AFP is More Than Membership

For some its a lifeline

image if life guard ring buoy being cast outI’m going to be perfectly honest with you. When I saw how many AFP members we lost in the last year, it made me sad.

For the last year, many of us have been struggling with the day-to-day.  I keep seeing the memes I shared on social media when this all started.  “Check on your extroverted friends.  We are not okay.”  “I’m sorry for what I will say after being stuck in the house for two weeks.”  If you had told me a year later that I’d still only be seeing family, friends, and coworkers through a computer screen I would have laughed at you.

As someone who thrives on connecting with others, the last year has been tough. But for me, my AFP membership has been a lifeline in many ways. I have loved participating in special interest groups, have taken advantage of many free and reduced-cost professional development programs, and took the opportunity during this weird season of life to finally sit for my CFRE exam, something I never could have completed if it weren’t for the many resources available to AFP members.

If you have renewed your AFP membership in the last year, thank you!  Your dues help us continue operating as a successful chapter and providing high-quality programming.  If you aren’t sure if you’ve renewed, you aren’t alone… we know a lot of people missed their renewal notices this year!  In fact, the number one reason we’ve heard for people not renewing is that they didn’t realize they had lapsed. Mail might be going to the office while you are working from home. AFP renewals emails have been going to spam. If you don’t remember renewing your membership in the last year, double-check with us!  We’ll let you know if you’re active or lapsed and walk you through how to renew.

If you know your membership has lapsed but you are still reading this, I want to talk with you.  I know there are many reasons why someone would choose not to renew their membership right now. But I think when we are up against such large challenges, it’s more important than ever to cling to the wisdom of our colleagues, lean on our professional network, and think about our work in new ways.

Aside from not realizing their membership has lapsed, we’ve heard two big reasons why people have not renewed their AFP memberships in the last year that I wish to address.

AFP membership is expensive.

We hear that and want to acknowledge how many organizations and families tightened their budgets this year. Please continue attending programming when you can! Our chapter wishes to remain a resource for fundraising professionals and will continue to provide complimentary networking opportunities, via Zoom, and reduced rate educational activities.

When you are once again financially able to renew we encourage you to do so. We do not want you to miss the offerings that membership provides. When renewing your membership, explore the different membership types to make sure you were getting the best value all along.  Do you work for a small nonprofit or are you just starting out in your career?  You might be eligible for a reduced-cost membership.

I haven’t seen enough value from my AFP membership.
As I mentioned, AFP has been a lifeline for me this year. We’ve actually increased the number of programs we’re offering, have expanded our special interest groups to reach more people in small group settings, and continue to offer high-quality programming virtually. It’s been wonderful to just pop onto an AFP meeting without the hassle of having to drive out of my way, pay for parking, navigate a building I’m not familiar with, etc. Before you decide that you aren’t getting enough from your membership to consider renewing, ask yourself if you’ve tried all of the options available to you. 

If you want to learn more about how to maximize your membership, just ask! Our membership committee would be happy to talk with you about ways you can get more involved with the chapter.

Submitted by Rikki Harry on behalf of the Membership Committee