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February 2019 Chapter President's Update

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Greetings AFP WNY community!
 With one full month in the books for 2019, your regional chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals is busy at work to provide you with enhanced value as you navigate your fundraising efforts. As I enter my second year as chapter President, I am more excited than ever about our direction. You may recall, at the start of last year, I indicated FIVE strategic priorities for the chapter: (1) grow membership through individualized contacts, (2) establish stronger marketing tools, (3) launch a diversity initiative, (4) implement a board dashboard, and (5) examine opportunities to expand influence throughout our WNY service area.

I’m happy to share, 2018 was a resounding success. Membership peaked at 203 (up incrementally from 179 three years ago)! Membership retention increased 7.85%. We are up to 17 Certified Fundraising Executives in our region thanks to the launch of our CFRE review program. Professional development luncheons saw nearly 50 attendees on average. We received more job postings and sold more flex passes. We gave away 10 young professional member scholarships and the mentorship program is thriving. Conference call capability for all committee and board meetings resulted in increased participation, enticing member engagement in the further reaches of Western New York. Finally, the I.D.E.A. Committee (inclusivity, diversity, equity, access) is busily assessing the chapter and region and will deliver a recommended strategy to the board by year’s end. I couldn’t be more proud to work with all of you!

So what can you expect in 2019?


  • The NEW WNY CHAPTER WEBSITE is up and running. It contains PHENOMENAL resources including local and national events, a chapter member search directory, and information on all our programs. Want to be a mentor or mentee? Interested in a scholarship to attend AFP ICON? Looking for ways to recognize volunteers and donors? You’ll find it all. Check us out here

  • Our NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS took office January 1st. We focused on a slate that included enhanced diversity. We were thrilled to add two new board members representing the Southern Tier region. View the full board member list here. Interested in future board membership? Join a chapter committee and express your interest. We are eager to engage professionals at all levels of their career.

  • The AFP WNY Annual Networking and Fundraising Conference is June 12, 2019! This is one of the community’s favorite and most AFFORDABLE one-day events. Held in the Buffalo area, the day will include opening and closing keynotes, breakout sessions, a vendor area, lunch, and more. Registration opens soon, so watch for updates.

  • THIS JUST IN: Our June conference keynote speaker is Lori L. Jacobwith, a nationally-renowned master storyteller and fundraising culture change expert. Just Google her! Lori is truly one of our nation’s top fundraising gurus. You won’t want to miss it.

  • Every November, we host the annual National Philanthropy Day LuncheonHundreds of WNY leaders and donors come together to celebrate the wonderful work we do in the non-profit sector. Keep an eye out for a save-the-date and begin thinking about donors, volunteers, and staff you may want to nominate for an award.

  • We look forwarding to recognizing even more chapter members as they earn their Certified Fundraising Executive credential (CFRE). During the second half of 2018, WNY chapter members Melanie Jaskolka and Lyndsey Frigm joined the ranks, each earning their CFRE. Interested in the CFRE credential? Click here to learn more about CFRE and click here to contact our chapter manager for information about our chapter's free review course.

  • We look forward to welcoming even more new members in 2019. During the second half of 2018, we welcomed more than 50 new members to the Western New York Chapter. View the full list here.

Last but not least, don’t forget, you’re not just a member of AFP WNY. You are a member of AFP International. That means you can login at and access a huge library of forms, spreadsheets, job descriptions, and sample documents necessary for fundraising success. The Hot Topics section alone contains everything you need to know about annual funds, benchmarking, campaigns, building a case for support, and 24 other areas of focus.

With all these tools available, we hope that 2019 proves to be your BEST YEAR YET!