Chapter Zooms to Fill Fundraisers' Connectivity Gap

woman at laptop with screen showing fifteen faces of others in the online meetingNew program responds to AFPSEWI member's expressed need

There was a surprise embedded in the results of the May survey of AFPSEWI members, and the chapter has responded with a new initiative that provides a creative new angle on AFP member benefit.

The May survey examined how members are shifting fundraising practices to cope with the pandemic.  One question asked if AFPSEWI had met members’ expectations for support during this time, and a gratifying 71% of respondents said yes.

However, among those who said they wanted more support, 55% said they felt the greatest gap in “Connectivity with colleagues.”  Similarly, asked how the chapter could better support them, 55% of respondents asked for “informal spaces to talk with fellow fundraisers about current challenges.”  And another 24% selected “virtual happy hours.”

“That was a bit of a surprise,” said Doug Diefenbach, the chapter’s VP of Marketing.  “Few people said they felt a gap in our fundraising education offerings or wanted more COVID-related information. In the current shelter-in-place environment, what they really missed was being able to feel the sense of community they share with other members.”

The AFPSEWI Board responded immediately, launching a new program called “Fundraisers Free For(u)m” – a regular, informal, drop-in video gathering facilitated by a different board member in each session.  In these forty-five minute sessions, AFPSEWI members will experience a free-flowing agenda where they can crowd-source answers to their current issues while gaining insights into how their peers are coping with our shared new normal.

The next bi-weekly Fundraisers Free For(u)m is scheduled for June 24 from 8:00-8:45 a.m. Register here to receive your Zoom link.  Watch the AFP Calendar for upcoming dates.