National Philanthropy Day: Make Dreams of Donors, Volunteers Come True (Part 1)
Every year, each chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals celebrates National Philanthropy Day in the fall. On Wednesday, I attended the 28th Annual National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon for the AFP Greater Philadelphia Chapter, where a distinguished group of fundraisers were honored. You can view the award honorees here.
The luncheon itself was wonderful, celebrating some of the most generous and hardworking philanthropists and fundraisers in the field for all the great work they do, but it was the educational panel beforehand that was really intriguing. Moderated by AFP-GPC Board Chair Jaime L. Howard, president of Jaime L. Howard LLC, the panel discussion included three prominent members of the Philadelphia philanthropy community: David Auten, former president of the Union League of Philadelphia and the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award winner; Liz Rizor, president of the Board of Associates of Fox Chase Cancer Center and a winner of the 2012 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraising Group award; and ACFRE Robbe Healey, a member of the International Board of Directors of the AFP and past chair, as well as the 2013 Barbara Marion Award for Outstanding Leadership to AFP winner.
With Howard steering the discussion, all three panelists stressed the importance of making the dreams of donors and volunteers come true when fundraising. Really, that's the only thing that matters — not your needs or your definitions or your wishes.
Here are some of the poignant points shared during the National Philanthropy Day educational panel:
"[With the Buffett/Gates Giving Pledge] there's a debate on whether to let the billionaires decide who gets the money or to get a group to go ask them for money. It's a real opportunity to get real dollars."
"With volunteers and donors, ask for advice, not just money."
"If you want someone to evolve in the organization, first make sure to get names right, as well as dietary preferences if meals are involved, and talk to volunteers about their family, their hopes, what they're doing. Some people call that cultivation. Really, it's just being genuine and making a friend with the prospect."