Posts Tagged ‘baltimore’

Chamberlain Scholarship Puts Career in Prospective

May 6, 2010

Two and Already Interested in Politics

by Danielle Wright Landry

I love those Aha Moment commercials.  You know the ones, where they have some amazing person telling an inspiring story where they have triumphed over some terrible scenario or they made it possible for someone else to?  I am sure much to the chagrin of the company—I have no idea what product/company is being marketed—but I love the stories.

My aha moment (moments!)  came during the AFP International Conference.  Being able to even attend was more than I could have hoped for.   If it was not for the Chamberlain Scholarship, and the financial assistance provided from the AFP and AFP Suncoast, I would never have had the chance to experience a career reviving event.  This conference has made my whole career come full circle at a time when I most needed it!

Like many I have a story behind how I entered this profession that involves a very influential person in my life.  I came to this profession by way of being a community activist.  I attended my first protest when I was 14 (much to the heartache of my very conservative New England parents!).

When I was 15 I hosted my first fundraiser to benefit Africa.  By 16 I was protesting in the streets of Boston with college students against the Apartheid government of South Africa.  At 17 I was volunteering on my first presidential campaign with a candidate whose major plank was his opposition to America’s corporate investment in South Africa and by 18 I was living in England and taking part in overnight vigils in front of the South African Embassy with students from around the world.  This was my exposure to the nonprofit community and to the power of volunteerism and community involvement.  I was hooked!  I knew that this was going to be my career.  I didn’t know how exactly, but I knew it involved saving the world (I was an optimistic teenager).  One of my heroes growing up was the Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend the AFP International Conference, you may not know that the Archbishop was one of the plenary speakers.  (What other organization could have keynote speakers of this magnitude??  AFP does everything well! )

Walking into that huge, absolutely filled to capacity,  Baltimore convention hall –  knowing after 26 years I was finally going to see the man who lead me to action as a young girl and sparked my passion in politics. . .in humanity – would be taking center stage was more than awe-inspiring.   Then he said the magic words: “You have a noble profession . . . it is a calling.”   I had thought that for years, but hearing it from an authority like the Archbishop, it must be true.

He also mentioned me.  Well, not by name, but people like me.  He mentioned visiting America in the 80’s and being moved by students who were protesting-not for something that would benefit them, but for people they didn’t know, 10,000 miles away.  He said “maybe you were one of those students?”  A few of us cheered (I had to cry a little).  He said it was because of us that Apartheid was abolished, and the world got to know the greatness of Nelson Mandela.

Already Marching on Washington

That is the amazing thing about our profession, we all get to be a part of making history.  Either we have the great privilege of building relationships with people who are shaping events, or we recruit and train the volunteers that are changing policy, or raise the money for the schools that will educate the future leaders,  or we organize the events that have historical significance. Which ever the case may be, we are all so fortunate to work in our profession.

At a time when I was having a mid-career crisis and questioning if it was time for me to open that t-shirt business, I received the Chamberlain Scholarship.  The AFP International Conference reignited the fire! It reminded me I am in the right field, that I may not be conventional, that I still have a bit of that rebel in me;  but that there is room for all of us that believe in the strength of the  nonprofit sector and the community that supports us  and our ability together,  to impact every aspect of our world.  We have a noble profession!

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2010 AFP Int’l Conference – in video

May 1, 2010

Florida members were well represented at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) conference in Baltimore, Maryland in 2010 -together with 4,000 of our closest colleagues from around the world. And we do it right! There was the beautiful Inner Harbor, time spent with friends and family, sampling the food and drink and learning from and being inspired by the conference presentations. Be sure you don’t miss the AFP conference in Chicago next year!