NARSOL’s vice-chair attends AFP conference in San Antonio

By Sandy . . . At NARSOL, each of us wears many hats. Robin Vander Wall is the organization’s vice-chair, president of its foundation (Vivante Espero), sits on several working committees, and is chair of the marketing and finance committees. It is in that last role that he left his home state of North Carolina, where he is also the president of our state affiliate organization there, and spent nearly a week in San Antonio, Texas, among the nation’s preeminent leaders of philanthropy and professional fundraisers.

Robin represented NARSOL and Vivante Espero at the AFP 2019 international conference. Founded in New York City by three charter members in 1960 as the National Society of Fundraisers (NSFR), the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is the nation’s oldest and largest organization seeking to empower individuals and organizations to practice ethical fundraising through professional education, networking, research, and advocacy. The founders’ vision for the organization was outlined in its original Articles of Incorporation:

  • To aid fundraisers in the performance of their professional duties;
  • To unite those engaged in the profession of fundraising;
  • To formulate, promote, and interpret to organizations, agencies, and the public the objectives of fundraising and the role of those who practice it;
  • To promote and maintain high standards of public service and conduct;
  • To exchange ideas and experiences and to collect and disseminate information of value to fundraisers and the public;
  • To promote, sponsor, and encourage study, research, and instruction in the field of fundraising by means of courses in established institutions of learning and by other means; and
  • To encourage and sponsor the granting of awards and fellowships in recognized institutions of learning for study and research in the field of fundraising.

To these ends, AFP’s members are expected to adhere to a code of ethical standards and a Donor’s Bill of Rights that ensure the highest level of professional integrity in the performance of their fundraising activities. As a non-profit, all-volunteer organization, NARSOL depends on your membership and generous donations in support of the initiatives that enable it to continue the many services and projects undertaken in the pursuit of its vision and mission. And NARSOL’s board of directors is determined to assure the organization’s continued presence in the future of our important advocacy work, however long that may take.

NARSOL’s primary work is two-pronged: educational and legal. Because of your membership and generous support, NARSOL continues to grow into a formidable instrument for social change and the eradication of dehumanizing registries. Educationally, our staff and volunteers write and publish op-eds, research pieces, and issue press releases. We give interviews. We host a national conference each year (now in its eleventh year!). NARSOL publishes an expanding newsletter/magazine in several formats. And we maintain a comprehensive website.

Legally, and through its foundation Vivante Espero, NARSOL offers support by providing supporting briefs in critical appellate level cases, assists with legal strategy, and extends financial support to legal actions that have the potential to positively affect a significant number of those with sexual convictions who are required to register.

These things don’t just happen. They cost money. Lots of money. And every dollar we receive from you, our wonderful and generous donors, and from our fundraising efforts is expended in support of either educational or legal initiatives. We thank you for that, each and every one of you. And we encourage you to continue making your voices heard throughout the nation by continuing, or increasing, in your financial support of both NARSOL and Vivante Espero.

Still recovering from oral surgery that was scheduled for the day after his return, Robin was able to speak with me about his experience at AFP’s conference in San Antonio.

“From the very first workshop I attended about major gifts to the very last educational session on increasing board participation in the cultivation of donors, I was just amazed at the quality of content and experience of the presenters at this conference. There were more than 3,400 people there from all over the continent; the US, Canada, Mexico, and even a handful of attendees from China. Often I was asked why I was there and who I represented. I shared our story, our mission, and why we feel called to fill our space advocating on behalf of registered citizens and their families. Prepared for the worst kind of responses, I was really surprised. Everyone I spoke with about NARSOL and Vivante Espero fully appreciated the importance of our work and understood how critical our advocacy is under the broader umbrella of civil rights. At one point, a very nice young lady from Arizona made a point to share with me how much she appreciates what we’re trying to do because it directly impacts her family (she has an uncle and former law enforcement officer who’s doing time for a sexual offense),” Robin said.

Asked about some of the things he learned in San Antonio, Robin paused in reflection. “You know, I am still trying to soak it all in. There are a lot of things we’re doing right. But there are a substantial number of areas where we have to improve. I am compiling a report for the boards. And some of what I will share will call upon the directors to re-evaluate board level investment of time and devotion to donor cultivation. We have to make sure that the people who support us feel appreciated and acknowledged for the sacrifices they are making. We’re all in this together. This is, for many of us, our life’s work. And we have to get it right the first time. We can’t afford to rest on our laurels and imagine that we’ve got it all figured out. The strength of NARSOL, in my estimation, is the collegiality of its leadership model. Our advocacy is not built around anyone. When you think of NARSOL, no particular person comes to mind . . . and it shouldn’t. We’re building a movement. We’re building towards a future free from dehumanizing registries. We’re building something that can, I hope, sustain itself long after any particular individual involved has ceased to exist. Our members, our donors, our volunteers, our state and local affiliate leaders, these are the people who make all the difference for the thousands of registered citizens and families we advocate for. We can’t lose sight of that. Ever!”

The goal of our advocacy is that we are no longer needed in that future of which Robin speaks. But as long as we are, with the help and generosity of our members and donors, NARSOL will be there.

Help us reach more people by Sharing or Liking this post.

Sandy Rozek

Sandy is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

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    • #54253 Reply
      Peter Marana

      Robin, thanks for taking the time to attend the AFP. Making contacts at the conference, joining the AFP and attending their workshops will all help NARSOL’s growth. Obviously much of what you learned can be passed along to the board and state affiliates. NARSOL’s mission of education and advocacy will be fueled by greater resources. So, successfully reaching the registrant population, their families, friends and supporters is step one. Thanks again for attending the AFP.

      • #54261 Reply
        Robin Vander Wall
        Robin Vander Wall

        Thanks, Peter. Was really great to be there! I look forward to sharing what I learned with the boards. Hope all is well with you and yours.

    • #54251 Reply

      WTG Robin!

      This, like the state of Michigan, is hard up against the big data brokers and Federal Surveillance Saints collusion. No man can doubt the connection between Big Brother and big data! The databases far more a threat to National Security and plain liberty than any single man could be. The sex offender was the tool used to advance big data firms agenda. The state of Wisconsin law used to discourage law enforcement sharing information to unauthorized persons. That a fiat to SOR broadcast. That constitutional position was obliterated by big data and Byrne Grant cash and I’m certain politicos profited extraordinarily. There will be no aid in the track backward to Alaska V. Doe with undoubtedly unfettered and unconstitutional USES OF DATABASE. It will take a huge effort to expose the profiteering & Plain indenture.

    • #54272 Reply
      Larry Warnack

      I have a question if anyone can help. I don’t know where else to go. I took a best interest plea of 1 yr 3 months to statutory rape in TN in 2006. to a 13 year old victim. I did 8 months got out . Victim told the truth recanted her story and I got a probation violation and finished 5& more months. When I got out I moved to IN to do. 10 year SOR . I finished the 10 years in August 2016. I was off of register for 2 years . I was living in a new county for over a year. And I fired to thief’s and drug dealers from my shop they started some crap about me. And next thing I knew 2 Black Ford Co Deputy showed up demanding I show up and register or go to jail. For failure to register as a sex offender.I have been reclassified as a SVP and for life due to probable cause because in her police report she said she was 9 when it started . How is this possible. I never admitted guilt to anything. She was 13 at the time she accused me and what I plead to. Help please

    • #54276 Reply
      Mark Goodenow

      I’m glad to see that fundraising is both professional and taken seriously! As well as tapping private donations, I hope NARSOL & it’s state affiliates take full advantage of Grant-writing and that those opportunities are still abundant in the current political landscape!

    • #54299 Reply

      I am glad to see some action here in san antonio. The set backs are still hard to deal with seeing as we cannot go to the river walk or any public parks. This should be a ban only on offense based actions. Living restrictions are also very hard to find housing with the restrictions.

    • #54306 Reply

      NARSOL may find funding in a much faster way by utilizing the SOR databases to enlist the aid of offenders themselves. That form of outreach is a way to provide notice to same about this .org’s intent. Like taxpayers, folks want to know about approach taken so their money is used for good purpose AND effective outcome. I believe offenders can be compelled to gather and\or lend cash easily IF they understood it would be effective. State governments compels treatment group attendance, and I’m willing to bet the same 5$ or 10$ fed paid to provider instead could find it’s way to this group’s coffers. If such an opportunity had presented itself when I was in group session, I would have been the first to tell the treatment providers “Sorry bro”.

    • #54326 Reply

      Hello Larry,

      Get out of Indiana while you still can. They are trying to drive you out and if you stay they could do a lot with this giant government over reach program. One of the guys you fired has friends in the police department IMHO.

      Good Luck!

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