March 29, 2009

Fund Raisers From Around the Nation Gather in New Orleans

The Association of Fundraising Professionals this week plays host to its annual conference in New Orleans.

The event, which in previous years has attracted as many as 4,500 participants from across the country, will probably have a somewhat different flavor this year, as many organizations cut back on travel costs for professional meetings and struggle to find the best ways to raise money in the recession.

While the economy isn’t getting much attention in the event’s official program, it is expected to be a major topic of conversation throughout the conference, which begins today and runs through Wednesday.

The conference will also be colored by its host city, which is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. The association, in fact, organized a day of service for conference participants on Saturday.

Among the keynote speakers are the actor Sidney Poitier, the businessman and author Christopher Gardner, and the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

The Chronicle will provide regular online coverage of the key events at the meeting.

You can expect regular updates in our online conference notebook and on our Twitter page. We’ll also send a special edition of Philanthropy Today to readers each day of the conference to help you stay up with all the news.