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AFP eWire September 11, 2012: Print Version

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: 50th International Conference on Fundraising in San Diego!

Registration will open on Thursday, Sept 13th for the 50th AFP Annual International Conference on Fundraising. Act quickly (before September 28th) to take advantage of the Webinar Six (6)-pack BONUS! Register during the discount registration period, and get up to six (6) select archived webinars for FREE (a $945 VALUE). The webinars are given by top conference speakers! Again, register for the International Conference on Fundraising before September 28th to get the full Six (6)-pack BONUS! 

This year, our goal is to engage and re-energize our profession. Join us and be a part of our efforts to create balance, focus on critical priorities, and simplify complexities—we’ll explore what it means to be Doing The Right Things…Right! 

Go to for more information and register on Thursday, September 13th! See you in San Diego in 2013! 

Top Story

Your Current Job: Fix It or Forget It?

How do you know when it’s time to move on to a new job? Is it worth the hassle to fix your current situation, or do you need to look for greener pastures? Valerie Lambert has been helping fundraisers answers these questions for several years.

Lambert, who started her career as a fundraiser and is a member of AFP, says that every situation and person is different, and what might just be an inconvenience for one individual could be devastating to another.

 The author of the bi-monthly blog, Fix It or Forget It, Lambert will help members assess work situations and problems and discuss warning signs—and how to act on them—in her Sept. 25 webinar, “My Job’s Not What I Want It To Be,” from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. She’ll review some of the common strategies she has used with different clients and help participants develop their own plans at their jobs.

From Ritual to Career

Lambert got started in her role as a career consultant through her involvement with AFP and the Maryland Chapter. As the roundtable chair, she was in charge of leading the chapter Annual Giving roundtable on different issues, each of which always started with participants introducing themselves and stating where they worked.

“During the recession, what started out as these nice introductions turned into these almost embarrassing rituals as more and more people said they didn’t have a job,” says Lambert. “It changed the whole tone from getting to know you to these announcements of unemployment, which was never our intent.”

Once a year, the roundtable topic would focus on employment, and Lambert began to help people with their resumes, interview skills. “I never expected to turn it into a business, but I was spending so much time helping people that I eventually had to start charging, to differentiate those who wanted services versus people who just wanted to complain.”

“Both of which,” she adds, “can be very therapeutic. But I wanted to focus on helping people advance their careers.”

Service and Assertiveness

Lambert shared a couple of trends she sees as her friends and clients have turned to her for advice and guidance.

“I’ve found that most women in development—generally—tend to find it harder to be more assertive and talk about themselves,” she says. “There is a ton of competition out there, and you’re competing with so many people to find a job. I’m not sure if it’s a certain type of person who turns to fundraising and service, and prefer to talk about their organizations and causes, but for many female fundraisers, it’s not natural to highlight themselves and their work. But that is exactly what’s needed.

Lambert notes that studies have been conducted which show that women tend to talk about projects and accomplishments in terms of “we.” It’s a challenge, she says, for women fundraisers but one they must address and become more comfortable discussing their own particular work and achievements. “It’s not boasting, nor being rude or pushy, but you’ve got to sell yourself.”

Unique Workplace Priorities

Lambert has also found that what pushes one person’s buttons may not affect another at all. On her blog, Fix It or Forget It, she places stories about her clients (with names, organizations and general situations changed) for others to learn from, and sometimes receives comments about why someone put with a situation for so long, or why couldn’t someone just handle a particular problem or challenge.

“It’s really struck home with me through this job that everyone’s situation is completely different, and we all have different priorities for our career and workplace” says Lambert. “I’ve dealt with situations where the issues of offices versus cubicles made a huge impact on a person’s happiness at their job, and we worked to change the situation. What you might never consider an issue could be a make-or-break challenge for someone else, and we have to be respectful of that.”

Lambert asks her friends and clients to consider their own priorities regarding their job and workplace: job, promotions, travel, benefits? What would happen if just one of those factors were changed dramatically? For some people, changing just one factor slightly can make all the difference in the world, but they often don’t realize how important a certain factor is until it’s changed.

The Job Search

If a fundraiser decides that the situation can’t be fixed and wants to look for another job, Lambert counsels that the current situation is improving from a couple of years ago, but it’s still not great. Although having a job while you look can greatly improve your prospects, it cuts down on how much time you can actually spend looking. Many job searches, she says, are taking up to a year.

As fundraisers look for jobs, Lambert also reminds them to continue networking.

“It’s, by far, the most important thing you can do,” she says. “You are SO much more likely to find a spot through recommendations, so associations like AFP are critical when job searching.”

Lambert recommends volunteering for projects and committees so colleagues and others can see talents and skills outside of the work place.

Valerie Lambert is the director of Bilou Enterprises and will lead an AFP webinar on “My Job’s Not What I Thought It Would Be: Should I Fix It or Forget It?” on Sept. 25, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Eastern time. For registration and information, click here.


Special Announcement

New Donor Retention Study—Participate by Sept. 14

Donor retention is critical to success, of course, but what are the benchmarks and how are charities doing in comparison to each other. AFP, through the Nonprofit Research Collaborative is taking a look at the connection between donor retention and fundraising results through a new survey. Please participate, and you'll receive a copy of the resulting report before it's released to the public. The survey is open through Sept. 12 and takes about 15 minutes to complete. To make things easy, the questions do not ask for specific amounts or values.Visit here to begin the survey:


Fundraising News and Tips

Nonprofits Urged to Empower Donors

Is social media all hype or an inexpensive tool that can be levered to bring money for the mission? Jen Filla has been interviewing members of the AFP Florida, Suncoast Chapter on how they are using, or not using, social media in their fundraising efforts. Two interviews have been posted so far—nice work, Jen! (AFP FL, Suncoast Chapter)

Ten Tips to Make Donor Cultivation Personal

You need to get to know your donors well enough (and in the process gain enough permission) to earn the right to communicate with them like a good friend would. Here are some ideas how (Guidstar/Benevon).

Flat Earth Fundraising: Catch & Release Fishing

Too many direct response fundraisers, many of whom should know better, continue to resort to acquisition techniques that only serve to camouflage the erosion and dry rot destroying long-term donor performance and value, according to Roger Craver. (The Agitator)


AFP Announcements

Attention AFP Members: Canada Globe and Mail to Publish NPD Supplement on Nov. 16!

The Globe and Mail, which reaches nearly one million readers across Canada, will be publishing in partnership with AFP a special supplement about National Philanthropy Day®. The supplement will highlight donors, volunteers, corporations and foundations across Canada involved in philanthropy, and AFP members can receive special rates on advertising. To learn more, click here.

Welcome to the New Resources Section of the AFP Career Center! 

The AFP Career Center is here to help with all your career needs. New resources and professional services include career tips & articles, professional resume writing, career coaching, and much more! Click here to check out all the new tools to begin improving your career today!

Sign Up to Serve on AFP’s Committees 

Know someone who would make a great candidate for committee service and help steer the direction of your community? Would you like to serve on one of AFP's committees? Now is your chance to do so! To sign up today, click here.


AFP Member Exclusives

This Week's Free AFP Information Exchange Paper for Members:  Intellectual Capital in the Nonprofit Organization - Harvest Development Group, LLC/Sondra Lintelmann-Dellaripa

The growing power of ideas - as manifested in innovative programs, policies and processes – is the key differentiator for a successful nonprofit organization. This means that the most important resource in your nonprofit is not your donor database, or your special event - it’s the heads that walk through your door every day. These heads make up the differentiator known as Intellectual Capital.
• Read the paper! -

Lights...Camera...AFP Action University!This Week We Present an AFP Action University Book Review (Video): Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World, by Jamie Notter & Maddie Grant

Knowing the tools of social media is a must for successful marketing these days, but the real promise of social media is the way it can teach us a whole new way of doing business. Humanize takes the principles underlying social media’s growth and applies them to the way we lead and manage our organizations. Leading organizational consultants Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant help you change your organization, from the culture down to individual behavior, in ways that make it more human—and more effective. 
• Access this week's AFP Action University Book Review development tool (video and materials) -

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