Serving with AFP-GHC: A Take from Two Young Professional Board Members

As we sit and reflect on the past years serving alongside outstanding young and advanced professionals through the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater Houston Chapter Board of Directors, we cannot help but smile. 

Although we joined AFP-GHC separately from one another, we were quickly introduced and became two peas in a pod. Not only did we work on AFP-related projects together, but we created our own safe space to talk about our workplaces, our career journeys, and our outside-of-work passions. Melissa knows all the places Rachel has traveled to and all the food she’s allergic to, while Rachel knew Melissa was pregnant with her first child before it even hit social media. That’s what is neat about our profession and what drew us in as volunteers outside of the resources, education, trainings, and networking. 

When it comes down to it, we all celebrate one another—personally and professionally. Across organizations, we share resources because we know that if we all are excelling at work, we are building stronger, better communities.

Joining the board of directors was a no-brainer for both of us. We were grateful to see smart, thoughtful women before us foster a culture where two young professionals could have leadership roles and take on large parts in making the Greater Houston Chapter one of the most robust and successful chapters in the country. Chapter communications started off as a one-man job. Then when we joined in, it developed into a three-person team. And now, there are several volunteers who contribute: sending e-blasts, posting to social media, writing blog posts, revamping the website, and so much more! All because, like us, they recognize the important role AFP can play in your professional career and personal life.

AFP has been such an important part of our lives. It’s given so much to us, from continuing education, to scholarships to attend conferences, to networking, and more. That’s why we have always valued giving back to the chapter in hopes that we could help others join this giving professional network. So, as we both roll off the board of directors, we want to say thank you to you, the chapter. To anyone who has opened an e-blast and learned something new or commented on one of our Facebook posts, thank you. Thank you for creating a network where we can learn from one another, better our profession, and strengthen our communities.

Our last piece of advice: If you’re not a member, join. If you’re not part of a committee, sign up. AFP has a lot to give to you—and even more if you give some of yourself. 

As for us, we’ll still be around, attending virtual events and continuing to be incredibly honored and humbled that we were able to serve the chapter’s board of directors for many years.


In service,

Melissa Neeley   Rachel Rodriguez