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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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.
It has been my honor to serve as President of AFP Southern Colorado for the last two years. The incredible dedication and commitment of my Board colleagues have made this one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career in fundraising. The energy, passion, and achievements of your AFP SOCO Board has been nothing short of remarkable – from expanding into members-only programs such as webinars and coffee chats, to elevating the Summit on Philanthropy to a truly world-class event for sponsors, speakers, and attendees alike, to formulating a robust and ambitious strategic plan to carry the chapter’s work into the future. Some of the highlights from 2019 include:
My most personally satisfying experiences have stemmed from this collegiality and camaraderie among you all, fellow fundraisers. As we prepare our leadership transition, I am thrilled to be passing the torch to a new generation of leadership. President-Elect Kelly Shelton will carry our work forward with the same excellence you have come to expect from AFP, bringing you the best in professional development, networking, and best practice sharing.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve. See you at the Holiday Party!
Jennifer Malenky, MBA, CFRE
PS That’s me and my son Max enjoying The Nutcracker! Celebrate your holiday season and new year!
You may have seen the recent announcement from AFP International about a $30 increase in annual dues for Professional and Associate members effective July 1, 2019. I know this affects many of our current and prospective members, so I wanted to take a minute to share my thoughts as President of the AFP Southern Colorado Chapter.
First, while the national dues are increasing, the local portion of your dues are not. AFP SOCO will continue to elevate our programming, providing our members with even more valuable education and opportunities to connect with industry peers, all while maintaining our current dues structure.
Second, this increase has been under consideration for a while. Dues have remained the same for 10 years, and as AFP International continues to look at increasing member value (including through new online programs like the AFP 360 career coaching service and negotiation training with AAUW) and growing as an association (including a greater emphasis on inclusion, diversity, equity and access initiatives), a $30 increase is understandable.
Finally, while this will impact a significant portion of our members, there are several dues categories that are not increasing, including Young Professional, Retired and Small Organization. Your board understands the frustration that can accompany these announcements, especially for anyone already questioning the value of their membership. However, we encourage you to explore all that AFP offers. There is more value than ever in your AFP membership, both locally and nationally. Our local educational programming such as our Lunch and Learns, webinars, coffee chats, and annual Summit on Philanthropy make your membership go even further and bring you networking and professional development opportunities that can only be found at AFP Southern Colorado. Please reach out to me or other board members with any concerns, questions or feedback. As always, we thank you for being a part of our AFP SOCO Chapter family and elevating the fundraising profession in our state and local communities.
Jennifer Malenky, MBA, CFRE
CFRE approved provider
2020 Ten Star Chapter
2021 Ten Star Chapter