July 21, 2014

AFF Mid-Year Report: Stronger Than Ever

By: Roger Custer

dl3As we pass the middle of the year and open a new fiscal year, I am pleased to report that the state of AFF is stronger than it has ever been.

AFF opened three new chapters in Boston, Jackson, and Southeast Michigan, bringing the total to 11 cities nationwide. Several more chapters are slated to open soon.

AFF’s new website allows broader audiences to learn about AFF opportunities and the ideas of liberty using the latest technology and social media.

During the first 6 months of 2014, AFF held 49 events in 12 cities. Recent speakers included Justice Samuel Alito, George Will, Senator Mike Lee, Tom Palmer, Heather Higgins, Steve Moore, Carrie Conko, Rep. Keith Rothfus, Tim Carney, and many others. You can watch video of AFF programs here.

We partnered widely with other organizations in order to broaden the impact. Joint events were held with American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, Institute for Humane Studies, Foundation for Economic Education, Illinois Policy Institute, Google, Competitive Enterprise Institute, and many others.

During fiscal 2013-2014 which ended June 30, we achieved 60% revenue growth over last year.

Looking to the Future with Strategic Planning

AFF has launched a brand new plan that lays out the goals and strategies we will employ over the next three years in order to solidify AFF’s position as the definitive pipeline for new talent with the liberty movement, and to make concrete progress toward realizing our vision to produce lifelong leaders who are effective and engaged advocates for free markets and liberty.

In order to achieve that vision, the plan lays out four core strategies:

PROGRAMS: Solidify the talent pipeline by developing and strengthening strategic partnerships with allied student-based and public policy organizations
DEVELOPMENT: Expand and diversify AFF’s funding base by implementing a comprehensive development program that focuses on cultivation of individual donors
MARKETING: Reach increased numbers of young professionals by significantly expanding social media presence through available tools including targeted advertising
OPERATIONS: Increase AFF’s organizational capacity by improving the board of directors and the advisory board while also cultivating other volunteers and leaders

Chapters are Key to AFF’s Growth

The strategic plan specifically focuses on chapters with a landmark goal of increasing the amount of chapter programming while strengthening at least 10 chapters into “hubs” that have more events, stronger boards, and more impact in their city than newer, emerging chapters. We plan further investment this year through targeted experiments that will help us determine how to best make every chapter into a “hub.” Your ideas are welcomed.

Looking to the Future with Staff Changes

Brit Vorreiter was promoted to Director of Programs and Membership. She will primarily focus on DC membership while also managing major programs and staff that work in her area.

Andrew Parks joined the team as part-time Program Manager and he will oversee DC roundtables, happy hours, and luncheons.

Lori Sanders joined the team as Director of Special Events where her role will be to coordinate Liberty Circle programs and work with mid-level and host committee donors.

Greta Pisarczyk is the new Director of Student Outreach, responsible for recruiting top students to share AFF opportunities with undergraduates and manage partnerships with student organizations to ensure the pipeline of talent is continuing.

Jason Riddle, AFF’s National Chapter Coordinator, is moving on from the team after the summer.

Kathryn Shelton (after August 1) will increase her hours as Director of Chapter Advancement and take over Jason’s responsibilities. She will oversee current chapter programs and recruit new chapter leaders.

To learn more about the AFF team, please visit this page. We have three open part-time positions: Writing Programs Director, Blog Manager (paid) and Online Director (volunteer). Please visit this page to learn more.

Other Changes Coming Soon

In order to maximize our impact, we are planning exciting new programs and other changes that will grow AFF’s impact in DC and around the country. More details will be available soon. Some board members have moved on after several years of service so AFF will bring on new board members in the next few months who will help guide us through this growth period. AFF’s 20th anniversary is in 2015 and we are preparing some special activities. In addition, you can give back to AFF through the 20for20 campaign where you donate $20 per month on your credit card. Stay tuned to learn more about how you can help AFF celebrate its 20th.

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