Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending my first AFP LEAD conference and phew- what a ride. It was an awesome opportunity and I wanted to share some of my highlights with you. Walk with me down memory lane...
First off, as an (at times reluctant) Texan, I was happy to see that the conference was in Houston. I hopped in my car, blasted the latest Lady Don't Take No, and ventured on a three-hour drive through the countryside. I opted for the back roads and took in the sights- terrifying dirt roads, too many cows to count, and miles and miles of nothing :) I can't remember the last time I did nothing for three hours. It was a nice break before the excitement of LEAD took over.
AFP Announces Their New Leadership Development Program
First, as some of you heard during the keynote in Houston, AFP is creating a leadership development program for fundraisers to directly address the shortage of qualified, diverse, and prepared leaders within our sector. I was able to provide some feedback to the folks creating the program during LEAD and I know they would appreciate additional voices. Here is your chance! As someone who is committed to the profession, your opinion and experiences provide important data which can help create the AFP leadership development program we deserve. Thus, they would like to invite you to please participate in a short survey. You can take it here!
Board Meeting and Strategic Planning
It wouldn't be an AFP Conference without a board meeting!
It was great to hear from my board colleagues about the work they are doing within their committees. I also had the delight of approving the slate of new board members put forth by the nominating committee. Welcome y'all!
In addition to 'business as usual' the board also had an opportunity to continue our interrogation about what AFP truly stands for. Where do we want to focus our energy, who do we have at the table making decisions, and where do we see ourselves going? I am privileged to have been in these conversations and am looking forward to continuing this work in the new year.
Saying Thank You To Retiring Board Members
The joint dinner between the AFP Global and Foundation boards was bittersweet. While it was nice to see everyone, it also meant that it was time to say goodbye to our outgoing members.
I want to thank my colleagues for their hard work over the years. It has been great to get to know you and trust we will stay in touch. Thank you thank you to: Bret Heinrich, Harry Lynch, Ken Mayhew, Leah McInnes-Eustace, Pamela Perkins-Dwyer, Jane Potentier and Martha Schumacher. Your leadership will be missed and I am so proud to have worked with you!
Seeing Old Friends and Making New Ones
I'd be lying if I didn't say that my favorite part about attending conferences is that I get to see old friends and make new ones. I left NYC over two years ago now and haven't yet had an excuse to go back. While I am loving my time in Austin, I do miss my city pals. It was great to see everyone! How has it already been two years!?
Walking The Walk: Supporting AFP Directly
Before I go, I did want to give a special shout-out to one of my mentors and friends, Martha H. Schumacher, CFRE, ACFRE, MInstF. As founder and president of Hazen, Martha understands the importance of philanthropy firsthand and generously offered to donate $10 for every gift of at least $20 to BE the CAUSE during AFP LEAD.
I took her up on her generosity and donated because I’ve personally seen the impact of the Foundation’s scholarships and programs on fundraisers around the world. The comments and emails I've received from fundraisers about how these programs have helped them realize they had found their life’s calling are incredibly inspiring! Will you join me in donating?
As usual, thanks for walking the walk, Martha!
PS- the latest issue of Advancing Philanthropy was laying all over the conference and is really worth the read. Check it out here! Happy ethics awareness month everyone!
Juliana M. Weissbein, CFRE is a respected leader and decision influencer in regard to fundraising operations best practices. With over a decade of experience, Juliana thrives on professional growth, team success, measurable results, and inspiring fundraisers to utilize data-based strategies. Juliana currently serves as the Associate Director of Development Operations at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She is an AFP Global Board Member, AFP Global's 2019 Outstanding Young Professional Fundraiser and is a member of the AFP Global Women's Impact Initiative. Juliana is immediate past chair of the AFP New York City chapter’s Emerging Leaders Committee and currently serves on the chapter’s board chairing their mentorship program. She resides in Houston, TX and never turns down a good kombucha.