The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) southeastern Wisconsin chapter will welcome AFP President and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Watt to Milwaukee on March 21 to speak to fundraisers about emerging trends in charitable giving and the future of philanthropy.
“Giving and philanthropy are in a challenging time right now,” Watt said. “The recession of 2008 and 2009 significantly impacted giving and how people give. It’s going to take time for giving to recover back to previous levels. People are unsure – about their jobs, the economy, the sequester, what the future will hold. And that’s understandable.”
Still, people continue to give, said Watt, who makes a point to visit as many of the AFP’s 232 chapters as possible. Nearly $300 billion are donated to charitable causes each year along with billions of volunteer hours.
“That tells you how much people believe in philanthropy and charity in this country,” Watt said. “We have an extraordinary tradition of American philanthropy dating back centuries. People believe in coming together to help solve problems and improve their communities.”
Watt’s speech will also touch on the influence of public policy on charitable giving.
“Unfortunately, philanthropy and giving are getting lost in the short-term politics of the sequester and other budget battles,” Watt said. “And charities, and the people who support them, need to start speaking out.”
Many of the people supporting those charities belong to younger generations, according to Watt.
“I believe the newest generation of donors is going to change the face of philanthropy,” Watt said. “We’ve never seen a group of young people before who are already more knowledgeable about philanthropy and have already invested so much time and energy into charitable and volunteer projects.”
The challenge, he said, will be effectively harnessing that energy and providing them with a range of opportunities to leverage their skills and enthusiasm.
Watt will speak at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St. in Milwaukee during a special event beginning at 11:30 a.m. His speech will be open to the public. Admission is $25 for AFP members and $45 for nonmembers through today. Ticket prices increase to $30 for members and $50 for nonmembers after today.
The AFP is an international association dedicated to educating organizations about effective and ethical fundraising to help them optimize their community impact.