The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents more than 30,000 members in 235 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. The association encourages the development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. AFP Ottawa is a diverse community of people who make a life bringing people together to support efforts to create a better community, country and world.
On May 13, 2014 I attended the Association of Fundraising Professional Fundraising Day that was held at The Ottawa Conference and Event Centre. The day consisted of nine workshops all related to the topic of fundraisers and 20+ exhibitors who were eager to chat about what’s new in the industry.
The Highlight of the event for me was listening to inspirational and life-changing keynote speaker, His Excellency The Right Honorable David Johnston
The Governor-General David Johnston talked about one of his passions—giving—alongside another of his passions—education. “Learning, as we know, is a lifelong pursuit, one made all the more important by the work you are doing to improve our communities.” As president of the University of Waterloo and earlier as a Principle of McGill, when it comes to raising money and achieving goals the Governor is no stranger.
He pointed out that during his many travels from coast to coast, he has had numerous opportunities to see the remarkable work being done by volunteers and philanthropists, those who donate time, talent and money to make other peoples lives better. “I have also seen how much more needs to be done. I have seen that reaching a goal takes a concentrated effort, from multiple organizations, from many different people, from those who give a little and those who give a lot.”
The Governor spoke of his new campaign that he launched late last year, aimed at sharing stories of giving in Canada. The idea behind the My Giving Moment initiative is that we all have something to give and when we tell our stories, we help inspire others.”Thousands of Canadians have told their stories and have made contributions, be they, in time, talent or money, on scales large or small. That is what giving moments are all about.”
His Excellency ended his speech by saying “I hope you will keep in mind the importance of the role you play in our society. You know that giving matters, that it can make all the difference in the world. You raise money for a cause, but you also raise the hope of those who benefit from this generosity. How we do this more effectively? that is what you are here to learn. We need to transform the way we think about giving in Canada, redefine giving for the modern age, and create a virtuous circle in which we can all take part in and can all benefit from giving moments.”
Throughout the day I spoke with a variety of people asking them what they do, why they decided to attend this particular workshop and if they could suggest other similar Events that I should attend. Everyone was friendly and eager to talk about what brought them there. Jamie Inring Senor Lead Corporate Development & Philanthropy for The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health and I exchanged contact and have since been in touch via email.
I have always had a heart of a philanthropist and have done my best to help people in need, that is why I decided to attend this event. After hearing the Governor General’s speech and interacting with everyone, including Jamie Inring, it really motivated me and got me thinking. In the future there is a very good possibility I will take the knowledge of social media that I have gained throughout this course and create a virtuous circle in which I can take part in and can benefit from giving moments.
I feel while in a networking environment, you can learn a tremendous amount from others. The power of observation is in full force. I like to think of networking as a focus group. Being aware of what works best for you and what doesn’t. Learn how to improve by observing those around you. Networking is both an art and a science. But in the end – networking should be fun, exciting and a rewarding approach to advancement. The more you network – with a positive outlook – the more you will learn. For these reasons alone, I can see myself attending a similar event again in the future.