A Thought – and an Invitation -- from Lisa Breitsprecker

circle of handsMount Mary College VP of Development and  AFPSEWI VP of Membership and Diversity

Hi Everyone.  Can I ask you -- my fellow southeastern Wisconsin fundraising friends – how you’re dealing with the uncharted changes we’re all experiencing at the moment?

My job has always included the opportunity to work away from my campus office.  But in this new “social distancing” environment I am missing contact with people - my colleagues and students - so much.  It’s also more difficult to reach out to AFP colleagues for their expertise and support.  How about you -- are you also experiencing it? 

Even though daily life as we've known it has suddenly changed, our organizations’ missions and the populations we serve need us to be thoughtful, healthy, and creative. More than ever, we all need to be here for each other and share our experience, empathy, and knowledge with our fellow AFP members. 

Luckily, despite “social distancing,” AFP gives us a channel for doing just that: AFP Connect.  That’s the chapter’s online chat space where each of us can crowdsource solutions to any challenge.

Please go there and add to this new conversation I’ve started…namely:

As this emergency unfolds, how are you responding to others in your organization who are saying, "just reschedule it!"?  Whether it be an event, an appeal, a meeting, etc., we fundraisers put so much intentional strategy into planning our work and often don't have the option to "pick it up and replace it here."  My question: how has COVID-19 and the sudden bolt from SOL (standard operating life) impacted your fundraising and stewardship plans for the next two months and what steps are you taking?   

Let’s share our experiences! Personally, I was just beginning outreach and personal solicitations on a mini-campaign initiative. Not huge money but very specifically targeted to our alums. Our spring direct mail appeal was planned to drop next week, following the initial calls to major prospects. And now? Now I'm just calling to see how the alums in my portfolio are faring and giving them some campus updates regarding COVID-19.  Among my many questions: Should I change the copy in our appeal letter to reflect the pandemic or send it as is, without a notion that anything is awry?

Help me answer these questions and ask your own by engaging with your local peers at AFP Connect!


If you have questions about logging in to AFP Connect, contact Erin, our chapter administrator, and she can walk you through.