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With a few weeks passed since Ottawa Fundraising Day 2019, and my time as President of the AFP Ottawa Chapter soon coming to an end, I couldn’t help but think of all the things I have learned from this role. I have had the pleasure of meeting amazing people, attending wonderful conferences and have watched the chapter grow. But, throughout all of that, three key learnings continue to rise to the top.

1. The value of networking

We have all heard the advice that networking is important for your careers. For some, this is an easy task that comes naturally and, for others – they would rather sit in a dentist chair for hours at a time. But we all know it’s important and something we need to do.

Not only from a local point of view but also on a broader scale, my role has allowed me to make connections with fundraisers across Canada and around the world. This is an incredibly valuable resource for me, the Chapter and my work at Blakely, and I’m able to share much of what I learn from these connections with my clients and colleagues. Having a successful career truly takes a village, and the people you network and build connections with are going to help you get there.

2. The incredible passion of fundraisers

Over the years, I have met some amazing fundraisers, and I am always in awe of each person’s passion and commitment to their job. Their passion stems from many things but, what is truly wonderful is when you have people around you that care deeply about what they do, you can’t help but radiate that yourself. They inspire me each and every day to be a better fundraiser, and I know for a fact they made me a better Chapter President.

3. The importance of volunteering

Truth time: Many of us volunteer or join boards because – well, let’s face it – we get CFRE points. And, although that gets you signed up for the task at hand, as you get more and more involved, you realize the value you are getting out of it goes far beyond that. I have learned valuable leadership skills that I am now able to apply each and every day in my position at Blakely. I have seen fellow board members grow their skills and become leaders, both in AFP and in their professional lives and, at the end of the day – it simply makes you feel good!

I am so thankful for what I have learned over these past two years as President. I can’t wait to see where Ottawa Fundraising Day is headed in the years to come, and I know I am so very lucky to have been part of it this past year.