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A Note from Sara Wise, 2019 AFP-Greater Houston Chapter President

Thursday, January 3, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Join us as we welcome Sara Wise, our President for the 2019 AFP-Greater Houston Chapter. Learn more about Sara's background and vision for the chapter by reading her blog post, "Why AFP?"



A Note from Sara Wise, 2019 AFP-Greater Houston Chapter President


“I fell into it.”


It is the phrase we hear so often from nonprofit fundraisers - especially those of us of a certain “vintage”. Like so many of us, my path to nonprofit fundraising was certainly unconventional, and definitely not intentional at first. While I am ecstatic that many new professionals are finding the nonprofit sector via degree and certificate programs as well as through organized collegiate chapters of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, many of my peers and those before me did not even realize the nonprofit fundraising profession was a career path option.


Like many young professionals, when I started my post-college career, goal number one was to GET. A. JOB. Bills needed to be paid. At that point I was living in Lexington, Kentucky and the biggest employer in town was the University of Kentucky. Hence, my first official job in the nonprofit sector (though I did get some exposure as a student at TCU). It was not a romantic light bulb moment of my “true calling” – not at all. It was a job, and I was thrilled to have it.


With 18 years in my rearview career window now, I can say with absolute certainty that I did not actually “fall into” nonprofit work as if I had no choice, nor did I directly choose the nonprofit world. I would argue that it chose me.


Nothing is better than knowing that every single day I am working to help others and make my community better. Over my career, I have benefited from working for some wonderful organizations across the sector, and it has been an amazing experience to learn from great peers and mentors. Since I started my nonprofit consulting business three years ago, my love for our profession has grown exponentially. Even though I sometimes wake up completely exhausted, the minute I step into a meeting with a client I become energized, focused, and engaged. I love my client and volunteer work and their intersecting worlds – and the fact that I can touch several organizations in different areas and help multiple causes at once is especially exciting. So yes, this profession found me, and I am eternally grateful.


Perhaps I am wrong, but I believe many folks shrug off nonprofit careers as “do-gooder” jobs. Most don’t realize the nonprofit sector is not only a calling, but one that requires professional knowledge, experience, and integrity. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nonprofit sector encompassed 12.3 million jobs in 2016, which is over 10% of the private sector. Nonprofits are an important part of our economy, and even more so, nonprofits play a crucial part in the fabric of our society – we exist to solve important problems, make our communities better, and improve the quality of life in our communities.

And here is where AFP comes in.


Without the Association of Fundraising Professionals, we would not have a framework for our profession. As AFP members, we are part of an international network of professionals who are committed to excellence in our work and bound by our AFP Code of Ethics. It is important to note that our Code of Ethics is enforceable, and as such, we take it very seriously. Ethical fundraising and trained professionals are the key to expanding our sector as demand continues to grow – we need you, and we need you to be excellent.


As such, AFP-GHC has adopted a strategic plan to inspire exceptional fundraisers. I can assure you the 2019 board will take that order seriously as we continue to increase the value of your AFP membership and work to recruit and retain the best possible professionals into our field.


We are so fortunate to work in this noble profession. We make a difference. And we want AFP-GHC to be the ultimate resource for you to grow in your experience, knowledge, and skills.


Join us this year as we grow and reach new heights as a chapter – it will be a great year!

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