This year’s annual AFP Icon conference was virtual – and for many it offered a much appreciated break from their day-to-day work. For others, the realities of our current fundraising environment prevented them from logging-on and taking in the sessions.
Good news, whether you attended a few sessions, all of the sessions, or none of the sessions, our very own Whitney Norman, VP Client Solutions sits down and shares her takeaways from this year’s event.
Q: Whitney, what stood out about the opening Keynote from Heather McGhee?
A: So many things, but I wrote down this quote as she spoke and have found myself reflecting on it often in the days that followed:
“To win, we can’t do it alone. What we are here to do is to create a higher possibility of living. And that is something we can only do together.” - Heather McGhee
I think it highlights one of the most important skills we strengthened during Covid as organizations, corporations, and communities came together and serves as a reminder of the impact we can have when we embrace collaboration.
Q: How about the closing remarks from Wes Moore?
A: Wow, what a note to end on. Wes is a transformational leader and listening to him was truly inspiring. I wrote down a lot of what he said but this is the quote I think resonated the most – no explanation or context needed:
“When it’s time for you to leave [here], make sure it mattered that you were ever even here… While we’re here let’s do something with it – lets push, activate, advocate, love, fight, engage, alter business models, answer that voice, and end that challenge. Let’s be great and let’s be bold.
- Wes Moore
Q: Before we dive into your top ten takeaways, did you observe any themes throughout the sessions?
A: Yes, lots of great content and three themes that seemed to be consistent throughout:
Q: OK, now let’s reveal your list. Which takeaways did you find most interesting?
A: Let me just say, it was hard to narrow down the list, but I’m excited to share the following 10 takeaways (in no particular order). For each, I’ve shared a question to help bring the insights to life for organizations:
Q: What does thriving look like at our org?
Q: How can we make sure the right people are at the table?
Q: Can we be more intentional to ensure we are seeing each other accurately?
Q: What are new ways we can invite our donors on a journey to discover their role?
Q: Are we infusing compassion, creativity, and courage into each of our initiatives?
Q: Are we focusing on an area we believe has growth potential and do we stand behind the goal and timeline?
Q: Are we creating a seamless online giving experience and tracking abandonment on giving and thank you pages?
Q: Have we trained and equipped every member of the team to be a story-getter?
Q: As leaders are we inclusive in our language, collaborative in our goal setting, and clear in the values we appreciate among our team?
Q: What role are we going to play in building a multicultural coalition – in our orgs, for our donors and through our missions?
Q: This is great Whitney, thank you for sharing these takeaways! If someone has more questions about these takeaways, AFP Icon, or how Pursuant is helping organizations with their fundraising and marketing needs, what should they do?