Letter from the President
The success of a nonprofit professional organization like APDC depends on a number of interrelated functions that, when combined, provide value for its members.
Value: The very existence of a nonprofit organization requires a strong focus on mission achievement, how well the organization is filling a need. APDC’s core mission is to advance the standards of education, training, and practice of design professions. To further that mission, APDC maintains contact with the state board of registration, advises state and local agencies and the legislature on regulations and guidelines that improve safe designs, supports education in sciences and mathematics, and lobbies for sound funding of capital improvements.
Board: Building and maintaining a strong board is essential to success, as the organization’s direction and belief in the mission should permeate through the members. A good Board is diverse in skill, willing to share in their knowledge, and committed to positive results above self-interest. Board composition should be reviewed regularly to ensure the organization maintains the right balance of skills and diversity. Recently, the APDC Board made some strategic changes to its governance process to improve sustainability of the organization.
Volunteers: APDC simply would not exist without a passionate, supportive volunteer base, some who have been actively involved with APDC long after their service on the Board. These individuals selflessly commit their time and money to serve on committees, organize speaking points, and travel to Juneau to meet with our legislators. Additionally, their continued service provides valuable education and mentorship to train the next generations of APDC volunteers.
Public Relations: An organization that is filling a need and doing good work is a fantastic thing, but does the community know this? A thorough communications plan that focuses on cultivating relationships, sharing updates on challenges and goals, and providing proof of the organization’s impacts will go further in support of the organization than simply asking for money. With the help of volunteers experienced in social media and a true desire to make a difference, APDC recently revamped its Communication Plan that included an updated website, regular news feeds, an interactive LinkedIn site, and a monthly E-News. APDC’s communications committee has been diligent in providing frequent, relevant news pertinent to the organization’s value.
Funds: A nonprofit is no different than a for-profit business in that they both need funds to operate. The difference is that a nonprofit raises funds through donations. Fundraising is a whole lot easier when your organization provides value for the donor, has a history of meeting its goals, and can provide concrete results with updates through transparent communications. APDC uses its funds to provide value through hiring a lobbyist to keep us informed on state legislative issues relevant to our member organizations as well as an editor to maximize our communications effort.
Ultimately, it takes all spokes of the wheel working together to move the organization forward. I feel APDC is aligned to do that and I’m excited to be a part of it.