Tag Archives: afp indiana

Lessons in Capital Campaign Leadership: A Reflection

by Willie Matis

So the title of the luncheon “Lessons in Capital Campaign Leadership” probably could’ve been changed to “Lessons in Nonprofit Leadership.”

The panelists yesterday were among the most quotable of the entire year.

A huge shoutout goes to JGA (Johnson Grossnickle & Associates), for not only putting on a great series for AFP Indiana, but saving this great group for last.

Yvonne Shaheen – CEO, Long Electric Company (retired)
Mike Wells – President, REI Investments, Inc.
Steve Walker – Chairman of the Board and CEO, Walker

Some great themes that were taken from them can be noted from the tweets above; however, one big takeaway was that leaders and board members should not be afraid to hold each other accountable.

This is a large statement. People, places, and organizations get complacent all too often. I don’t think it is coincidental that all 3 of these panelists, who are known to be fantastic board members, are also know to be a little “blunt.” Holding each other accountable is how to move forward. Sure, there are tender ways to be assertive, but when it comes down to it, in order to see success everyone must do their job. It was very refreshing to hear these words from the panelists. It fired up the crowd, and they inspired us all.

The quotes above or the theme of the day could have a negative feeling to it, but that is not at all how it came across. The passion was seen in each of them, and they speak their minds because they care about the community and the organizations for which the volunteer.

Yvonne gave some great parting words… she said, “If you don’t love what you are doing, then you’re in the wrong field.”

When you have passion, when you care, and when you work out any problems that arise, then good things will come.

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Filed under Capital Campaign

Take Advice from Oprah Winfrey, okay?

by Willie Matis

Last week, I received an email from our VP of Membership, Morgan Hoover, CFRE.  It was about our mentorship program, but what stuck out to me most was the very first line she wrote.

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher” – Oprah Winfrey



I thought to myself…

1) Why would you NOT listen to Oprah?

2) That is some GREAT advice.

The Indiana Chapter of AFP is already a great group of people of whom you should surround yourself.  There are members from the entire gamut of fundraising.  I could go on a Dr. Seuss-like scope with “some are small, some are tall…” about the range of fundraiser who are members, but what I really want to stress is that by becoming a member of AFP, you can tap into each and every one of these people.

To expand even more on surrounding yourself with people who are going to lift you higher is our Mentor Program.

Are you wanting to be a mentee? You can be paired up with someone who is willing to dive in DEEP with you as a fundraiser.  They will not only show you the ropes, they will help you when you climb into the ring.  There is a countless variety of experiences that happen to us fundraisers, and if your mentor DOESN’T know the answer to a question, they most likely have a contact who does.

Are you wanting to be a mentor? FANTASTIC! A benefit other than being a donor of time is that you may gain a fresh perspective when finding answers to the questions coming from someone who is new to the game.  People always say that a fresh pair of eyes helps, and your mentee can be just that.

Please consider being a part of the program by becoming a mentee or mentor.

Sign up by clicking here.

 Questions about the program, please contact Leslie Kidwell at lecarter@iupui.edu or 317-274-1496.

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Filed under Chapter Events

A Chat With Colleagues

One of the most valuable things from a luncheon, a conference,  or event is getting together with like minded people and sharing what works and what doesn’t.  Linking together with someone in the same position as you are in a different organization allows you to share frustrations, tactics to get beyond those obstacles, and these conversations can lead to long career friendships.

At AFP, we realized that when attending the monthly luncheons and brown bags, it is hard to have these interactions because people have to get back to work, we have donors to steward, thank you cards to sign, and more. Well, now you have that chance.

Member Social!
Wednesday, March 5th
Thr3e Wise Men

Swing by anytime during those hours to our MEMBERS ONLY social at Thr3e Wise Men in Broad Ripple.  A time to mingle and catch up and ge reenergized over a nice beverage.  You must be an AFP Member to attend, however you don’t need to RSVP ahead of time.

photo courtesy of wealthcreatorsclub.org

photo courtesy of wealthcreatorsclub.org

This is a great perk of becoming a member, and we hope you all take advantage of mixing and mingling with your counterparts!  See you there.


Filed under Fundraising in General

Social Media, Storytelling, and Snowmen

By Willie Matis


Wednesday, February 5th, 2014,  join us at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful as we listen to social media great – Jeff Stanger.

Jeff has a great social media influence here in Indy,  and if you didn’t know that,  then check him out on Twitter (@jeffstanger).

Jeff will join us to talk about how you can distinguish your organization online.  So who should attend this session?

Have you ever asked yourself any of these questions…

– Why aren’t people liking our stuff on Facebook?
– How do I get more retweets?
– How do I make sure people know how to tag our social media accounts?
– How do I make our online presence more engaging?

If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these things, then I will see you there next Wednesday.


The Brown Bag starts at 12 noon, and it will last until 1:15. And is free!!

Have any questions, but you can’t attend? Leave them in the comments below and we will bensure to ask them for you!

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The effective way to use Ethics to not just discourage wrongdoing but promote giving

post written by Willie Matis.

When I first hear the word ETHICS, I think of a code that a person keeps, leading them to do the right thing and not do the wrong thing.

Okay, sorry I lied.  When I hear the word ETHICS, I think of this…

The story of Billy Madison can help a little.  Having character and ethics and following through with your education can help you to be the most successful.  But let’s take a turn here and get back to the subject at hand.

Today’s AFP Education Luncheon features a FANTASTIC speaker…

Dr. Richard Gunderman from The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University

He is going to be talking about “How Ethics brings Giving to Life”.  Just from the title, it brings a fresh perspective to what I think is a semi-negative word.  Ethics makes many people think of what they CAN’T do, rather than using it to gain trust and connection with prospects.

Hopefully you can join us today!  If not, do you have any questions you’d like us to pose during the seminar?  We’ll tweet the answers with the hashtag – #AFPedlunch.  Leave your questions in the comment section!

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Filed under Chapter Events

How to answer two major questions: Become an AFP member? Get a CFRE?

post by Willie Matis

Honestly, I can only speak on the benefits of becoming an AFP member.  I do not have a CFRE, and I am currently not on track to get my CFRE because I have yet to be in the industry long enough.

BUT! We have the power of the web…

and, today’s Brown Bag Luncheon is on this very subjectAFP Indiana members and guests will be meeting at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful office to listen to four great fundraisers about the advantages and disadvantages of becoming an AFP member and getting your CFRE.

What do YOU consider to be benefits of being an AFP member or getting your CFRE?

You can comment below.  Join the discussion on our Facebook page. Or, tweet at us and let us know!

I’ll go first….

“AFP member benefit –> being able to use the Chapter as a tool to meet people who have experienced things you are currently going through”

“AFP member benefit –> now there are NEW member categories to make it affordable to access the AFP network!”


Filed under Chapter Events

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