By Jeremy Wells, MA, CFRE
Minnesota Philanthropy Partners
Immediate Past President, AFP Minnesota
I have always been philanthropic…long before I knew what the term meant. My parents instilled in me, at a very early age, the importance of “giving back” and helping others. I am blessed to be able to support a number of worthy causes. My philanthropy has also taken many forms, from supporting causes to which I had a connection, to giving to organizations I may have never heard of before because a close friend or family member invited me to do so.
Over the years, though, I would say that my giving has become much more strategic. I regularly give good thought to which organizations I will make gifts to, for what purposes, and for what amounts. As I have given more thought to what I choose to support, one organization that has risen to the top of my list is the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
I have had a number of people ask, over the years, why it is that I choose to support the AFP Foundation as opposed to so many other important causes. For me, it is very straightforward. I have been fortunate to have worked my entire career as a fundraiser, and I cannot think of a single organization that is doing more to support the important work of the fundraising profession than AFP, whether that be through local educational or networking opportunities or aggressively working on Capitol Hill in Washington DC to help preserve the charitable tax deduction. I am part of a noble profession, and I believe I need to do everything I can to support those efforts.
Giving to the AFP Foundation, in my mind, creates exponential returns. I certainly can, and do, support a number of worthy nonprofit organizations. I feel very good about these investments as well. But when I support AFP, I believe that I am also investing in equipping professional fundraisers around the world to take that investment and leverage it for greater returns than I could ever have imagined.
Each year, I rank my contribution to the Be the Cause Campaign, through AFP, as one of my top charitable gifts. I feel good knowing that my dollars are used to support both local chapter efforts as well as important work at the national and international levels. I also give of my time to AFP as a volunteer and mentor. For me, the more I have given, the more I have received.
We are all fortunate to work in philanthropy. Let’s not forget that. This year, I would invite you to join me in supporting AFP through the Be the Cause Campaign…whether that be with a $25 gift, a monthly recurring gift, or something more. Know that your dollars will have a positive impact on the profession that we all hold so dear.