I found out back in NOVEMBER that I was going to be able to attend this year’s Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Conference. So I have had to keep reminding myself that – YES, WILLIE! It’s this week. It feels like time has flown this year, and I am super excited to be headed to Vancouver for the conference.
I really want to take a quick second to express my gratitude to my AFP chapter, the Indiana chapter, for choosing me for the Chamberlain scholarship! If it wasn’t for the scholarship, then I would DEFINITELY not be going to this year’s conference. I plan on making the most out of this trip and hope to learn MORE than I can teach (which I don’t think will be very hard haha). Everyone on the review committee, again, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity.
In an effort to make the most out of this trip, I put together 3 goals for the trip up to Vancouver:
1) See Vancouver
This goal just scratches the very surface, but sometimes I try to dig TOO DEEP for goals. It is easy to get caught up in all of the sessions, events and more that go on at a conference (hey that is the entire reason you go right?), but I want to make sure I experience the city. I may not ever have another reason to come to Vancouver.
2) Meet 5 new people
Don’t get me wrong… I am going to meet A LOT of new people! I am already meeting a ton just by following the #afpmeet hashtag. So, the reason I say “five” is because I want to meet 5 new people that I will be able to stay in contact with beyond the conference. It is easy to go through a conference, meet a bunch of people, swap contact info and never take the next step. I want to actually take that next step with at least 5 great fundraisers that I meet this weekend. (if you want to meetup at the conference, shoot me a tweet – @Willie_Matis).
3) Grow as a fundraiser
Okay, so this is a goal that every attendee has (duh, Willie, if you didn’t want to grow as a fundraiser, then why would you go to the conference). Let me explain.. this goal has goals within it. When I think of my interests as a fundraiser, I think about cause marketing and online fundraising. When I think of my strengths as a fundraiser, I think about being able to make new contacts via social media and not being afraid to ask someone to have a meeting. When I think of my weaknesses as a fundraiser, I think of my lack of experience in sending direct mail pieces and lack of experience in developing donor relationships to ask for major gifts.
So – growth as a fundraiser – that means 1) learning about best practices in cause marketing and online fundraising; 2) meeting people who are BETTER at social media and networking than myself; and 3) attending the sessions regarding annual fund programs, making the ask, and donor cultivation.
I think that I just mapped out my time in Vancouver.
If you have kept reading this to the end, then I am glad you were interested in my goals or hope they helped you to find YOUR goals for #afpmeet.
If you are still reading and want to meet for some coffee or a drink before/between/after any sessions, then shoot me a tweet. Even if your tweet just says – “Hey @Willie_Matis! Let’s meet up at #afpmeet“.. I’ll do it. (You could be one of the five people haha).
And, now….. if you are STILL reading, then you may want to subscribe to my blog. I am going to be live blogging throughout the entire conference with lessons learned, things that confuse me, and points that I feel like the speaker got wrong. I may even develop a Canadian blog accent!