I am so excited to serve as President of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Southern Colorado chapter and work alongside such a diverse and talented 2023 Board.
Let's face it: it is challenging to work in fundraising and development. We are confronted with endless deadlines, budget restraints, and tremendous professional and personal pressures. It can be exhausting, which is why we need to lean on each other, explore career opportunities together, and gain new skills. AFP SOCO is committed to supporting you through these efforts.
AFP SOCO’s amazing leadership team is busy planning continuing education classes, networking opportunities, coffee chats, and the Annual Summit to help you navigate your career. We are also organizing new programs, including mentorships and CFRE study groups!
Please make sure to take advantage and familiarize or re-familiarize yourself with all our member benefits, both with AFP Southern Colorado and the AFP Global website. As always, please reach out if you have any questions or ideas you would like to share. I would love to chat with each and everyone one of you.
Amanda Graham, MPA
AFP SOCO President
This year I was rewarded with the incredible opportunity to serve as the President of our AFP SOCO Chapter alongside some of the most talented professionals who served on the AFP SOCO Board of Directors.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals Southern Colorado is a MIGHTY organization, standing strong for 25 years! This year we eased our way back to some in-person and hybrid events. We came together to host the 16th Annual Summit on Philanthropy and celebrate National Philanthropy Day, where we honored the work of some outstanding fundraising professionals in our community, along with a generous philanthropic small business.
We hosted some fantastic coffee chats, stepped outside the box to bring some of the best practices and ideas to our lunch and learns, and celebrated each other’s company is some good old fashion mixers, boat rides and all!
As we say farewell to 2022 and welcome in the new year, I challenge us all to keep this chapter strong, to keep fighting the good fight for our communities who need us now more than ever, and never give up!
I wish you all a healthy, safe, and wonderful holiday season and new year!
“You don’t have to be perfect to help people. All you have to be is real.”
-Trent Shelton, Motivational Speaker
Elizabeth Albo, 2022 AFP SOCO President
Daniel Minich, Amanda Graham, and Elizabeth Albo at the 2022 AFP SOCO Holiday Party
Happy 2022! It is an honor to serve as President of AFP-Southern Colorado and work alongside the exceptionally talented 2022 Board.
I know these past few years have been a challenge for every single one of us, yet we have proven to be resilient, we have proven that with love, support, and determination we will succeed. One of my favorite sayings and mottos is, “It Takes a Village,” and I genuinely believe in this saying in various aspects of life, whether it be personal or professional. As we move forward into this next year and journey, we may continue to see challenges, we may even get discouraged, remember you can find strength within your AFP SOCO Village!
We have an exciting new year with our continued education programs and events. A little extra sprinkle on the cake, will be honoring the 25th anniversary of the establishment of our chapter!
Please make sure to take advantage and familiarize or re-familiarize yourself of all our member benefits both with AFP Southern Colorado and the AFP Global website. As always, please reach out if you have any questions or ideas you would like to share.
AFP SOCO President
By Debbie Swanson, CFRE
IDEA Committee Member
Taken from AFP Global article, Why Diversity and Inclusion Are Critical to Fundraising Success, September 26, 2018 (https://afpglobal.org/why-diversity-and-inclusion-are-critical-fundraising-success)
One of the principles in AFP Global’s Statement of Principles for Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) is that AFP is committed to “exploring potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.” This is a daunting task, as it means several undesirable truths about our selves that must be confronted. False assumptions related to diverse donors, established approaches to fundraising, and the diverse talent in the advancement profession are destructively self-perpetuating. The advancement profession, like most professions, needs continued creative thinking about building pipelines of diverse talent. A variety of barriers—many unconsciously self-imposed—make identification and recruitment of diverse professionals a challenge for many leaders.
In 2019, the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy and Aspen Leadership Group (ALG) released a whitepaper that introduced research that broke down assumptions which impede progress. It also outlined proactive strategies to help advancement leaders across all sectors address diversity and inclusion at their organizations and make real change.
Nonprofit leaders have been reluctant to accept that their organizations are falling short in the area of workplace diversity. Equipped with knowledge, nonprofit professionals and volunteers need to engage in courageous conversations about why diversity is essential to fundraising success, how biases— many of them unconscious—create barriers to progress, and how change in the composition and behavior of leaders is so important to sustaining improvement in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The paper outlines eight strategies for success in talent development and management that will work toward creating sustainable change within an organization. The following are just a few of the suggestions:
March is Women’s History Month in the United States, and March 8th was International Women’s Week. It seems appropriate to write about our profession and what our professional association has to say about women fundraisers at this time, while, of course, the issues women fundraisers have experienced are not reserved for this month alone.
AFP released its most recent findings on pay equity on March 8th (in conjunction with International Women’s Day)1. In it, it found that women fundraisers are paid 10 percent less than men for the same job positions. While this fares better than the national average of all women’s pay compared to men (which is 19 percent), it still is a gap in pay for equal work. AFP Global, as part of its commitment to adhere to the principles of IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access), has launched a series of initiatives to address IDEA, including the Women’s Impact Initiative (the other being Emerging Leaders Initiative and the Anti-Racism Initiative). As part of the Women’s Impact Initiative, AFP Global is committed to accurate and timely research, creating awareness through social media and sharing stories, educating our members, and raising women to be leaders in the profession.
There has been a lot of work already done at AFP Global. Since 2018, the AFP Women’s Impact Initiative has:
Women in fundraising need the same consideration for fairness as other members of minority populations. AFP Global has given access to some amazing information and training tools for AFP members to use to increase their awareness on the need to apply IDEA in all of our lives. Below are some options for you to consider looking into:
While these speak to not only our need to consider women worthy of equal pay, they are powerful reminders of how easy it is to go with the status quo. Being IDEA savvy is an intentional process that must be trained into us. The question is whether we are willing to be trained outside the status quo.
While it’s good the work of women is highlighted for this month, let us not lose sight of what we hope to accomplish with equity for women in the workforce and remember that it is not women alone who still need to be noticed for inclusivity, diversity, equity and access.
Debbie Swanson, CFRE
AFP SOCO Board Member & IDEA Committee Member
We are excited to announce that AFP Southern Colorado has formally created an IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, and access) committee as part of the chapter’s commitment to reflect, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our membership and the communities we serve.
Throughout the past year, we have been forcefully reminded of the systemic racism, discrimination, ableism, and power imbalances that persist in our country as the two pandemics of racial injustice and COVID-19 have laid bare the unequal opportunities and access available to different members of society. The ideals encompassed by the IDEA acronym have always been central operating pillars of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in general and the Southern Colorado Chapter specifically, and we believe that the formation of this committee is a vital step toward creating positive change in our community. This is an ongoing process that will take all of us; when done correctly, this work never truly ends. AFP Southern Colorado is committed to striving for and achieving change both now and in the months and years to come.
I am honored and humbled to be acting as chair of the IDEA Committee and want to extend a welcome to all members to join the committee. Your unique identity and perspective are vital to our work. We would love to have you join us!
There will be more to come soon as our chapter works to deliver resources and programming that help us all increase and honor diversity, inclusion, equity and access in our work. For now, we welcome any and all feedback and ideas you may have. You can email the committee at email@example.com anytime and you can also connect with me on LinkedIn. We are excited to foster a community that reflects the incredible diversity of our Southern Colorado community!
Yours in service,
Happy New Year! We made it - pat yourself on the back. Working from home, changes in employment, and pressures to find even more funds than before. 2020 was full of ups and downs.
I am excited to be the incoming President of your AFP Southern Colorado Chapter. I am incredibly proud of the AFP SOCO Board's work in 2020 to continue to bring high-quality education to Southern Colorado fundraisers even when we could not meet in person. We've had to learn how to support each other in different and meaningful ways, to take care of each other. That's what communities do.
As we move into 2021, we will continue education programs to support you in your career and create opportunities for you to connect with other fundraisers and peers in the community. For our members, make sure you are taking advantage of all your member benefits. The AFP Global site has a wide variety of member-only articles, free webinars, and tools. If you are looking for a new job or looking to hire, check out https://careers.afpglobal.org/.
Please reach out to me if you have any special requests for education, questions, or want to chat! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFP SOCO President
We have worked to provide you with programs, resources and assistance, and to connect you with other fundraisers during this trying time. We look forward to 2021 and hope to see you then!
Please take a moment to watch this video >>
Kelly Shelton, CFRE
AFP SOCO President
AFP SOCO is here to help you survive
Provide programs that help you thrive,
Or just serve as a shoulder for a cry.
You are more than a member, you are a friend.
We celebrate together when we win,
And now, we come together to help the world mend.
Our nonprofits stand up for those with needs,
And though you may be behind the scenes,
AFP SOCO sees in you what being a true hero means.
We miss our fundraising heroes and hope to see you all soon!
Kelly Shelton, CFRE
To my fellow AFP members and fundraising colleagues, I know these are uncertain times for all of us as fundraisers and for the future of our organizations we fight so hard for on a daily basis. Stress is at an all-time high and pressure to do more with less is a theme I’m sure you are all familiar with. Please know, you are not alone, and you are doing a great job. We are all going through this together and your local AFP Chapter, your colleagues, your friends – we are here to help.
AFP Southern Colorado is dedicated to continuing to serve you during this time and we will work hard to try to share all the helpful resources we come across. Our board is standing with you and we will get through this together. Be well, stay safe, and stay home. We look forward to seeing you on the virtual playscape soon.