Though the current economy poses a challenge to fundraising professionals, the Quad-Cities often steps up in tough times, a local leader says.
“Right now, we don't have a level of concern,” said Margaret Lewis, president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Quad-Cities chapter (AFP-QC).
As chief operating officer of United Way of the Quad Cities Area, Ms. Lewis is in the middle of United Way's annual campaign, which aims to raise $9.9 million by the end of December.
“All signs are pointing toward that we're going to have a very successful year,” she said. “We know the needs are great in the Quad-Cities. The needs are growing, and major companies that completed giving have had increases in support.”
Though many local people are hurting financially, those that are more secure feel an obligation to address that economic crisis, Ms. Lewis said.
“There's a lot of people that are very blessed with great jobs, where people are not having to decide whether to put gas in the car or buy food,” she said. “I think they feel it's more important to give when needs are great.“As organizations are trying to fundraise, we just continue to talk about the needs in our community, asking people to step up to help those that are less fortunate, as someone who cares about the community,” Ms. Lewis said. “We don't have results that people aren't giving because of the economy.
“We need to continue to ask people to step up,” she said. “The needs in our community are great, and people should give at whatever level is appropriate.”
“Donors have a lot on their minds these days as they sit down with their personal budgets,” Paulette Maehara, national AFP president, said on the AFP Web site. “But despite the headlines about Wall Street and the financial markets, we as fundraisers should not lose sight of the fact that giving is a way for communities to pull together.”
In what will likely be an uphill battle, fundraisers in the final months of 2008 say they are not making drastic changes, but rather going back to basics and focusing on need, AFP says.
The AFP represents 26,000 fundraisers in more than 170 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education, and certification programs.
The purpose of National Philanthropy Day (and Wednesday's ceremony at Moline's i wireless Center) is to recognize the contributions of philanthropy -- and those people active in the philanthropic community -- that enrich the world and the Quad-Cities in particular.
The keynote speaker for the luncheon event in Moline is Frances Emerson, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Global Brand Management of Deere & Company.
To buy tickets for the luncheon, please contact Kellie Esters at (563) 332-0234. The AFP-QC website is www.afpquadcities.com.
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