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2016 National Philanthropy Day & #GivingTuesday

“National Philanthropy Day is both an official day and a grassroots movement. Every year, since 1986 when President Ronald Reagan first proclaimed November 15th as National Philanthropy Day, communities across the globe have celebrated by hosting events to recognize activities of donors, volunteers, foundations, leaders, corporations, and others engaged in philanthropy.”

Each year, the Alaska Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals hosts an all-day conference for National Philanthropy Day. The conference offers workshops with a main speaker, usually a seasoned veteran from the national fundraising world, as well as local leaders in the field. Each offers stories, advice and statistical information pertinent to the fundraising profession. Additionally, the Alaska Chapter awards special members of the community who have demonstrated outstanding philanthropy over the past year. Recipients for this year’s awards were Mat-Su Health Foundation as Outstanding Corporation or Foundation in Philanthropy, ABR, Inc. as Outstanding Small Business, Larry & Barbara Cash as Outstanding Philanthropists, Alex Slivka as Outstanding Volunteer, 90% by 2020 Graduation Youth Task Force as Outstanding Youth Group and Wanda Irwin as Outstanding Professional. It is always inspiring to hear the stories of each recipient—what they are passionate about, why they continue to give back, and why they were nominated for their specific award. It’s a reminder to me that philanthropy, giving back, and bettering our community always brings about unity. It was a great intro to the holiday season!

This year the conference took place on November 18th and the keynote speaker was Gail Perry, MBA, CFRE, an international fundraising consultant, speaker, trainer and thought-leader. I was lucky enough to be able to serve on the conference committee this year, which allowed for lots of learning about Gail and her background as well as planning of the event. It was my first time serving on a planning committee as a third party and I was excited to participate in the form of some graphic design! In addition to weekly meetings, I got to create promotional flyers and posters for the event as well as table tents for the post-conference meet up and podium signs for each workshop room. It was a lot of fun and I hope to be included in the planning again next year. It was a wonderful learning experience that I am so grateful for! AFP is a great resource for those in the fundraising community. Not only does it provide the chance to network and catch up each month, but each meeting offers relevant information that allows for continued professional development in Alaska.

It’s never too late to get involved in your community, and what better way start than tomorrow: #GivingTuesday! Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Tomorrow kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Share your own philanthropy on social media tomorrow with the hashtag #GivingTuesday!

“The most useful and influential people in America are those who take the deepest interest in institutions that exist for the purpose of making the world better.”
— Booker T. Washington


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