What We Learned (And Left) in San Francisco: The 2017 AFP International Conference
May 11, 2017
If you missed the 2017 AFP International Fundraising Conference in San Francisco, you missed a lot! But we’re here to show you the highlights of the best, busiest three days of fundraising education, networking and inspiration you can find anywhere in the world.
- Read AFP Interim President & CEO Jason Lee's blog post on the conference!
- Watch the welcome video from the Opening General Session here!
- Watch the inspiring acceptance speech by Archer Hadley, the CARTER Outstanding Youth Philanthropist.
- Watch our compilation video of highlights from San Francisco!
Twitter Before the Conference
Of course, you may have followed some of the conference proceedings on Twitter, and it all started even before the conference:
Well said, Janea!
Also before the conference, AFP honored Dr. Lilya Wagner at our board meeting with the AFP/Skystone Partners Prize for Research on Fundraising and Philanthropy for her book, Diversity and Philanthropy: Expanding the Circle of Giving. She becomes the first author to receive the award twice, having already been honored for her earlier work, Careers in Fundraising.
Sunday featured the grand opening of the marketplace and the Sunday General Session, headlined by speaker Shiza Shahid. During the session, AFP also honored its first class of Distinguished Fellows, its Outstanding Young Professionals and its youth honorees for the Diversity Art Showcase.
AFP’s first class of Distinguished Professionals: David Tinker, CFRE; Grant Martin, CFRE; Barbara Levy, ACFRE; Kay Sprinkel Grace, MA, BA; Richard Paul Bragga, CFRE, JD, FAHP, ABC, APR; and Patricia Bjorhovde, MAPD
AFP’s 2017 Outstanding Young Professionals: Leah Heister, MA; Kayleigh Rae Stampfler, CFRE; Cherrelle Duncan, MPSA; Jessica Wroblewski, CFRE; and Nicholas Kulik, CFRE
Sharon Tiknis, Executive Vice President, The ALFORD Group; Haven Hibser, Third Place; Lynn Yaguchi, Second Place; Jake McRae, First Place; Karen Rotko-Wynn, CFRE, Executive Vice President, The ALFORD Group; and Birgit Smith Burton, Chair, AFP Inclusion and Diversity Committee
The NonProfit Times covered Shiza’s remarks here, which set a high bar for the rest of the conference.
Ann Hale, CFRE, Chair, AFP; and Shiza Shahid
We’re so glad Shiza had a good time!
Sunday also featured the presentation of the AFP Awards for Outstanding Fundraising Professional (Barb Coury, CFRE, Indianapolis, Ind.), Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser (Salah Bachir, Toronto, Ont.) and CARTER Outstanding Youth Philanthropist (Archer Hadley, Austin, Texas). You’ll see Archer in our compilation video above, and he wowed the crowd with his comments.
Barb Coury, CFRE, Regional Chief Development Officer, State of Indiana, American Red Cross, 2017 CCS Outstanding Fundraising Professional
Salah Bachir, Toronto, Ontario, 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser
Archer Hadley, Austin, Texas, 2017 CARTER Outstanding Youth Philanthropist
During the conference, Blackbaud—the presenting conference sponsor—offered a matching challenge to the AFP Foundations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Blackbaud donated $10 when members gave to any of the three AFP Foundations—up to $5,000—whether in-person, or online. The result? Almost $40,000 in gifts to the three foundations supporting the BE The CAUSE Campaign (U.S.) and the Every Member Campaign (Canada and Mexico). The Foundations also raised thousands more dollars for Chamberlain Scholarships, Diversity Scholarships and other important programs.
Many thanks to everyone who supported the AFP Foundations during the three days of the conference, and to Blackbaud for their support of the Foundations and the conference!
Education and Takeaway
Of course, a critical part of any conference is what you learned and can take away to use at your organization’s fundraising program. Here’s one participant’s take on the conference, and here’s another from a participant from Turin, Italy (you might need your browser to translate).
With over 100 sessions, there was a lot to take in. Here are just a few tweets about education and key points from the conference:
Tuesday with Cleve Jones
Tuesday featured more educational sessions, along with the Closing General Session featuring a panel about public policy and keynote speaker, Cleve Jones.
Emmett Carson, CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation; Leah Eustace, chair of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy-Canada; and Peter Lewis, CEO of the Institute of Fundraising in the UK joined AFP President and CEO Jason Lee for a short panel about public policy.
Jason Lee, President and CEO, AFP; Peter Lewis, CEO, Institute of Fundraising; Leah Eustace, ACFRE, Chair, AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada; and Emmett Carson, CEO, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
While the U.S. is facing its own challenges related to budget cuts and potential limitations on the charitable deduction, Canada and the UK are facing their own unique issues as well.
The panel closed with a call to action to all conference attendees and charities to get more involved in public policy.
We also honored the Outstanding Philanthropists (Alan Siegel and the Thompson Family), Outstanding Corporation (Nationwide), and the Outstanding Foundation (The Rotary Foundation).
Alan Siegel, New York, N.Y., 2017 Outstanding Philanthropist
Karen Blickley, Vice President, Nationwide Foundation, Columbus, Ohio, 2017 Outstanding Corporation
Paul Netzel, Chair, The Rotary Foundation; and Eric Schmelling, Chief Development Officer, The Rotary Foundation, Evanston, Ill.
Then came Cleve Jones.
Perhaps Ian says it best:
And then before you knew it, it was time to go.
If you’re as excited about New Orleans 2018 as Lisa is, you can register by May 19 and the super, super, super (okay, just one super) early bird rate, $599.
And to end our conference with love:
You’re welcome, Jen. We feel the same way! Many thanks to all of our sponsors and volunteers, and to everyone who attended!