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AASPiration September 2016
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The Association of Advancement Services Professionals
September 2016 AASPiration
Message from the President

AASP's 9th Summit is coming up next month. We received great feedback and are excited about continuing our meeting at the Westin Hotel on Michigan Avenue. As always, the programming and networking opportunities will leave you hungry for more. With registrations trending ahead of last year, we are projecting our biggest Summit ever, a clear sign that our annual Summit is a priority to many in the advancement services profession. We are continuing with the two pre-conference sessions this year to pay special attention to newcomers and executives in our field, and both are exceeding our expectations in attendance as well.

Thank you to all who voted on the new board member nominations. Read on to see the elected board members and look for their recognition again at the business meeting at Summit, as well as voting for the recommended bylaw changes to strengthen our organization.

There is much activity to report. Here are some highlights:

  • AASP has extended our programming efforts this year with regional conferences and webinars and will share the 2017 dates at Summit.
  • Growth in our membership is well over 1,000 and extending to all nonprofit sectors.
  • We are continuing to leverage our FundSvcs listserv for even more value to the membership.

Take time to read this newsletter and learn about all that is happening for our membership and volunteers, and get ready for Summit 2016. I hope to see you in Chicago. Thank you for all you to do to make our profession meaningful and relevant.

All the best,


Thomas Chaves

400+ professionals will be attending Summit 2016. Will you?

If you haven't already, complete your registration for Summit 2016 today! The in-depth programming includes two pre-conference sessions and five educational tracks, giving you access to a breadth of industry knowledge.

Once you register, be sure to:

Learn More and Register

Your Elected 2017 Board Members

The votes have been tallied and your voice has been heard. Please give a warm welcome to our newest board member, Dwight Dozier, and congratulate returning board member, Shomari White. We look forward to their contributions through 2019.

Dwight Dozier
Georgia Tech Foundation
Shomari White
Children's National Health System

Member Spotlight: Jessica Macaluso

AASP is preparing to launch a new volunteer initiative, details for which will be announced at Summit in October. A valuable influence behind the initiative is volunteer and board member, Jessica Macaluso.

“The overarching theme is to treat our volunteers exactly as we treat our donors,” says Macaluso. "The organization’s programs are completely volunteer-run and volunteers are our most important asset. The new initiative is an opportune time to develop a systematic way to recognize and sustain our volunteer base. By doing so, other standing committees can be focused on their main tasks and less so on the task of recruiting committee volunteers.”

At the initiative’s core is the establishment of a Volunteer Engagement Committee voted upon by the board in the fall of 2015. Comprising the committee are tenured AASP members, such as Vicky Medlock and Jennifer Liu Cooper along with Macaluso. Summit will mark the official launch. AASP members and volunteers can look forward to a Volunteer Booth in the exhibit hall; the traditional networking dinners hosted by the standing committees; and a new website dedicated to volunteers. Down the road, the committee has equally aggressive goals such as a volunteer database.

Macaluso, who has been a member of AASP for three years and is with UC Davis as Executive Director of Advancement Services has been part of the profession for five years. Her volunteer and work experience make her a credible ambassador to help drive this volunteer transformation. In her role at UC Davis, she leads a team “that has a passion for service, and is committed to accuracy and best practices.” She is eager to bring that enthusiasm and expertise to the new Volunteer Engagement Committee.

Why now? Macaluso points out that with becoming an organization of 1000 members, we’ve reached a tipping point where we must acknowledge the sophistication of the organization’s volunteer structure. We want to give focus to the vast scope of work being done by volunteers. We don’t want our volunteers to fall into a feeling of doing thankless work, which sometimes can happen in this profession. Macaluso wants everyone’s involvement in AASP to be a rewarding one. The new committee is a positive change toward that.

October 31 Webinar: Improve Your Scoring Models

Implementing an Alumni Engagement Scoring Model
October 31
1:00 - 2:30pm EDT
Mark Koenig, Associate Vice President for Advancement Service, Oregon State University Foundation

AASP is partnering with Academic Impressions on this webinar to provide you with the tools for developing an effective alumni scoring model for your shop.

Learn More and Register

Ethics Corner - Nonprofits Wrestle with Ethics, Part 6

Ethics, Part 6
Voluntary efforts aim to build awareness about accountability.

By Todd Cohen (

This is the last article in a series of six from 2005 on nonprofit ethics written by Todd Cohen, founder and principal of Philanthropy North Carolina and founder and former editor of the
Philanthropy Journal.

The growing focus on nonprofit ethics has spawned a broad range of voluntary initiatives and services, including training seminars and workshops, and ethical codes and standards adopted by membership organizations and individual nonprofits.

Some of those codes and standards draw from the federal Sarbanes-Oxley corporate-disclosure law.

Some experts like Naomi Levine of the George H. Heyman Jr. Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at New York University say Sarbanes-Oxley includes provisions that should built into laws governing nonprofits, while others said laws and codes alone cannot protect organizations from people who exercise bad judgment, or worse.

"Ultimately, there is a degree of common sense that needs to rule and govern the organization, that gets relied upon as your guide in building and manifesting ethical practices," says Doug Kridler, president and CEO of the Columbus Foundation in Columbus, Ohio.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals requires that each of its local chapters devote one meeting a year to ethics, says Tempel, who chairs the association's ethics committee and is executive director on the Center for Philanthropy at Indiana University.

"People understand the importance of trust to develop and build philanthropy," he says, "and ethical behavior is an important aspect of this."

The Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C., recently distributed to its members a new statement of ethical principles that members will have to subscribe to when they submit their dues statements for 2006, says Dorothy Ridings, its former president.

The council also has been attracting big crowds at a series of regional training sessions on ethics and accountability, and now has created separate sessions for professional advisers and for board and staff, she says.

That demand reflects 10 years of explosive growth in the foundation world, particularly among family foundations, growth that was poorly served because of inadequate ethical training and education, particularly among professional advisers, she says.

That demand reflects 10 years of explosive growth in the foundation world, particularly among family foundations, growth that was poorly served because of inadequate ethical training and education, particularly among professional advisers, she says.

With 560 members, the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations requires nonprofits on becoming members to agree in principle to its 56 standards for excellence, and offers members a process to become certified in the standards, says Joe Geiger, executive director of the Harrisburg-based group.

Nearly 200 members have taken clinics as part of that process, he says, and 18 of them have achieved the certification, a process that can take six months to several years.

"There are going to be some people who think they can take advantage of the charitable intentions of most Americans, and make a quick dollar," Geiger says. "The best way to guard against that is to make sure the organization gets its policies and systems into a condition that minimizes the chances for that knucklehead to succeed."

The Institute for Global Ethics in Camden, Me., markets ethical-training modules in CD-ROM format to nonprofits, a program that aims to fill a gap in knowledge and awareness of ethics, says Graham Phaup, executive director.

"While most foundations and nonprofits tend to see themselves as ethical organizations, they rarely talk about ethics," he says.

Levine, who raised more than $2.2 billion for NYU in 22 years as senior vice president for external affairs, founded the Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising five years ago to fill what she saw as a big gap in training for professionals in fundraising and grantsmanship.

The center, which offers a certificate degree and will begin offering a master's degree in fall 2006, focuses on a broad range of professional practices, including ethics.

And for each of the past two years, Levine has actively supported a bill in the state legislature to require all professional fundraisers to take at least one course in the law and ethics of fundraising, a requirement that is needed "if fundraising is to be viewed as a profession," she says.

"In most organizations, the goal of the fundraisers is to meet the financial goals set for them by the organization, and very little time is spent in discussing the details of state and federal laws and the ethical issues involved in fundraising," she says. "Only when there is a crisis issue will the board and staff come together to talk about it."

Summit 2016 Scholarship Winners

Congratulations! Well deserved. We'll see you at Summit!

Underrepresented Group: Karen Warr
Grants and Database Coordinator, LifeWorks NW 
Portland, Oregon

Small Shop: Rebecka Routh
Resource Development Director, Genesis
Kansas City, Missouri

Who had the best answer?


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