23 years later and still a proud member of AFP
Pam Simmons, outgoing Awards & Scholarships chair
High standards, credibility, welcoming colleagues, excellent educational opportunities and career advancement - those are some of the reasons I enjoy being a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals' Manitoba Chapter!
I joined AFP (then called the National Society for Fundraising Executives) in 1996 when it was first formed in Manitoba. That year, I became the founding president of the Chapter. I joined because I was eager to be with like-minded colleagues who understood what I did all day. As well, I wanted to learn more about how I could become a professional in Manitoba.
Increasingly, I have been enriched by my experiences with AFP. The organization helped me broaden my network and offered excellent learning opportunities and volunteer experiences. I became involved again after being out of the country for 12 years and found enjoyment in chairing and serving on several committees. And after 23 years, I am still engaged with AFP Manitoba and now moving on to key volunteer roles in the newly founded AFP Canada organization.
Learning from the best in our profession and how they approach their work inspires me to be a better fundraiser. I can't imagine not being a member of a professional organization that offers so much for me to be my best and importantly, helping me to bring more success to the charities I work with so that they can reach the goals for those they serve.
To fundraisers out there who call themselves professionals and who are not members of AFP, I urge you to become a member and participate with all your heart. Attend educational sessions, obtain your certification designation (CFRE), volunteer on a committee, participate in local, national and international conferences when you can, and share your skills with others. Your membership and involvement counts. That's what I did, and I am proud of it.