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Member Spotlight: Paul Harrison

This month we highlight Paul Harrison, the longtime Development and Communications Director for Access Health Centers of 15+ years in Madison. Check out his lengthier feature in Madison Magazine here. Thanks for your commitment and good works in our community, Paul!

Honoring and Celebrating Black Philanthropy Month

Recognized annually in August, Black Philanthropy Month is a global celebration of Black American gift-giving in the form of time, talent, and treasure. We talked to fundraising veterans and philanthropists here in Dane County, Arlen Moss (Co-founder of I-jedi, LLC) and Michael Johnson (President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County), about black philanthropy and some of the challenges at their organizations.

Member Spotlight: Patricia Eldred

Periodically, we shine a spotlight on one of our chapter members with a series of questions. We hope you enjoy learning more about the members of AFP Greater Madison.   

If you'd like to nominate someone to be featured in our next member spotlight, let us know!

Celebrating Disability Pride Month in July

July is Disability Pride Month and here at AFP Greater Madison we wanted to highlight some of our members and close connections that are part of our Madison community and are also making a difference in their own communities!

AFP Mentor Program Fulfilling Crucial Need

Clearly, there is a gap when it comes to professional development needs for young and upcoming fundraisers and even those new to the profession as addressed in this AFP Global article, Young Professionals Lacking Resources, Programs, Mentors for Career Advancement, this year.

AFP Greater Madison is working to plug that gap and help out both its members and non-members as it enters the second year of its mentoring program this fall. Check out some basic AFP Greater Madison mentorship info, a key excerpt from the aforementioned article, and hear from your colleagues involved in the AFP mentor program and their thoughts!

Celebrating Pride Month

June is Pride Month around the world and here at AFP Greater Madison we wanted to highlight some of our members that are part of the Madison LGBTQ+ community and are also making a difference in their own communities.

Led by our Diversity Officer, Arlen Moss, our chapter continues to improve our vision of the world through a JEDI (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion) lens and we are grateful to all of our members, including Jake and Adam below, for sharing their experiences with us.

Hear more from Jake Immel (Olbrich Botanical Gardens) and Adam Erdmann (Alliant Energy Foundation) as they share about their work, the communities they serve and how they think fundraisers can approach and address challenges to the LGBTQ+ community and their fundraising efforts.

Don’t Forget Your Monthly Donors, Advice from Erica Waasdorp

When we surveyed AFP-Greater Madison members in March, Max Nguyen mentioned that he’s found Erica Waasdorp’s work on monthly giving extremely helpful. She literally wrote the book on it, and over the past year she’s also released a number of articles and appeared on podcasts around the fundraising internet. 


One of the points she comes back to most often? Don’t forget your monthly donors.

“One of my best AFP experiences.” Mentorship program conquered COVID, readies for “normal” year two

What a wild year to start our AFP Greater Madison Mentorship program! Despite the obvious challenges, the first year of the program was a success and will soon come to a close. Three mentor-mentee pairs navigated Zoom calls and outdoor meetings in one of the most unique and worthwhile AFP experiences.

Mentors, mentees, and those that helped kick start and pilot this program at AFP Greater Madison share their thoughts on the importance of mentorship and the challenges and takeaways from year one. We encourage you to get involved in an experience that is rewarding for all!

Uplifting Voices this Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

This Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we are happy to hear from three leaders in the Madison-area nonprofit and fundraising community. Learn more about their work, the communities they serve, and how they think fundraisers can be at the forefront of addressing challenges to the AAPI community and overall fundraising efforts.

TO CFRE or Not to CFRE?

The process of becoming a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) may seem daunting, but after speaking with three fellow AFP Greater Madison members who have each acquired their certification, I am taking the steps to start down this path.

Over the past week, I spoke to Jen Davie, Deborah Still, and Chris Ziemba about their experiences obtaining their CFRE. They generously shared their insights into why the CFRE was right for them, what the most challenging parts of the process were, and their advice to other development professionals considering the program.

2021: The year of donor retention?!

“Despite concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic would depress donations to nonprofits, giving in the U.S. in 2020 increased from 2019 by 10.6%, with the overall number of donors growing by 7.3%.”

That’s the good news out of the 2020 Fourth Quarter Report from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP), a collaboration among fundraising data providers, researchers, analysts, associations, and consultants to help the fundraising sector track and evaluate trends in giving.

The bad news? Donor retention dropped by 4.1%.

Part 2: 2017 and beyond: From diversity to...equity, inclusion and justice

For almost a decade the AFP Greater Madison Chapter worked to address inequities within the organization, and the profession at large. Read about this history in part 2 of this article set.

Webinar Recording "A Successful Board: How to charge your board with fundraising"

The webinar was recorded live on March 16, 2021. Panelists include Joyce Deiter and Jay Sekelsky. Event moderated by Mo Cheeks.

JEDIs and the battle against inequity: How AFP has embraced, confronted the challenge

For almost a decade the AFP Greater Madison Chapter worked to address inequities within the organization, and the profession at large. Read about this history.

Celebrating Women, Implementing Change

"Our industry is highly feminized, with more than 70% of fundraisers identifying as female. And while we are a women-majority sector, we are far from being women-led, with less than 20% of CEOs identifying as female."

With March being Women's History Month, we want to share this short article from AFP Global highlighting that while a majority of fundraisers identify as female, our sector is still plagued with gender discrimination. 

What We Learned in a Year of Quarantine

Thanks to everyone who sent in answers to our survey! It was great to hear from so many people about what they’ve been working on, learning, and enjoying over the past year.

Overall, almost everyone who answered has been—in some way—happy to learn that people really care.

Looking at you, 2021! Planning Ahead Networking Event

Our January event was “Looking Ahead: Nonprofit Planning for 2021”. It was an informal brainstorming session where we broke out into various groups to discuss various topics. Here are some tidbits from the event!

AFP Member Spotlight: Nina Gehan

Periodically, we shine a spotlight on one of our chapter members with a series of questions. We hope you enjoy learning more about the members of AFP Greater Madison!

Embracing the Youth

The Young Professionals committee is no more! That’s not a bad thing and it is completely by design. What started out seven years ago by Sarah Linn, our current AFP Greater Madison president, has evolved into something more in an effort to increase the young professional presence across all levels of the chapter.

The Best Ways to Give in a Pandemic

Back in December, my aunt sent me The New York Times article, titled “What’s the Right Way to Give in a Pandemic?” It covered some statistics around the increased need nonprofits are responding to from the global pandemic. The article also described some of the ways that nonprofits have shifted how they ask for support and creatively utilize technology. 

Letter from the President

In case we haven’t met in person, and we all know that the next opportunity may be a long way off, I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. I’ve been working with the chapter since I first moved to Madison in 2013 and joined the National Philanthropy Day committee. From 2014-2017, I was the chapter’s first Young Professional Chair, helping to kick off our important outreach to those new to the field. Finally, I moved to serve as Membership chair for three years, which gave me a chance to meet many of you! Before moving here, I was a music teacher in Ohio, so it’s safe to say that AFP has been my introduction to the world of development. I’ve learned so much through our programming and it’s given me the chance to meet so many incredible local professionals over the years. I’m excited to be taking on the role of Chapter President this year and look forward to giving back to the chapter that has done so much for me!

Chapter Director 2021

Before we get too far into the 2021 year, we did want to share a staffing change with you all. AFP Greater Madison Board of Directors is proud to announce the hiring of Jen Davie, CFRE, as our new Chapter Director. 

Honoring the Helpers

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”   ― Fred Rogers

It's truly been a year of scary things, but it has also been a year filled with helpers. This December, AFP Greater Madison is celebrating the helpers in our community.

A Year in Review: 2020

We kicked off 2020 just like any other year. We were hosting monthly educational programs to ensure you had the opportunity to further your professional development. Quarterly roundtables gave everyone a chance to come together and talk through the big questions that face us. Then, March showed up stomping all over our plans and bringing a reality that we weren’t quite ready to face.

Learn more about how our Chapter pivoted in order to continue providing our community with opportunities to learn and connect.

The impact is created by YOU

AFP Greater Madison is grateful for the countless hours of support from the board, committees, and all the volunteers who make the organization run smoothly. Often when a volunteer is asked to serve on a board, their first question is, “Is it a working board or strictly governing?” For our local chapter, that answer is WORKING! Our annual budget and operations depend on the investment of time and expertise from board members and their committees. 

We are humbled and grateful for the service of so many as we continue to advance the fundraising profession. As we wrap up 2020 and launch into 2021, we share our sincere thanks to those who served with us.

Your Winter AFP LEAD Reading List

AFP 2020 LEAD was held this past October, providing two days of leadership and nonprofit management training with a fundraiser's focus. The following is a list of books either referenced or written by speakers at the conference. Synopsis have been pulled from the web as I have not personally had the chance to read them all.

Check out the links provided if you are interested in learning more or purchasing the books to dive deeper!

Celebrating New & Renewing AFP Members

Welcome to our new AFP Greater Madison Chapter members and thank you to our renewing members! We are excited to have these members as a part of our community of fundraisers coming together to learn, connect, and support the causes we believe in.

Learn more about membership and benefits 

Congratulations to the 2020 National Philanthropy Day Award Winners

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Madison was excited to honor the winners of the 2020 National Philanthropy Day Awards during a virtual celebration held on November 13, 2020. These individuals, businesses and organizations have shown commitment and passion to strengthening our community and making it a better place to live for everyone.

Professional Development in a Virtual World

Without a doubt, pursuing continuing education opportunities looks pretty different these days but there are many high-quality virtual opportunities to hone your development and fundraising skills. Whether you are looking to earn or renew your CFRE credentials, sharpen your skills on a particular area of fundraising or broaden your knowledge base on inclusive and equitable ways to practice, your local AFP chapter has you covered!

Pandemic Perspective: Emily’s new, unfamiliar role during COVID-19

Hear from Emily Wills, Fund Development Coordinator of the Wisconsin Youth Company, about her move from Chicago to Madison to begin her relatively new career in the development field.

Emily began her job on March 16th at Wisconsin Youth Company, a non-profit organization that that offers various after-school, summer camp and other programs for school-aged children in the Dane and Waukesha counties for 30+ years.