Dear Colleagues in the Southeast Michigan Philanthropy Community:
Our fundraising and nonprofit community is at the forefront of Southeast Michigan’s response to the novel Coronavirus. We represent health systems, universities, group and nursing homes operators, homeless shelters, first support organizations and social service agencies. Much burden has been placed on our colleagues that we support in our work.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals - Greater Detroit Chapter is working quickly to assist in any way possible.
1. We are converting all appropriate meetings and programs to virtual meetings or webinars.
2. We have reached out to our media partners to ask them to host sites that can share information about changes to scheduled fundraiser and other community events.
3. We will be launching a blog to host discussion and sharing of best practices and other info about how we respond to this situation.
4. We are encouraging AFP Global to shift the upcoming focus from a high cost “virtual registration” to online programs that are low cost and address our immediate concerns.
5. We will be a conduit for sharing of information in both formal and informal ways. This is an evolving situation. Let us know how we can help. I have instructed our staff that this is an unprecedented priority to support our membership.
6. We will increase our role as a resource to media and other partners.
7. We are hosting a Town Hall Forum on the Coronavirus
on Thursday, March 19 at 2:00 PM (EST). This is an opportunity to exchange ideas and perspectives on how to handle this rapidly evolving issue with your fundraising colleagues.
I am not at expert on any of these issues. But I know how much will be expected of our member organizations. You serve and support those on the front line of this challenge. And we must support you effectively.
Finally, I am always personally available at the email and cell phone number below. I am proud to work alongside dedicated people and organizations. We will help however we can, and I hope you will feel free to reach out with ideas.
As this issue develops, I will continue to communicate regularly. Thank you for all you and your colleagues do for our community.
P.S. During this challenging time let’s remember what our profession is about at its simplest - helping our friends, neighbors and community. Whenever possible let’s all pitch in to help our colleagues that might be facing even greater challenges and burdens than our own and find ways to cooperate. I also wanted to share a link to a short article about how some communities have come together in this crisis to help each other. Americans Pull Together
Stephen C. Ragan
Executive Vice President, Hope Network and President, AFP Greater Detroit Chapter