Chapter Leadership Brief 11.08.19

Chapter Leadership Brief 11.08.19

Gary Laermer, AFP-NYC President

Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations
Pace University 

While I am beginning the final weeks of serving as the President of our great Chapter, I’ve had the chance to reflect on the role AFP-NYC will play in shaping the future of our profession.  In the process, I came to realize that probably at least one-third, if not half of the positions and titles that will lead development shops beyond the next decade don’t even exist today.

There is great interest today in how philanthropy professionals will significantly move the needle on transforming direct response campaigns into “movement campaigns” that have broad appeal to both current and non-donors to your cause.

How will data analysts and social media experts begin to lead our old-school time-tested annual campaigns and turn them into lower cost funding and advocacy efforts?  How will our research offices write briefings about a potential donor whose first contact from us might be an IM, shared posts, or some other experience, rather than just cold-calling and asking for the chance to meet? Which of our development shops will lead the way in realigning our organizations’ honored giving societies and turn these efforts into community building initiatives around what donors are most passionate about? How will the building of these communities be staffed and led?  Which development shop will find the resources to add a behaviorist to the team and help organizations really understand how their donors behave, give, volunteer – and most importantly, why? 

Of course, we’ll also have to look at the role of development offices in planning new and compelling strategies for using brand positioning and cause and impact reporting to stay relevant in the minds of donors and supporters. 

With all of these potential changes and more coming to our profession, I suspect the role of our AFP chapter will only become more important in helping our sector leaders stay current and well prepared to face the challenges of the future. 

I believe that AFP NYC  is in great hands with the Chapter’s incoming leaders, and I would like to thank Steve Jacobson, Jill Scibilia, Craig Shelley, and Michele Hall-Duncan for commitment to our work and wish them great success in leading the Chapter forward.  I would like also sincerely thank each of the Board members and staff leaders I have had the privilege to work with over the past two years.  Bravo for a job well done!! 

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