Special Report: Seeking Helpful Tips from the AFP Conference; Chance to Win a Book

I’ve never missed attending the Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference since I first attended way back when, in the long, long ago. It’s always been a great chance to see old friends, make new ones, and learn something. Unfortunately, this year, due to my wife’s health condition, I did not go to Vancouver for the Conference. For whatever reason, I know many other development pros who were also unable to attend.

So, I’m calling on folks who were able to go to the Conference to share some of what they’ve learned. If you attended the Conference, please share with us below an interesting factoid you learned or the favorite how-to you picked up. It doesn’t have to be a long description. Any pithy, useful piece of information or advice would be appreciated. Feel free to enter as often as you’d like.

When you share a precious nugget, you’ll automatically be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of my book, Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing, for which I won the 2011 AFP-Skystone Partners Prize for Research in Fundraising and Philanthropy. If you already have a copy of my book and you win, I’ll be happy to donate the book in your honor to your favorite charity.

If you’re interested in purchasing a recording of one or more of the Conference sessions, ordering information will be posted at the AFP website. 

That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?


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18 Responses to “Special Report: Seeking Helpful Tips from the AFP Conference; Chance to Win a Book”

  1. From a session on telling your story: “If you’re not talking about your annual campaign, your donors aren’t talking about your annual campaign.”

    Also, if folks are using Twitter, they can see threads from the Conference by searching #afpmeet and #afpeeps hashtags.

  2. Since I have been struggling with the idea of getting my CFRE certified, the “CFRE, Should I or Shouldn’t I” was a great motivator for me. I learned that it can really make a difference and distinguish a person from other professional fundraisers, especially when applying for jobs and seeking promotions. I’m more motivated to start the process now…

    • Rachel, thank you for your comment about CFRE. I’m in the process of getting re-certified. I originally got my CFRE way back in 1994. I wish you luck as you go for your own CFRE.

      If you’re interested in reading my analysis of CFRE at age 30, and the interesting discussion it started, you can go to: http://wp.me/p1h0KY-7N.

      • I went back and read your post – it was very helpful. Thank you! Your response to the comments were helpful as well. I’ve been in development for over 6 years (I’m still considered to be very young for my position, I’m turning 28 tomorrow) and my previous supervisor from one of my former institutions is always encouraging me to get CFRE certified. My current position involves much more front-line fundraising, specifically in planned giving, and I think getting certified will not only be a great way to continue my education, but it will also keep me disciplined. Thanks for your thoughts!

      • Rachel, Happy Birthday! Here’s a scary, slightly sad thought (for me): You were about 10 years old when I passed the CFRE exam! Yikes! I’m feeling old, now. 🙂

  3. For major gifts, you need method and mindset. Statistics and stewardship. Metrics and relationships (Remember, metrics serve the relationships, not the other way around!).

    You become what you think about. So, think positively.

    By Marcy Heim

  4. Here is an interview with Karen Osborne on Major Gifts Fundraising. Soon, there will be more insights of AFP Conference from Andrew Watt, Andrea McManus and Daryl Upsall. Enjoy! http://www.Fundraising-Podcast.de

    P.S.: Interview with Michael is still there! http://youtu.be/44EFQHoYvgM

    • Jan, thank you for sharing the link to the videos you put together at the Conference! I’m sorry we weren’t able to see each other this year, but I’m very glad you again put together a video series for folks who could not attend the Conference. I very much recommend that folks visit your site.

  5. Hi Michael –

    So much great information at the conference… where to begin?

    Peter Drury was the highlight for me. He shared his fundraising dashboard, which he is willing to provide for free (it’s probably available on the conference website). It’s a tool for understanding your fundriaisng results as well as for starting a conversation with your board. He spoke about the importance of understanding the difference between average gift and median gift. Subtle, but significant!

    Bill Bartolini spoke about the importance of truly understanding your donors, their background, generational perspective, etc., before engaging them or asking them for a gift.

    Scott Harrison of Charity Water encouraged attendees to use picture and video to tell a compelling story.

    I also had the honor to speak, and talked about how to start an individual giving program and overcome a fear of asking. I broke “asking” down into three easy steps, 1. Prepare, 2. Practice, and 3. Ask. I blogged about my talk, prior to the conference, and it can be found here: http://www.tripointfundraising.com/scared-to-ask-get-started-with-face-to-face-fundraising/

  6. There are three take aways that stood out for me:

    1) Reverse mentoring. During this session, we talked about the future of philanthropy and challenges that we face. In break out groups, we discussed different challenges and short and long term solutions. I talked about my own frustration with some senior management that hasn’t kept up to date with new management styles and will often stiffen young professionals’ creativity and drive by dismissing them. We also spoke about the “old guard” refusing, being scared, or dismissing the need to integrate new technologies in the fundraising program. So we came up with the idea of reverse mentoring: having young new professionals mentoring the old guard so they learn about new technologies and new management theory.

    2) Tania Little presented a session on using mind-mapping for strategic planning. The idea to use a non-traditional approach to strategic thinking & planning was brilliant! Remove your shoes, loosen up your tie, sit on the floor with a big piece of paper and crayons and start “brain dumping” everything in drawings, words and non-linear lines made total sense to me. The idea of going back to kindergarten to illustrate your ideas makes so much more sense!

    3) Finally, Peter Drury’s session on evaluating the fundraising program using his dashboard (which he’s happy to share for free!), was absolutely brilliant! Finally a simple, comprehensive and logical tool that will make sense to the fundraiser and more importantly, board members. Forget ROI, the dashboard is a much better tool (in my opinion).

    Now I can’t wait to go next year in San Diego!

    • Ligia, thanks so much for sharing the terrific tidbits from the AFP Conference. I like the idea of “reverse mentoring.” It dovetails with another concept I really like: managing up. Tania’s strategic planning idea using mind-mapping is particularly useful for folks who are very visual. Peter’s “dashboard” is a popular idea I’ve heard others mention. It takes something very complex and makes it easy for others to grasp.

      I’m looking forward to San Diego, too.

  7. You can get the FREE AFP 2012 Conference e-Book Sampler here: http://www.nonprofitcommunity.com/index.php/2012/03/14/afp-free-e-book-sampler

    The e-Book Sampler from John Wiley and Sons includes a chapter from six different books in the AFP Fund Development Series, including my own book: “Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing.” So, download now and enjoy!


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