value of AFP to our members to better serve the fundraising profession and all of philanthropy.

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