So another AFP Congress is closing up You went to sessions, nuggets of wisdom Maybe an afterparty, connections made Had a pace-buddy? Bonded with a crew? Close the deal my friend – my humble suggestions:
1) EMAIL – Every card you picked up. Don’t lose even the lightest connections made. You never know when you’ll need their help or when they can help you!
2) Write a card. Handwritten yes!! The internet has killed civility! Bring it back by picking up a blank card, writing a note about the impact this person had on you, what you learned from them ( speaker at a session, someone you had a great conversation with, someone who taught you something ) and throw in a business card ( yes, even if you already gave them one )
3) Do the social media thing. Notice, this is #3. Yes I’m the LinkedIn enthusiast and I’m telling you DON’T send connection requests to everyone you met – do you go steady before the first date? Spend some time before you write their name in ink in your digital-addressbook. DO follow them on Twitter though! It’s the passive non-intrusive networking tool so follow everyone you met!
4) MAKE a meeting – connect some how. That thing on your desk that makes noise now and then? It’s a phone, call someone in town and if they’re out of town ask them when they’ll be in town. If you met someone who rocked your Congress off – make a meeting happen. Keep the learning going. And lastly – Action! Go over your notes in max 1 hour Triage on Post-It notes: Ideas for you, for others, for 2012 Put them out of sight but in your path when you return I know, lots of digging out to do, it’s year-end after all.
I had an absolute blast being on the Twitter team and am grateful to the Congress team for their welcoming dynamic attitude.
My tips for what to include in your 45 seconds: – Who you are, name of your company – What you do, 20 seconds MAX! – What your ideal client referral looks like – What problem you solve, how you can help others- A story of what good business looks like for you – Humour
– Close with repetition of who you are, company name
You changed my life when we first met. You have helped so many, you give so much. I respect you, I want to be with you and now, we can be together. AFP Congress, you had me at hello.
In 2000 I got a job in fundraising but it was my first Congress in 2001 when I knew this would be my career.
Like so many fundraisers, at work, I was a leper, an ambulance chaser the person sent after little old ladies for bequests A necessary evil
And I show up to this huge conference, full of peers it wasn’t just about the learning, but there was much to learn it was about the vendors, information sharing, networking
Here, people knew my worth and value I am a bit of a romantic and I love the changing of the seasons. That first day when I left Congress I walked up University Ave. The sky opened up, and the first snow fell And I was transformed, in a phone booth
I wrote my personal mission statement scribbled it in that booth, it serves me to this day. Since then I went back a few more times learned so much, made so many connections but then, something changed. You see, like event, telephone and direct mail fundraisers I am a specialist, a gift planner
We are served skillfully by the Canadian Association of Gift Planners who embraces charity staff and financial/legal advisors alike So for a number of years I could only be a member of CAGP I got to a few AFP sessions but not many I missed that big picture, the community spirit, the professional diversity and networking big picture I needed to get back So in 2004 I snuck into Congress as a woman! Sorry, no cross-dressing involved – the huge org I worked for let 15+ of us share a registration, we had to hand off the nametag to each other on breaks A wonderful peer named Alexandra, (code name Alex) handed me a nametag in the washroom area and I was back in!!
The glory and pageantry of the awards luncheon! The engaging and dynamic exhibitors! Jaded vets and doe-eyed newbies all networking, solving problems It was like a spa-day for your professional soul Screw chicken soup- Congress is what the doctor really ordered. Since then, the investment of many mentors and my passion for planned giving has allowed me to attend as a speaker a few times. A supporter and at times fan. At times groupie, I’ve crashed the party for the past couple years
To bring new members into the fold to promote Canada’s largest fundraising conference and the wonderful book booth too few people visit
This year, AFP has asked me to participate in a number of ways speaking at sessions and helping with networking programs. My current employer agrees as I do – Canadian philanthropy is better because of AFP we need to cultivate and grow membership and the network so I am again, for the first time in almost seven years A proud member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals!
Although, I’m no longer a “fundraiser” on paper I am still a charitable gift planner I will always be a fan, a groupie, permission or not, because of my debt to repay
So I won’t be at the whole conference but I’ll be there Monday night to network run a book booth tour and to contribute to the evening dinner dine-around
Ps. This is not meant to be smart or witty I’m not a fundraising superstar, a leader or big name I’m just some dork who loves what we do, believes it’s awesome THIS is how Congress makes me feel, about us, about our profession and what we do