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Is There a Secret Reason AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) Is Hating On Donors?

NANOE Association of Fundraising Professionals Jimmy LaRose Sexual Harrassment

Association of Fundraising Professionals is selling snake-oil again. Except this time their new product line includes accusations against donors, philanthropists, corporate execs and foundation execs of sexual misconduct. IT BOGGLES THE MIND. Can you believe it, or am I the only one that’s flabbergasted?

THE ASSOCIATION OF FUNDRAISING PROFESSIONALS HAS NOW RESORTED TO DEMONIZING DONORS. Their so-called “enlightened” response to Chronicle of Philanthropy’s unsubstantiated, non-empirical, survey-monkey type #METOO questionnaire (bereft of a clinical sample) is being used by AFP to slander donors everywhere.

Here’s what they say their “sexual misconduct survey” revealed:

1. 65 percent of the sexual predators within the nonprofit workplace are donors.

2. The median number of sexual harassment occurrences personally experienced by survey respondents is three.

3. Harassment is always about power, indicating that the real power in these organizations rests with donors.

Mike Geiger, AFP’s President, says he’s “alarmed” and comments, “The number of cases involving donors is eye-opening and points to a unique and very troubling situation within the profession. As we look at how to proceed with the data from the survey and begin developing anti-harassment education and training for fundraisers and others in the charitable sector, we will have a special focus on the all-important donor-fundraiser relationship.”

AFP is keeping a secret from you. What they don’t want you to know is that this sensationalized rubbish exists to MAKE AFP MORE MONEY.

Let me share with you what’s really going on here.

AFP has a long history of passing down useless “rules and regulations” THAT DO NOTHING TO HELP NONPROFIT’S RAISE MONEY.  The pleasure AFP leaders derive from creating rules, regulations, ethics, codes and policies is as creepy as sexual harassment itself. In response to the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s “poll” AFP’s IDEA Committee ((Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) has just announced another set of provisions they’re going to burden you with after they determine the proper answers to the following questions:

1. When dining out with a prospect or donor, who should pick-up the check?

2. Where is it appropriate to meet with a prospect or donor?

3. When should more than one person from the organization meet with a prospect or donor at the same time?

4. What prospect or donor behaviors should not be tolerated?

5. How should misbehavior be treated in the moment and following an incident?


Fundraisers, both men and women alike, can be trusted to make decisions that protect donors, themselves and the organizations they serve. NO THANKS MIKE GEIGER. Take your snake oil somewhere else.

Jimmy LaRose Association of Fundraising Professionals Sexual Harassment

All of this blather came to a head at AFP’s International Conference in New Orleans. Here’s the number one complaint participants shared after attending their annual event:

“I didn’t learn anything about fundraising!”

I’m reminded of Louis Fawcett, President of National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives, who recently shared, “idealistic conversations about the way the world should be are luxuries entertained by those who want to avoid the world as it really is. The longer we chatter away about nothing, the longer the children and families who need our help suffer.” (VISIT HERE for entire article)

Why all the rules and regulations? The answer’s easy. AFP has nothing else to offer. It begs the questions, “ARE ETHICAL CODES IMPORTANT?” The simple answer is, “of course ethical codes are important BUT if you don’t have any money HOW IMPORTANT ARE THEY?” Last year I revealed in a short tweet the truth about how disinterested AFP members are in AFP Headquarter’s obsession with rules and regulations. Jimmy LaRose Association of Fundraising Professionals Ethical Codes

Local AFP chapters have resorted to passing out AFP’s ETHICAL CODES at their Annual Christmas Parties in order to maintain their charters. IT’S PURE FOOLISHNESS.

For those philanthropists who are as startled as I am by AFP’s obsession let me provide you a healthier view of nonprofit management that will ensure the success and sustainability of the nonprofits in whom you invest. My perspectives are based on an axiom which always bring a charity across the financial finish line. It goes something like this:

“Money is more important than mission. Donors are more important than clients, causes or people.”

Here’s what AFP has forgotten. Fundraising is never about a charity’s need to receive but rather about a donor’s need to give. Furthermore, giving isn’t easy. It’s hard work and requires a tremendous amount of stewardship. Don’t forget the ancient philosopher who said,

“To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power.
But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when, and for
what purpose, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter.”
~Aristotle 360 B.C.

Shame on Association of Fundraising Professionals for using a self-serving hogwash survey to generate more rules at the expense of the generous donors who make our missions possible.

I apologize to my personal friends and family for the actions of Association of Fundraising Professionals’ board, staff and administration. Their behavior towards you will not be tolerated.

Sincerely Yours,

Jimmy LaRose

Co-Founder, National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives

Jimmy LaRose’s passion for “people who give” has inspired philanthropists around the world to change the way they invest in nonprofits. His belief that donors are uniquely positioned to give charities what they truly need – leadership rather than money – is the basis for his work with individuals, governments, corporations and foundations, in the U.S., Europe, Asia & Middle East. Jimmy, in his role as author, speaker, corporate CEO & nonprofit CEO champions all of civil society’s vital causes by facilitating acts of benevolence that bring healing to humanity and advance our common good. Now, in his twenty-seventh year of service, his message that “money is more important than mission” and “donors are more important than people or causes” has resonated with policy institute scholars, social activists, doctoral students, business leaders who rely on him and his team of veterans to meaningfully grow their charitable enterprise. He’s the author of RE-IMAGINING PHILANTHROPY: Charities Need Your Mind More Than Your Money™ written to philanthropists who give nonprofits what they really need…business models that grow capacity and achieve financial sustainability.

Jimmy LaRose has served as a specialist with the U.S. State Department’s Speakers Bureau traveling the world working with embassies, foreign governments, and leaders to promote philanthropy and civil society in developing countries. He was the founding President of the Western Maryland Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and is a graduate of AFP’s Faculty Training Academy (FTA). He is a graduate of Indiana University’s Executive Leadership Program, Indianapolis, IN, the National Planned Giving Institute, Memphis, TN, Tennessee Temple University, Chattanooga, TN and Word of Life Bible Institute, Schroon Lake, NY. Rev. LaRose was ordained as minister of the gospel by the Ecumenical Church of Christ in further support of his service to the hurting and hopeless around the world. He and his beautiful wife Kristi are citizens of the Palmetto State where they make their home in Lexington, South Carolina.

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1 Comment

  1. Constance Carter says:

    I love this article! It’s about time that someone publically called out AFP for the pompous, rigid, money making rip off it truly is. The only thing AFP does is make rules and try to recruit card-carrying members who will embrace them and think they’re important.
    Bravo, Jimmy!

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