As the midpoint in the calendar year approaches, it’s a good time to think about what you’ve learned in 2018. The fundraising field is always changing, and you will want to be sure that you and your team of development professionals are keeping up with those changes through new learning experiences.
The opportunities for continuing professional education are many. The ambitious will enroll in a graduate program or get started on a degree with an academic course. But there are many other ways to learn. If you have not already done so, join a professional organization, such as the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), which has both a national organization and a local Chicago chapter. Attend a professional development seminar offered by many different providers. Participate in a webinar offered by your software provider or an allied organization. Or simply catch up on your reading, choosing from among the many journals and publications that reflect best current practices in fundraising.
The benefits of continuing learning are many. Of course you will get some new ideas that you still have time to implement in 2018. It is likely that you will form some new relationships, which will broaden your network of people you can call on to encourage your continuing development in the profession. You will identify new resources to help you get the job done. Perhaps most importantly, you will find renewed energy and spirit to accomplish your goals this year and beyond.
As fundraisers, most of us are good at caring for the well being of our non-profit organization. We work tirelessly toward their growth, development, and effectiveness. But many of us neglect to attend to our own professional growth, development and effectiveness. When doing so, it is not good for us, nor is it in the end good for our organization. Use this midpoint of the calendar year to renew your commitment to the continuing learning of you and your development staff.
By Steven Murphy, Ed.D., Senior Advisor, HUB Philanthropic Solutions