Happy New Year: A Message from AFP President and CEO Mike Geiger
Happy New Year!
On behalf of the board and staff at AFP International, I hope you had a great holiday season and a very successful fundraising campaign to end 2017.
I'm entering my third month as your president and CEO, and I'm still so thrilled to be working with and representing you and your amazing causes. 2017 had its challenges, but think about all the extraordinary impact you helped to create. The AFP community raised hundreds of billions of dollars and have changed the lives of countless people in ways we can't even imagine yet.
That's what excites me about working for you: how your causes are changing our world. Thank you for everything you did last year!
I want to share our plans for supporting your great work in 2018, and it all begins with our website—a new one. We have received six proposals from website vendors and will select a partner by the end of January. After years of talking about a website, you will be able to take advantage of the new, state-of-the-art AFP website by the end of this year.
This new website, optimized for mobile devices—along with our new chapter platforms and critical upgrades to our membership database—will serve as the foundation for a whole new level of service, education, programming, and customization. Look for a new series of communications this year from AFP, including a revamped newsletter, using these tools.
Another key priority for 2018 is Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA). Last year, our board approved a new IDEA Committee and board policy, but that was just the start. This year, we will address issues related to gender equity, harassment, inclusion and leadership development, to name just a few.
Along these lines, the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada just received two grants totaling $103,760 to expand the Fellowship in Inclusion and Diversity program across the country.
This initiative, and others, will be bolstered by our new AFP Canada board, which was so effective in leading our work last year, as well as a new staff position for Canada that we hope to fill by the middle of 2018.
There's so much more we will be doing throughout the year, such as increasing the touchpoints between staff, members and chapters to better serve you. We'll be continuing our research through the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, What Canadian Donors Want and other studies. We will continue to advocate for the universal charitable deduction this year and other incentives to increase giving. And, after updating three of our core courses in 2017—Fundamentals in Fundraising, CFRE Refresher and Donor Retention—we'll be launching an updated webinar and learning management system to deliver innovative digital content to you, and putting together an outstanding 2018 International Fundraising Conference in New Orleans, April 15-17.
None of this would be possible without our volunteer leadership, and I'm so appreciative of the commitment of our international board members, as well as all our chapter leaders.
I’m especially grateful to Jason Lee, who served as interim president and CEO in 2016 and 2017, and without whom AFP would not be in our current strong financial position. I’m so pleased to share with you that Jason has accepted the newly created position of Chief Advocacy and Strategy Officer; we will have the benefit of his counsel and support for many years to come.
Finally, many thanks to you! I’ve quickly learned that it is your energy and passion that drives this community. I'm always happy to hear from you anytime during the year, so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Twitter at @AFPMikeGeiger.
I look forward to working with you throughout 2018 and seeing you in New Orleans for the AFP conference. Together, with your ideas and dedication, and AFP's support and resources, we're going to have a great year!