Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Share Your Insights and Advice!

Today I want to highlight a new project which AFP has recently started that is already showing some great results. We’re calling it the AFP Information Exchange, whereby members and organizations can submit short, practical, how-to pieces, toolkits, samples and policies to share with other fundraisers and charities.

One of the most important benefits of belonging to a professional association is being able to draw on the collective knowledge, experience and wisdom of fellow practitioners. Many of our members now have twenty, thirty or more years of experience in the field and are proven expert s in their particular specialties. Some of them have literally "written the book" on how to raise funds.

A terrific way to access your colleagues’ insights is through our open discussion forums, but that kind of structure is best for shorter questions and advice. The Information Exchange allows for more details and greater depth of knowledge to be shared, but in a format that isn’t too long (documents are 2,000 words or less).

The project is a tremendous way to hear the unique voice of each member and learn what’s working (and what isn’t) in a fundraiser’s own words. The spontaneity, perspective and specialization of each paper are what set these types of documents apart from a short email or a long book or manual.

The papers are available free of charge for members only on the AFP website, and writers get visibility for their submission as we’ll be highlighting the exchange throughout the year. We’ve already received some very good pieces so far, such as this very interesting guide on using social media by ThePort™ Network (we have made this one public as an example, so you don't have to sign in first to see it). I’m looking forward to expanding this area of the website in the near future with a variety of papers on all aspects of fundraising and philanthropy.

We’d love to hear the kinds of advice and tips that only you can provide given your experience and work background. Learn more about the initiative here and the guidelines for submitting a document.

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