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A Great Adventure Ahead!

by Vivian Smith, CFRE, Vice Chair, AFP Membership Services Division

Vivian SmithI sense a great adventure ahead. Our profession is becoming recognised as a desirable and fulfilling career, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals is leading the way in convening conversations about the sector and the role philanthropy plays in strengthening community.

But these are not the same conversations that we’ve seen in the past. Canada has, yet again, taken the lead in recognising that there are no sacred cows and that the model in which AFP Canada has so successfully practised in the past now needs to evolve. We are looking at ways to build on the past and welcome the future.

Along with conversations about the model for AFP International is an even-more wide-ranging and robust dialogue about the very future of our sector. AFP and its strategic partners are a strong presence in Ottawa and in Washington, helping to guide public policy that supports philanthropy and highlights the role that your organisation and mine play in the development of communities across North America. We are playing a pivotal role in the emerging philanthropic sector within Mexico and across the oceans. AFP is encouraging and supporting us in taking an active role in political advocacy, community engagement and building partnerships not considered in the past.

This is a call to action; a time for fundraisers to consider how they might play a role in the growth of the profession and the expansion of philanthropy. And as the professional association for those fundraisers, AFP continues to review and develop membership opportunities.

The current member categories for individuals are:

  • Professional - Open to individuals who hold some degree of responsibility for fundraising.
  • Young Professional - Open to persons who hold some degree of responsibility for fundraising, work within the US and Canada and are 30 years old or younger.
  • Retired - Open to those who no longer practice as paid fundraising professionals but who have been Professional members of the Association for the immediate past five consecutive years.
  • Associate - Open to individuals or volunteers who are engaged in fields related to fundraising and fundraising support or who have mutual interests with fundraising professionals.
  • Collegiate - Open to students at an accredited college or university, or individuals who serve as a faculty advisor for a collegiate chapter of AFP. 
  • Global e-membership - Open to members outside of the US and Canada who wish to join in an electronic-only based membership category. 

The current member categories for organisations are:

  • Business - Open to for-profit organisations whose work complements the fundraising profession; the organisation is entitled to designate employees to receive full benefits as Associate members
  • Nonprofit Organisation - Large - Open to non-profit organisations who will designate a minimum of eight to receive Professional member benefits. 
  • Nonprofit Organisation – Small - Open to non-profit organisations who will designate one fundraising professional to receive Professional member benefits.

Other membership types are:

  • AFP's Strategic Alliance "Web Only" Membership - benefits include access to the Members-Only sections of each partner's website, member discounts to conferences and meetings and inclusion in any email announcements that are sent out of each partner's office.

Membership not only provides you and me with opportunities to strengthen ourselves as specialists in our field; it also provides us with opportunities to strengthen our profession and our sector. How can you be a part of the exciting adventure ahead of us?

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