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TO CFRE or Not to CFRE?

The process of becoming a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) may seem daunting, but after speaking with three fellow AFP Greater Madison members who have each acquired their certification, I am taking the steps to start down this path.

Over the past week, I spoke to Jen Davie, Deborah Still, and Chris Ziembe about their experiences obtaining their CFRE. They generously shared their insights into why the CFRE was right for them, what the most challenging parts of the process were, and their advice to other development professionals considering the program.

2021: The year of donor retention?!

“Despite concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic would depress donations to nonprofits, giving in the U.S. in 2020 increased from 2019 by 10.6%, with the overall number of donors growing by 7.3%.”

That’s the good news out of the 2020 Fourth Quarter Report from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP), a collaboration among fundraising data providers, researchers, analysts, associations, and consultants to help the fundraising sector track and evaluate trends in giving.

The bad news? Donor retention dropped by 4.1%.

Part 2: 2017 and beyond: From diversity to...equity, inclusion and justice

For almost a decade the AFP Greater Madison Chapter worked to address inequities within the organization, and the profession at large. Read about this history in part 2 of this article set.

JEDIs and the battle against inequity: How AFP has embraced, confronted the challenge

For almost a decade the AFP Greater Madison Chapter worked to address inequities within the organization, and the profession at large. Read about this history.

Celebrating Women, Implementing Change

"Our industry is highly feminized, with more than 70% of fundraisers identifying as female. And while we are a women-majority sector, we are far from being women-led, with less than 20% of CEOs identifying as female."

With March being Women's History Month, we want to share this short article from AFP Global highlighting that while a majority of fundraisers identify as female, our sector is still plagued with gender discrimination. 

What We Learned in a Year of Quarantine

Thanks to everyone who sent in answers to our survey! It was great to hear from so many people about what they’ve been working on, learning, and enjoying over the past year.

Overall, almost everyone who answered has been—in some way—happy to learn that people really care.

Looking at you, 2021! Planning Ahead Networking Event

Our January event was “Looking Ahead: Nonprofit Planning for 2021”. It was an informal brainstorming session where we broke out into various groups to discuss various topics. Here are some tidbits from the event!

AFP Member Spotlight: Nina Gehan

Periodically, we shine a spotlight on one of our chapter members with a series of questions. We hope you enjoy learning more about the members of AFP Greater Madison!

Embracing the Youth

The Young Professionals committee is no more! That’s not a bad thing and it is completely by design. What started out seven years ago by Sarah Linn, our current AFP Greater Madison president, has evolved into something more in an effort to increase the young professional presence across all levels of the chapter.

The Best Ways to Give in a Pandemic

Back in December, my aunt sent me The New York Times article, titled “What’s the Right Way to Give in a Pandemic?” It covered some statistics around the increased need nonprofits are responding to from the global pandemic. The article also described some of the ways that nonprofits have shifted how they ask for support and creatively utilize technology. 

Honoring the Helpers

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”   ― Fred Rogers

It's truly been a year of scary things, but it has also been a year filled with helpers. This December, AFP Greater Madison is celebrating the helpers in our community.

A Year in Review: 2020

We kicked off 2020 just like any other year. We were hosting monthly educational programs to ensure you had the opportunity to further your professional development. Quarterly roundtables gave everyone a chance to come together and talk through the big questions that face us. Then, March showed up stomping all over our plans and bringing a reality that we weren’t quite ready to face.

Learn more about how our Chapter pivoted in order to continue providing our community with opportunities to learn and connect.

The impact is created by YOU

AFP Greater Madison is grateful for the countless hours of support from the board, committees, and all the volunteers who make the organization run smoothly. Often when a volunteer is asked to serve on a board, their first question is, “Is it a working board or strictly governing?” For our local chapter, that answer is WORKING! Our annual budget and operations depend on the investment of time and expertise from board members and their committees. 

We are humbled and grateful for the service of so many as we continue to advance the fundraising profession. As we wrap up 2020 and launch into 2021, we share our sincere thanks to those who served with us.

Your Winter AFP LEAD Reading List

AFP 2020 LEAD was held this past October, providing two days of leadership and nonprofit management training with a fundraiser's focus. The following is a list of books either referenced or written by speakers at the conference. Synopsis have been pulled from the web as I have not personally had the chance to read them all.

Check out the links provided if you are interested in learning more or purchasing the books to dive deeper!

Celebrating New & Renewing AFP Members

Welcome to our new AFP Greater Madison Chapter members and thank you to our renewing members! We are excited to have these members as a part of our community of fundraisers coming together to learn, connect, and support the causes we believe in.

Learn more about membership and benefits 

Congratulations to the 2020 National Philanthropy Day Award Winners

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Madison was excited to honor the winners of the 2020 National Philanthropy Day Awards during a virtual celebration held on November 13, 2020. These individuals, businesses and organizations have shown commitment and passion to strengthening our community and making it a better place to live for everyone.

Professional Development in a Virtual World

Without a doubt, pursuing continuing education opportunities looks pretty different these days but there are many high-quality virtual opportunities to hone your development and fundraising skills. Whether you are looking to earn or renew your CFRE credentials, sharpen your skills on a particular area of fundraising or broaden your knowledge base on inclusive and equitable ways to practice, your local AFP chapter has you covered!

Pandemic Perspective: Emily’s new, unfamiliar role during COVID-19

Hear from Emily Wills, Fund Development Coordinator of the Wisconsin Youth Company, about her move from Chicago to Madison to begin her relatively new career in the development field.

Emily began her job on March 16th at Wisconsin Youth Company, a non-profit organization that that offers various after-school, summer camp and other programs for school-aged children in the Dane and Waukesha counties for 30+ years.

Navigating a Future for the Arts

How do you approach a capital campaign during COVID-19? The team at the Milwaukee Public Museum, for one, is listening to their donors and focusing on their mission. “To do what’s right for our collection and our community, we need a new facility,” said Lisa Pieper, Director of Individual Giving at MPM. “And there is still a lot of work to do, but our community has told us at every turn that people are interested in the future of the MPM.”

Hear more from Lisa Pieper and watch the recording of our September program Setting the Stage: Navigating a Future for the Arts.

AFP Member Spotlight with Jennifer Jeffress!

Periodically, we shine a spotlight on one of our chapter members with a series of questions. We hope you enjoy learning more about the members of AFP Greater Madison.  

AFP Member Spotlight with Mike Sweitzer-Beckman

Periodically, we shine a spotlight on one of our chapter members with a series of questions. We hope you enjoy learning more about the members of AFP Greater Madison.  

Watch 'Reclaiming the Relational Work of Fundraising in a Digital Age'

“Relational work is for every donor, not just the donors who give the most,” Otto Reinisch shared during his webinar presented by Fundraising Day Wisconsin on August 18, 2020—and if you’re interested in shifting toward a more relational approach, you can start even now.

Watch a recording of Reclaiming the Relational Work of Fundraising in a Digital Age and check out the presentation slides.

2008 Recession Versus Now - Reflections from Past NPD Winners

Jenni Jeffress, Executive Director at Madison Public Library Foundation, and Marcy Heim, Founder of The Artful Asker, are both past National Philanthropy Day honorees in the professional fundraiser category. They were kind enough to share their expertise on fundraising in hard times, especially during this time of COVID-19.

What do you know about Facebook fundraisers?

While Facebook fundraising may not be the No. 1 option for many non-profits, it has certainly grown in popularity and, at the very least, is an effective way to brand your organization and raise awareness of your impact in the community.

We talked to Ash Collins, a Donor Relations Specialist at Dane County Humane Society, for some tips, tricks and benefits to engaging and encouraging donations from digital supporters, especially through Facebook fundraisers*.

2020 Member Kudos

Our members have been making an impact and doing amazing things this year. We love to celebrate their success! See what AFP Greater Madison Members have been up to.

Do you have a story to share for Member Kudos? We want to hear about it. Please share your story with us!

  • Job changes or promotions
  • Unique grant or funding accomplishments
  • Honors or awards for you or your organization
  • Capital campaign completion

 

Pandemic Legacy: 5 planned giving program tips during COVID-19… and beyond!

Courtney Polster, Ph.D, CFRE, Regional Development Manager at Agrace HospiceCare Foundation, and fellow AFP Greater Madison member, was kind enough to lend us some of her expertise on planned giving, especially during this time of COVID-19.

She said most of their planned giving adjustments have been minor since the pandemic: mainly more phone conversations and a small increase in the number of touches to donors. With that being said, many donors are taking a closer look at future plans during this time. No matter the situation, it is important to keep planned giving at the top of donors’ minds and provide consistent updates and regular planned giving opportunities. Here are some of her other tips as well!

Racial Justice Learning Resources in Madison

As a white woman striving to learn and practice anti-racism, I appreciate that there are times we must do the self-work, as well as times we must do the work in community. In doing so, I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with community members and organizations working to dismantle white supremacy. Among many fantastic local organizations, YWCA Madison offers a number of racial justice trainings, conversations, and suggested resources.

Celebrating New & Renewing AFP Members

Welcome to our new AFP Greater Madison Chapter members and thank you to our renewing members! We are excited to have these members as a part of our community of fundraisers coming together to learn, connect, and support the causes we believe in.

Learn more about membership and benefits 

What does AFP Greater Madison look like in 2020 and beyond?

We are right there with all of our nonprofit colleagues as we navigate this new space. The shifting needs of our members and continuing to be a resource to our community remain our top priority. Our Chapter has consistently relied on monthly in-person meetings and small group discussions to meet the needs of our local development community. One of our key components to all of the professional development opportunities is the chance to network with each other, something that can be very difficult in a virtual world. As we look at the rest of 2020, the board and committee members will continue to seek opportunities for us to come together, network, gain professional development, and support one another through all of this. Check out a few updates on some of the major programs including Fundraising Day Wisconsin and National Philanthropy Day.

 

‘Beware the Ides of March’: American Players Theatre continuing to adapt during COVID-19

Events are a major part of our fundraising efforts, but they are the lifeblood of operations at fine arts-based non-profits like American Players Theatre (APT). 

We talked to Sean Sobecki, Development Director for APT and a member of the Young Professionals Committee of AFP Greater Madison, about how APT has adapted and pivoted their event-focused fundraising approach during this pandemic after having to cancel all nine of their shows this summer.