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Chapter Leadership Brief 4.10.2019

Chapter Leadership Brief 4.10.2019

By Craig Shelley, CFRE, Chapter Treasurer & Managing Director, Orr Group

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference (ICON).  It was a remarkable opportunity to connect with old friends, meet new ones who share a passion for improving the world via philanthropy, be reminded about some best practices I’d forgotten and be exposed to lots of new ideas and approaches.  It was good for my brain.  More importantly, it was good for my spirit.

I’ve only attended ICON once before and the most impressive part of the experience is the enormity of it.  It is a unique opportunity to be surrounded by that many (3,000+) people who do the same work as you.  Fundraising is often a lonely and misunderstood profession.  To essentially have a group of us take over a large part of San Antonio for the better part of a week was inspiring.  Trading war stories, commiserating about successes and failures and gaining advice from true experts in the field inspires and is already benefiting my work now that I’ve returned home.

Next year’s ICON will be held March 29 – 31, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland.  I’d strongly encourage chapter members to take advantage of it being on the east coast and planning to attend.  But why wait to learn and be inspired?  Nearly 2,000 fundraisers will gather at the Marriott Marquis on Friday, June 14 for Fundraising Day in New York, which is equally inspiring.  I hope to see you there!

If you have ideas or suggestions for our AFP chapter please always feel free to contact me directly at  If you’re interested in my thoughts on fundraising and news in the sector, sprinkled with the occasional picture of my kids, please follow me on Twitter @craigshelley.

Thank you for everything you do.

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