Local organizations say Thank You on National Philanthropy Day

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) -  November 15th is National Philanthropy Day. The Association of Fundraising Professionals is using the day to say "thank you".

"Our message is thank you. I think that the Roanoke Valley and the new River Valley we are so fortunate to have such a giving community. We've seen it time and time again. Every time there is an organization need or that there is something that needs to happen in Roanoke we really step up to the plate and we make that happen," said Erik Williams, AFP First Virginia chapter president. "They (organizations) can only survive through the good work that you do each and every day in your community and every gift that you make makes a tremendous difference."

Fundraisers across the country are celebrating a record breaking year for giving in the United States. More than $373 billion dollars was donated in 2015 and 71 percent of that came from individuals according to the most recent Giving USA report.

In southwest Virginia, Williams says many of the local money raising campaigns break records enabling students to go to school, feed the hungry, and provide services for those in need. He points to the first ever Roanoke Valley Gives campaign.  In 24 hours more than 4,000 people gave more than $350,000.

"I think AFP is a really important organization because it allows us to get together and sometimes we're the only fundraiser at our office. It's really important that we get together and not only do that professional development but we have that comradery. We're able to pick up the phone and say how do you handle X, y or Z. We're able to learn best practices from not only national but international speakers," said Williams.

AFP is hosting a special event on "Record Breaking Philanthropy" followed by a round table discussion. Tuesday, November 15 from 11 a.m. To 1 p.m. At the Cambria Suites Roanoke. For more information on this event or AFP email afpva@hotmail.com. You can also visit: http://afpvafirst.afpnet.org/