January 22nd, 2021

Elevating the fundraising position

By Submitted Article on February 21, 2020.

Submitted by The Association of Fundraising Professionals – Southern Alberta Chapter

Most charities in Canada are small, with 91 per cent of charitable organizations employing 10 or fewer full-time staff. These small organizations are contributing to our communities in so many amazing ways and often doing so with less than ideal resources.

When we look at these charitable organizations collectively as a sector, it is quite amazing to see just how large an impact they are making as part of our economy. This sector contributed an estimated $151 billion to Canada’s GDP according to a 2013 study by Johns Hopkins University. This amounts to 8.1 per cent of the Canadian GDP. Further to that point, 1.4 million Canadians, which represents 10 per cent of the national workforce, are employed full-time in the charity sector.

With the share of the economy that the charitable sector occupies, it is vital that fundraising professionals develop themselves and elevate the fundraising profession. After all, charitable organizations and not-for-profits are stewards of donor dollars which requires a high degree of ethics and trust.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has been the standard-bearer for professionalism in fundraising for over 50 years. If you are employed in a fundraising capacity and are not an AFP member, there are many reasons why you should consider adding your name to the ranks of over 30,000 fundraising professionals who are.

Members of AFP serve on local and international committees and work on a variety of issues from building the core body of fundraising knowledge to building the public trust in the philanthropic process. Their commitment not only to the missions they work for but also to the betterment of their communities elevates the status of the fundraising profession.

AFP is committed to lifelong learning and regularly provides educational opportunities designed to increase knowledge and keep up with the newest trends in fundraising. Locally, our AFP chapter provides bursaries and scholarships for conference in Canada and beyond to help our local fundraisers learn from the very best. As well, we organize monthly Lunch and Learn sessions for members on topics such as Navigating Uncertainty, Strategies for Small Shop Fundraising and Ethics in Fundraising.

“When I first started out in fund development at the Canadian Cancer Society, I worked alongside a Major Gifts Officer who was amazing at what she did,” said Ben Kwan, Development Officer at Lethbridge College and local AFP board member. “I knew if I wanted to make a career in this field, I would have to learn to replicate how she fostered relationships, built trust with donors and armed herself with immense knowledge about the mission. She moved onto another organization but the last bit of advice she gave me was to stay close to AFP.”

As fundraising professionals, we have great opportunities to make a lasting impact on organizations, our community, and the profession. We are actively looking for new board members so if you are interested in learning more, visit community.afpnet.org/


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