I’m a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals at about $300 a year. People ask me about it all the time with a kind of “what’s the point?” line of questioning.
Well here’s my take on the perks of belonging to a professional association (pro-ass).
1. It’s a career booster!
If it wasn’t for my 15 minutes of fame on an AFP seminar panel (a potential pro-ass perk), I would never have gotten the go ahead to present at a big fundraising conference in Toronto.
The last job interview I sat in on included the question: “What professional associations are you part of?” Sounds pretty lame when your answer is “none.”
The information I get as a member helps keep me on top of the industry: who’s hiring, what professional development opportunities are coming up and all that valuable carp. My boss is (occasionally) impressed that I stay on the pulse.
2. If you’re at the top of your game, it’s a great way to give back!
Sure, maybe you’ve been fundraising since Jesus wore short pants, but don’t think you’re above it all! Get involved with your pro-ass and start mentoring, presenting, organizing events and building your community.
3. Savings, savings, savings!
Yes, there’s a way to claw back some of that membership fee! The AFP, for example, provides some great pro-ass perks like free mentors, discounts off of seminars and conferences, free monthly webinars, CFRE study groups, and access to scholarships with good odds of winning.
Newbie memberships with the AFP start at $75. So you’re basically LOSING money every minute you’re not a member.
– Siobhan : )
PS. For info on AFP memberships: http://afpvancouver.org/Membership/Become-a-Member.aspx