Friday, April 24, 2009

Is $400K a fair salary for AFP?

In the three months since seeing Dan Pallotta speak about his book Uncharitable I've been waiting for a reason to blog about it.

Well it would seem today is the day. The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is having to make some tough decisions. See the full article in the The NonProfit Times

When I read that the AFP CEO Paulette Maehara earned around $400K my jaw dropped to the floor. It was a classic supremely "uncharitable moment" and a huge surprise.

It is ironic because just yesterday I had a conversation with someone who was thinking about coming over the "bright side". I told her she could make real money doing good. I even let her borrow my signed copy of Dan Pallota's book.

Dan is on as he describes it and "Al Gore type mission" to level the playing field between the corporate sector and the charitable sector. This is good brain food and I encourage you to spend eight minutes listening to Dan's video below.

He is right. Intellectually it all makes sense. AFP needs a good leader right now and that leader should be compensated well for the challenges she will face. This is what my head tells me. Yet, the do gooder and AFP member in me had a very real and emotional reaction from the heart about how much money we members pay her.

Watch Dan's video and you tell me. Is a $400K salary package fair for an organization like AFP?

Thank you for spending time here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

I intended to write something really inspiring and fantastic about earth day today.

The problem is I'm too busy raising money to plant trees, clean water, educate young people and just generally save the planet.

So....Happy Earth Day.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Twitter...friend or foe?

Hi - I've been "tweeting" this week and was going to write about how odd it is. Was going to ask you if knowing what I'm doing all day added any value to your life at all?

On the upside though it is sort of cool to "chat" with colleagues throughout the day. But I'm not really one for pointless, time wasting chit chat around the coffee machine or water cooler and that really is what Twitter is all about. Or so I thought...

Then this morning I finally had time to follow a link and I found this.

Twestival Drill Day 4 - Well Complete from charity: water in Ethiopia from charity: water on Vimeo.

Something I'm very interested in and dream about doing. This morning because of Twitter I felt like I was a part of it. Wow.

So Twitter gets a reprieve. You can decide for yourself if my life is interesting enough for you. If it is maybe you could come to Canada and we could actually have a conversation over a coffee and make eye contact.

I'll tweet for another week and think about it again. You can follow me if you like(@kimberleycanada).

Oh what the heck....I'll ask anyway. Does following me on twitter or seeing my tweets on this blog add any value to your life at all?

Thank you for spending time here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

There are some things in the UK I just don't understand

One of the things in London that me made take notice is the reminder to pedestrians to look left (or right) before they cross the street. True it is useful and permanent signage to tell visitors that traffic comes at you in the opposite direction. Look right to avoid being hit by a car. Purposeful but odd to a Canadian girl.

Something else that is a little odd to me is Professional Fundraisings most popular fundraiser poll. I noticed this poll briefly in the April online issue but didn't pay much attention because frankly it didn't have anything to do with helping me become a better fundraiser. Then I read Mark Phillips blog and I started thinking...

In the UK there are super fundraising stars called "gurus". We like it when they come to our conferences. We all know who they are and we attend their sessions even if they are the same as the ones we saw last year. We are entertained if not exactly educated.

This guru mentality is most likely being fueled by things like this poll for most "influential fundraiser". Do fundraisers in the UK strive to be included in this list every year? Is that a purposeful thing or does it tempt fundraisers to strive to be popular with other fundraisers at the risk of not doing their job? A little bit like high school isn't it?

Is it important to be considered a guru by your peers? Do gurus do more to make the world a better place than all those other unknown fundraisers?

Like the signage embedded in the pavement this is another thing that seems odd to this Canadian Girl - only it is completely without purpose.

How does this kind of thinking help advance the the charitable sector? I'm not sure it does.

Thank you for spending time here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

You know your board meeting is going to go well when....

You know your board meeting is going to go well when there is a flurry of phone calls from members the day before.

You are not responsible for your organization. The board of trustees is.

You are responsible for giving them the tools and information they need to do their job.

Thank you for spending time here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Calling all closet blog readers!

Blogging is a place where you can learn to write, make connections, have a dialogue, create an international online presence and push boundaries. While this blog may not change the world. I think it is a cool hobby and hopefully some of the content is useful.

Last week at the AFP Conference in New Orleans I ran into someone who I had met at a conference in Holland. He immediately told me that he was reading my blog. How flattering. He then went onto tell me about one post in particular that had travelled the world and been part of extensive discussions. I was surprised by this. I knew it was a provocative post. I wrote it to start a discussion. Apparently this post had travelled the world and yet only one person commented on it publicly. Why is that? I could have been wrong (in fact now I think maybe I was) and would have welcomed the debate.

This week the number of "followers" for this blog grew from six to seven. Every time a new "follower" signs up I smile. Here is the really puzzling thing though as of today 499 people from 39 countries have visited this blog. 70% of those come back again! (Truthfully I have no idea how those stats fit in with other blogs. I could be confessing very poor performance here. Still that is sort of cool.)

Yet only seven followers and fewer comments? So I have a favour to ask: If you end up becoming the 500th person to read this blog I would ask you that you consider becoming a "follower" and perhaps even jump into a debate with a comment or two. If you are a closet reader I want to encourage you to join us here publicly. It would be good to get to know each other better.

I welcome alternative points of view. Expressing them is how we will learn from each other.

Thank you for spending time here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Importance of AFP

I am very fortunate to be at the Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference in New Orleans. Last night I was very lucky to have met Andrew Watt who is the director of programming for AFP. It was a brief encounter. He probably doesn't remember it, however it got me thinking.

I have heard and have contributed to critical comments about conferences:

They are too big.

They are too small

They are too political.

The delegates are passive.

There isn't any food.

It is too expensive.

The list goes on. We all think we could do better than the people actually doing it.

After I met Andrew though I started thinking about how important his job it. Without AFP I wouldn't have a career. Without my career millions of dollars would not have gone into important work. AFP programs have had a profound impact on my life. I guess I just figured that out.

Sidney Potier spoke yesterday about the waiter who taught him - a dishwasher at the time - to read and his regret that he didn't ever get to properly thank this man - whose name he didn't even know. Simply because at the time he didn't realize the profound impact that knowing how to read would have on his life. Today it is my turn to thank AFP for their programs that have given me a fantastic career.

Do you have a influencer that you ought to reach out too and thank for their impact on your life? Do it now - today. Tomorrow will be too late.

Thank you for spending time here.