Chapter Leadership Brief 4.13.2018
By Craig Shelley, CFRE, Chapter Treasurer & Managing Director, Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI)
Benjamin Franklin was once asked for assistance raising funds to erect a new meeting-house in Philadelphia. In what was the first recorded instance of a prospect offering advice instead of money and of capital campaign consulting, Franklin offered, “I advise you to apply to all those whom you know will give something; next, to those whom you are uncertain whether they will give anything or not, and show them the list of who have given; and lastly, do not neglect those who you are sure will give nothing, for in some of those you may be mistaken.”
It seems straight forward when you put it that way and from that simple insight you can draw a straight line to philanthropy as we know it today. Several years ago, I came to terms (happily) that fundraising, nonprofit management and philanthropy were the activities on which I’d spend my professional life. In doing so I increasingly started to seek out groups and mechanisms by which I could learn and grow to become better in my chosen field. This led me to AFP and an involvement in our chapter that has evolved into my present role as treasurer, and it also resulted in my seeking out the CFRE (Certified Fundraising executive) credential.
Undoubtedly being involved with AFP and being a CFRE have been of benefit to me. I’ve learned and grown as a fundraiser and made valuable friends and important professional contacts. But just as importantly they have been the ways in which I’ve been able to contribute to defining and maintaining fundraising as a profession. I was lucky to find this career. Millions of people who benefit from the funds we raise are lucky this career exists. I want to make sure that continues to be the case.
We can’t all be Benjamin Franklin (let’s face it, he already had most of the good ideas I’m certain we’d have come up with if he hadn’t done it first), but I do think that like Franklin each of us can define and advance the fundraising profession. By actively engaging with our AFP chapter, seeking credentialing and advance education in our field to learn and illustrate the value of this learning we can ensure fundraising and philanthropy continues to benefit future practitioners and beneficiaries of this work.
Join one of our committees, attend one of our events or simply retweet or like one of our social media posts. But please engage with our chapter and our profession. We’ve all benefitted from the fundraisers who came before us and it’s our turn to be those fundraisers now.
If you have ideas or suggestions please always feel free to contact me directly at [email protected]. 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.