Happy New Year Apra Greater Houston members!
If you are anything like me, once all my new year celebrations officially end around MLK Day (why celebrate one day when you can celebrate for two weeks), dread about new year resolutions I’ve made begins to creep into my psyche. Some of my personal resolutions include the typical ones such as being healthier and reading more books, but as president of Apra Greater Houston, my personal resolution involves all of you. But before I share 2020 goals, I’d like to celebrate the successes of 2019.
In late 2018 the board held our first (in a long time) retreat meeting in order to plan 2019 programming. Our ambitious goal was to plan an event for every month as well as outline our annual conference goals. In recent history, the chapter’s programming was limited to the annual conference and one or two other events throughout the year, which is not unusual for most chapters around the country.
We sought to increase the number of events as well as bring programming that was relevant to Greater Houston area, which is pretty unique. Houston consists of development organizations big and small; organizations that span from healthcare to zoos; and organizations at varying stages of prospect development sophistication. We largely accomplished this goal, more than doubling the number of events we held in the previous year and increasing the average number of attendees at our events. Our annual conference had the highest number of attendees in the last four years, a number I’m particularly proud of. In addition to these goals, we refreshed our website, and social media pages (please add us if you haven’t already!); absorbed the membership of Apra Central/South Texas; and were highlighted in Apra Connections, Apra International’s online magazine.
We couldn’t have accomplished these goals without our membership, so thank you for joining, renewing and attending our events! A special thanks goes out to every member that has given us feedback and our tireless, volunteer-driven board who has worked hard to schedule our events as well as every presenter that spoke at our meetings. Truly, thank you.
Though it is #newyearnewdecade, my goals for Apra GH remain the same, with a few new challenges.
In addition to continuing the high level of programming and conference attendance of 2019, I would like to empower those in our profession to become better ambassadors for prospect development. My approach to this goal is two-pronged. First, I would like to grow our organization’s outreach to the many universities in the area to introduce the prospect development/fundraising career to the next generation. A commonly shared anecdote amongst many of us is that we “fell” into development. I’d like to help make that career choice more intentional for Generation Z, which by many accounts is supposed to be the most philanthropically savvy generation. Secondly, I would like to encourage YOU to be more involved with Apra. That’s right – you reading this blog right now! If your 2020 goals include professional development, we are the place where you can present, write a blog, join a committee or connect with other members to gain expertise. If you don’t want to do any of those things, but still would like to get involved in other ways, email me. The firstname.lastname@example.org goes to my phone and I check it on a regular basis.
Finally, if the way you would like to grow your professional development is simply by showing up, please do so. Our next events that are currently scheduled are on February 26th, March 24th and our annual conference on May 28th, so mark your calendars! I look forward to seeing you there!
Brittani Williams, President