Takeaways from #AFPFC in New Orleans


This week’s AFP International Conference in New Orleans (#AFPFC) was full of smart ideas and great learning. That’s our new CEO Mike Geiger above with fellow #AFPeep Alice Ferris and me.

Here’s my annual wrap-up of key takeaways and ideas from the conference.

This is a great time to re-examine your fundraising strategies.

See if you can sharpen up the little things that make such a big difference to your donors- and to your bottom line.

I always love Penelope Burk’s sessions at #AFPFC.

Here are my favorite gems from her presentation (you can see why I love her!):

“Profit in fundraising is the only thing that matters.

“Great thank you letters cause donors to instantly make a gift.

“Your thank you letter is the first step you take in getting another gift.

“Today, 65% of donors are not renewing their gifts.

“New donors are very precious!

“It takes free thinking to be successful; it’s easy to get beaten down in this profession.

“Single biggest driver of donor loyalty is their satisfaction with their donor experience.


I asked my #afpeep friends what their key takeaways were from #AFPFC:

Myrna Medina:  “Do the uncomfortable.

Scott Fortnum: “Proximity is important.

Leah Eustace: “Stories are your superpower.

Mary Frances Colley From the Authentic Leadership Pre-Conference Workshop: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast!”

John McIlquham, of  said there was a change in the exhibit hall:  “More travel, incentive companies, bigger software companies and everything is going digital.”

The exhibitor @FrontStream asked us all to write our stories of how we got into nonprofit work.

Then they turned our stories into pictures. I’m the “would be” ballerina!

If you look at this picture closely, it is incredibly moving to see everyone’s background stories.

Here are some favorite ideas and tweets from #AFPFC: