AFP Member Spotlight
Alexis Asamoah, Development Manager at Family & Children's Place
I am the Development Manager at Family & Children's Place, a nonprofit whose mission focuses on child abuse prevention and creating families that are healthy and self-sufficient. In my role, I focus on building up our monthly donor program, building relationships with donors, leading our Ambassador program and a bit of community engagement. The role is new, so it's exciting to be able to forge my own path and bring some creativity to my work. I also get to collaborate with the other team members on the Development team, which has been a great experience.
Does your organization have a recent success story related to fundraising? If so, can you describe it?
The most recent success story was how well we did on Give for Good Louisville this year. I started my role about a week before the event, so I wasn't involved in planning, but this was the first year Family & Children's Place made more of a concerted effort. We raised over $22,000, which is significantly more than we've had in previous years of participating. Planning the event is a group effort, so I am excited to see what ideas we can implement for next year now that I am on the team.
What is one thing you wish you would have known when you started your fundraising career?
Communications is a huge part of fundraising. I really enjoy storytelling and writing, but I didn't realize how important it is in fundraising. Fundraising includes giving the 'thank you' and intentionality with donors. It's important to tell the stories of impact instead of always asking for donations. The pandemic gave us an opportunity to be transparent. Services don't just stop because of the pandemic. Connecting donors to how they can make an impact in our work leads them to say, 'Wow, I want to be a part of this.'
Why did you join AFP?
Honestly, for professional development. In the role I had before the one I have now at Family & Children's Place, I didn't know much about fundraising. It has been helpful to gain more knowledge and expertise.
How have you benefited from your AFP membership?
The professional development specifically has been great. I like the webinar topics and I anticipate getting to meet more people with in-person events. I'm learning a lot from the resources AFP provides.
What is one tip you recommend for connecting with donors?
I think always saying thank you, whether it's through email or a phone call or even a personal note, helps connect you with donors. If you get a chance to talk to someone, you should ask, 'Why did you choose to support us?' The more you get to know them, the easier it is to tailor communications. Ask about their other interests and let them know their gift is appreciated. Show the donor you care about them and that it's not just about the money.
Do you have a fundraising-related resource you recommend? If so, what is it?
I subscribe to a bunch of different things. I like the IU Lilly School of Philanthropy podcasts because they're pretty short. The Bloomerang webinars are really good. I subscribe to Next After. It's about digital communications. Asking Matters is good because it talks about the asking style based on your strengths. I subscribe to Julia Campbell. She shares about social media, but I like her podcasts. Rhea Wong has great podcasts, too, especially the ones focusing on diversity and being a person of color in the fundraising world. Pamela Grow is probably my favorite. She talks about her experiences when she first started in fundraising and her emails are personal. Not everyone has a perfect fundraising career. I just try to subscribe to ones that share different aspects of fundraising.
We are highlighting and answering frequently-asked fundraising questions from AFP members. What fundraising-related question is burning in your mind?
Is it always going to be nerve wracking to ask people for money?
Do you have anything you'd like to add?
My favorite part about my role is connecting people with the mission. When you make an ask, some people say 'No' or 'Not now,' but it's important not to take it personally. Sometimes you won't completely get what you want. When you build a relationship, that's the strongest connection. You want people to feel connected to your organization and to know that their contributions are making an impact.
On another note, I also think more young people should get involved with organizations like AFP. I've learned so much from the people I've met and it's a great way to grow as a confident fundraiser.
KY, Greater Louisville Admin