Monthly Archives: April 2012

3 Takeaways from AFP’s International Conference & How to Implement Them

written by Willie Matis

It is hard to believe that this is the last full week of April already.  Time has been flying this year, and one of the main reasons why that might be is because of my opportunity to visit Vancouver for the AFP International Conference.  It was such an awesome experience that I owe to the AFP Indiana Chapter and all of the Chapter supporters because the reason I was able to go was because of the Chamberlin Scholarship.  I am very grateful for receiving the scholarship, and if I did not receive the award, then I would not have been able to have the experience.

I have been to a few conferences like the Half-Day conference for AFP-Indiana last year as well as the Policy & Issues Forum for the National Association of Community Health Centers.  At each conference, you feel energized because everyone is there for one reason – to get better at their profession.  It is a fantastic feeling to get around a group of people who are all from different backgrounds, have experienced different lives, yet are passionate about getting better a FUNDRAISING!  It is IMPOSSIBLE not to takeaway something from attending a conference of this sort (well, I guess it’s possible, if you go but don’t attend any sessions or meetings).

ANYWAY! Vancouver was a fantastic city, the conference was a very informative one, and the people there were amazing.  Here are the three things that I took away from attending the conference, and hopefully I can shed some light on how I have stayed on track in implementing them.

1) Put my organization on Google +.

Okay, I would be wrong if I didn’t mention any social media tips & tricks I picked up at the conference.  It is a passion of mine, and it is also the program I oversee at HealthNet.  Most everyone sees the need to be on Facebook, Twitter, and have an email newsletter.  The audience is there and ready to engage as long as you bring creative ways to do so.  But, this Google+ thingy?? Really Willie? Yes.  I attended Marc Pitman‘s session – Beyond the Basics – about social media, and he gave great pointers on why nonprofits need to be on Google+.

By being on Google+ and posting content about your organization, you are now training Google on which keywords people will be using to find your organization through search.  (A little tidbit from me – don’t worry about engagement) Google+ will not bring an influx of donations or volunteers, but it will up your SEO and allow consumers/donors be able to find you in the top 5 results on a Google Search.

2) Create good content and ASK.

My favorite general session at AFP-International was from Scott Harrison, founder of charity:water.  He has a very interesting life story already, and he MIGHT be 40.  I’ll spare you the biography though.  If you do a quick search on charity:water, then you will see how well they are doing.  Growing their donations each year at a tremendous pace.

How do they do it?  They create good content and ASK.  My takeaway from this session – get good at video, don’t be afraid to take some risks, and then ask corporations/news media/for profits/other nonprofits/etc to share your stories.  With the new age of social media and content sharing (hello, you are reading a blog for AFP-Indiana right?), if you create good content and put it in front of people’s faces repeatedly, then something good will happen.

3) Keep in touch.

This one is short and sweet.  Going to any conference, you meet A LOT of great people.  Business cards are being exchanged like to 12 year olds on the back porch trying to work their way up to a Peyton Manning Rookie Card.  MAKE SURE TO KEEP IN TOUCH!  The best way to continue learning and continue to get motivation throughout the year is by staying in touch with the connections you have made.  They are going through the same things you are but may have a different idea that can get you over the obstacle you are facing.

I learned A TON during the time in Vancouver.  And, I took what I thought was a really awesome picture…

But this was all due to the fact that I received the Chamberlin Scholarship!  AFP has a ton of wonderful opportunities that can be made possible through scholarships.  Scroll through a few here and be on the lookout for any opportunities to use them.  (ONE IS DUE MAY 1st – JUMP ON IT!)


Filed under Chapter Events, Fundraising in General, Social Media

Spirit of Philanthropy

Today’s post written by Leslie Kidwell, AFP-IC Vice President of Membership and Major Gifts Associate at IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

I am pleased to be a guest blogger on the Assocation of Fundraising Professionals – Indiana Chapter’s new blog. As a professional fundraiser and member of AFP, and presuming much of this blog’s readership is as well, I invite you to celebrate our profession. Our work as fundraisers is to proudly and boldly raise private funds, though it is often easy to get bogged down and even a little burned out with the day-to-day tasks and pressures of reaching the measurable metrics, leaving us to forget the proudly part.

However, there are occasions when we are reminded that we are blessed to be in our profession of inviting individuals to transform lives and communities through their philanthropy.


flickr photo by Courtney Dirks

One of those occasions occurred for me recently, as I attended my institution’s annual event celebrating the spirit of giving back. I was reminded that I truly have one of the best professions out there. As a relationship builder and change agent, I get to inform people on how they can give back and make a difference. I have the privilege of teaching individuals the gentle art of giving. What could be better than that? It is occasions likethe one I just attended that leave me feeling empowered and motivated to do better.

One of my favorite quotes is by Winston Churchill –

“You make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Not only do I get to invite others to make a life by giving, my life is made by giving and impacting those in which my work touches though the spirit of philanthropy. May my words leave you empowered and motivated to be a better fundraiser.

Through AFP-Indiana’s Twitter account, we try to give some motivation on Monday’s using #MondayMotivation quotes throughout the day.
What are some of the ways you are able to self-motivate and remind yourself of the value of the work you are doing?
Comment below or join the conversation on our Facebook page!


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Filed under Fundraising in General