President's Message

Why most New Year’s resolutions fail… and what you can do about it.

If I can be vulnerable with you for a moment, I don’t like setting New Year’s resolutions. It is not because I don’t have personal and professional goals, but because historically most New Year’s resolutions fail.

A friend of mine posted a photo between Thanksgiving and Christmas of the empty gym he was working out at. He was enjoying a quiet workout before an influx of people join the gym in January as part of their New Year’s solution to be fit and lose weight. Sadly, by the end of the first quarter over half of the new members will have already given up on their goal, and by the end of the year, only a few dedicated gym members will remain. 

The number one reason New Year’s resolutions fail is that they are too vague. Successful goals are specific and intentional. Here are four things for you to consider as you set your 2020 fundraising goals:

  1. Goal achievement doesn’t happen by accident. To achieve your goal, you must take the time to develop a written plan by spelling out where you are now, where you want to go, and how you are going to get there. Then you must systematically focus your time and energy on the areas that require your most attention. Unless you have a clear plan of where you want to go you won’t reach your goal or know when you get there.
  2. You must invest in yourself. The more you know the more you can grow. Something non-profits talk about all of the time is best practices, which are many times based on difficult experiences fundraisers have had and the lessons learned through them. While these stories can be helpful you don’t have to learn everything the hard way. Something I started doing years ago was reading a chapter in a fundraising book every morning before I begin my day. This has helped me to read dozens of books over the last 15 years and has helped me to expand my knowledge of fundraising principles and apply them to non-profits. I also like to participate in fundraising conferences and webinars as often as possible to stay sharp and up-to-date on the latest fundraising methods. Do you have a plan to intentionally grow your fundraising knowledge?
  3. If you don’t start you will never do it. Something I have realized over the years is the hardest part of executing a plan is taking the first step and doing it. I use to wait until I was motivated to start a new project, now I move towards my goal whether or not I want to feel ready and the motivation usually follows the action. Remember, the longer you wait to start your goal, the greater the chance you will never do it. Don’t wait until the perfect time to launch your campaign. There are difficulties and obstacles in every campaign. The sooner you start your campaign the sooner you will reach your goal. Don’t wait until you see exactly how you are going to reach your goal before you start fundraising. In my experience fundraising is much like driving at night, you can’t see the road in front of you until you move forward. Besides I have never worked a fundraising campaign that went exactly as planned on the first attempt.       
  4. There is no magic secret to fundraising. Over the years I have participated in dozens of consulting calls in which the person on the other line is looking for me to give him or her the magic secret to fundraising in 45 minutes or less which will help them raise a million dollars. The truth is that fundraising takes focus, clarity, dedication, determination, and patience. Jon Rohn once said, “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction.”

What is holding you back?

A key to achieving your New Year’s resolutions is understanding your emotions. Are you afraid of failure? Hint: the quicker you fail and pick yourself up the quicker you will reach your goal. The reason I have seen success is that I continually fail but learn from my mistakes and try again. Never put off what you can do today or quit when the going gets tough. (It will always get harder before you see the results of your efforts).

I appreciate all the hard work, dedication, and passion each of you has for the fundraising profession and feel it an honor to serve you as the 2020 San Antonio Area AFP Board Chair. This year we will be focusing on YOU by providing member-focused communications, relevant resources and training, and modeling fundraising best practices YOU can apply to YOUR organization. I look forward to working with each of you as we finalize our strategic plan and execute our 2020 goals.

Yours in fundraising,
Aaron G. Javener, C.F.R.E.
AFP San Antonio Chapter President

Chapter News

Congratulations to the 2020 AFP Board!

  • PresidentAaron Javener, CFRE, Virtual Fundraising Consultants
  • Past PresidentMary Kay Martinez, CFRE, Children's Hospital of San Antonio Foundation
  • President-Elect 2021 - Laura Leach, CFRE, San Antonio Life Academy
  • VP Membership - Wendy Wickham, Animal Defense League                  
  • VP Programs - Amy Nieto, The Atonement Academy
  • VP Philanthropy - Jennifer Berglund, Hallmark University
  • VP Marketing and Communications - Cassandra Ottmer, Winston School 
  • Treasurer - Genny Slater, Pay it Forward Foundation                           
  • Secretary - Allison Salinas, Friends of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Foundation                    
  • Board Member at Large - Audra Atzger, Hope Hospice
  • Board Member at Large - Celeste Eggert, Haven for Hope
  • Board Member at Large - Elizabeth Egula Robinson, Project Quest, Inc.


AFP San Antonio Monthly Programming

January 16

January Program & New Member Orientation

February 14

National Philanthropy Awards Luncheon

March 19

March Program

April 16

April Program

May 2

May 21

CFRE Refresher Course

May Program

June 18

June Program


Summer Social




For Email Marketing you can trust.