We really started things off with a WAM here at the Abila User and Developer Conference, AUDC 2016!


One of the first sessions yesterday was presented by Michael Delzotti, Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Board Member and Chair of the AFP Political Action Committee.

Mike covered a lot of ground in his presentation titled, “What Tomorrow May Bring,” including a deep dive into giving trends and their potential implications, industry trends, and the importance of advocating for our industry. He saved the best for last, though, wrapping up his talk with WAM! – The “World According to Mike.”

Here are three pieces of advice (according to Mike) for nonprofit professionals:

1. Let’s Stop Apologizing for the Cost to Raise a Dollar
In the for-profit world they call investment in management “leadership.” In the nonprofit world, we call it “overhead.” And, this is really our fault. We started this conversation by telling donors, “Every dollar you give goes towards helping save a life; none of it is wasted.” Now we’re suffering, and we need to start pushing back. Truth trumps myths about overhead. Be transparent. I’m not sure, for example, why every nonprofit doesn’t post its audited financial statements on its website.

2. Donors Want Philanthropy, Not Fundraising
We need to view our field in a more global way; realize the power of our industry and what we do. And, it’s our job to provide meaning to our donors, to connect people with important causes. Our donors’ philanthropy represents their aspirations, their values, even how they want to be remembered.

3. Practice to the Limits of Your License
I’m amazed at how little continuing education we do. Our field and our careers are so dynamic – things are changing all around us, whether we like it or not. We need to stay on the edge of what’s happening, advance ourselves, maximize what we’re doing. Our work is to improve the human condition. People are relying on us. Our donors and those we serve deserve the best – we owe it to them to practice to the limits of our license.

About Michael Delzotti
Michael Delzotti, CFRE, CSPG, is the President and CEO of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation. Prior to that he was at the world-renowned and number one-ranked University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he served as senior director of philanthropic resources. He serves as a Board Member of AFP International and Chair of the AFP Political Action Committee (PAC).