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Scholarships Recipients Wanted. Could It Be You?

Tight Budget? We can help with your professional development costs!

Throughout your entire career, professional development opportunities can help you elevate your professional skills through education, networking, leadership development, and more. Our scholarships are available for all fundraisers – whether you are an AFP member or not – to ensure access to AFP events, membership, and conferences as well as professional development opportunities outside of AFP.

An Attitude of Gratitude and Five Ways to Show It

The golden rule, “treat others as you would like to be treated” has tarnished a bit in recent years. The new and improved platinum rule might be “treat others as they would like to be treated.” In a world where customization and individuality abound, how do we recognize our donors’ preferences for how they want to be acknowledged, appreciated, and loved?

Check out Emily Wills' article as she shares the Gratitude Languages (based on Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages).

Nominate Now! Honoring Community Members as National Philanthropy Day Nears

With National Philanthropy Day 2023 on the horizon (November 9 at Overture Center) we wanted to continue to honor recent award winners and offer a friendly reminder that nominations for this year are due by Monday, Aug. 28th.

National Philanthropy Day 2023 
When: Thurs., Nov. 9th at Overture Center in Madison (11:30 am–1:30 pm)
Nominations due: Monday, Aug. 28th
Purpose: Honor people and organizations whose philanthropic efforts make our community a wonderful place to live.
Full list of 2022 honorees here

Why Did You Become a Fundraiser with David Mossner, CFRE

This month we’re featuring an interview with Certified Fund Raising Executive, David Mossner, CFRE.

Between the time of the interview and its publication, David’s role changed from Development Director to Executive Director of Oakwood Foundation in Madison. We hope the story of his fundraising journey and the lessons he learned along the way inspire and encourage you.

What inspired you to become a fundraiser?

My first exposure to fundraising happened while working as an insurance agent. My goal was to serve individuals or families by helping them to meet their needs and attain their goals with insurance, investments, or a combination of both.

One of my clients had a portfolio of highly appreciated stocks and, as a couple, they were looking for a way to support their philanthropic goals.

Thanks to regular talks at our agency meetings from a planned-giving counselor, I introduced the idea of legacy giving to the couple. Over the next several months, the counselor and I met with them to answer questions. Ultimately, we helped them set up a Charitable Remainder Uni-trust, which thrilled my clients.

As I watched the counselor, I appreciated his patient approach. He never rushed to close the deal but answered all the couple’s questions. That experience made me think I might like to do that kind of work.

Read more about David's career..

Why did you become a fundraiser with Mary Salisbury

This month we asked Mary Salisbury, Director of Philanthropy  of Girls on the Run South Central Wisconsin, to share her fundraising journey and the lessons she’s learned along the way.

Mary’s career in fundraising started several years ago in Minnesota. She has worked for several non-profit organizations including PAVSA, a sexual assault service provider, YWCA Minneapolis, and Freshwater in St. Paul.

In her current position at Girls on the Run, Mary helps young women in South Central Wisconsin learn critical life skills. With guidance from trained volunteer coaches, girls and gender-expansive youth are inspired to develop joy, health, and confidence through dynamic interactive lessons and physical activity.

Another of Mary’s most recent responsibilities in the field includes serving on AFP Greater Madison’s Board of Directors in the role of IDEA Officer to help foster a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility.

We hope her story offers you encouragement as you continue to learn and grow.

AFP ICON 2023 Reflections from Chapter Members

AFP Greater Madison had a strong showing at the national AFP ICON conference, held in New Orleans back in April. Three chapter members shared their experience and resources all chapter members can put to use.

Celebrating Pride Month and the Difference Makers in Our Community!

June is Pride Month around the world and here at AFP Greater Madison we wanted to highlight two local non-profit organizations, GSAFE and OutReach Madison, that are an integral part of the Madison LGBTQIA+ community and are making a difference each and every day.
Led by our new IDEA Officer, Mary Salisbury, our chapter continues to improve our vision of the world through an IDEA (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion) lens and we are grateful to all of our members for making this commitment, too. 

With that being said, we are always looking for insight, stories to share or advice from all of our fundraisers of varying backgrounds and experiences. Keep us in the loop and share your story today, right here!

Hear more from Brian Juchems, Co-Executive Director at GSAFE, and Steve Sarkey, Executive Director, at OutReach Madison.

Help Mentees Bloom Through the AFP Mentorship Program

About to begin its third year, the AFP Great Madison Mentorship Program creates a unique opportunity for focused, long-term relationships between seasoned fundraising professionals and those just starting to carve out their path in the profession.

For Eva Wingren, her mentorship with Tom Linfield was an opportunity to build connections after moving to Madison in December 2020. “The feeling of landing in Madison and knowing somebody was really critical for me,” Eva shares. “We had all been so isolated during the pandemic.”

Eva, the Donor Relations Officer at Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, had previously worked for a community foundation in Baltimore, making the pairing with Tom, Vice President of Community Impact at the Madison Community Foundation, a thoughtful fit. With his years of experience in nonprofits and role of staying closely aware of the many organizations in town, Tom helped her “learn more about what a healthy fundraising shop looks like and how to really get donors interested in the work the organization does.”

Why did you become a fundraiser with Emily Gunderson

As part of our ongoing fundraising origin story series, we’ll share the story of an up-and-coming fundraiser, Emily Gunderson. She serves as the Development Coordinator and Unit Service Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, Chippewa Valley Council #637.

In January, she traveled across the state to attend the two-day Fundamentals of Fundraising course sponsored by AFP Greater Madison .

Even though Emily officially has been in a full-time fundraising position for just a year and a half, she has some great tips for building relationships with donors.

We hope her story motivates and encourages you.

Three Ways Fundraisers Can Honor Black History Month

“Everyone has a responsibility in making things right. Everyone has a role in the process of healing, regardless of whether they caused or received more harm.” - Edgar Villanueva

I recently had the chance to attend a webinar in which a nonprofit leader, a black woman, shared a personal story about an interaction with a donor. In their encounter, the donor made an offensive comment about his perceptions of black culture a split second before handing her a check. In that moment, the nonprofit leader found herself trapped between the money her organization requires and her own personal dignity and well-being. 

There is endless work to be done to create a better and just world, from the outcomes our organizations pursue to the harm perpetuated within them. February is an opportunity to uplift the Black community and work to undo centuries of harm. It’s a chance to learn more about the experiences of Black leaders locally and around the world, and use our roles and agency as fundraisers for personal and systemic change. Here are three ways fundraisers can honor Black History this month and continually throughout our lives:

Welcome to the new 2023 Board members!

AFP Greater Madison elects their board of directors annually at the December meeting. Board members are elected to a 1-year term which begins on January 1st of each year. The 2023 board is welcoming six new members along with twelve renewing board members. We caught up with a few of the new members to hear their origin stories in fundraising and more about their work today.

Why did you become a fundraiser with Mike Sweitzer-Beckman, CFRE

This month we asked Mike Sweitzer-Beckman, CFRE, Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Edgewood College in Madison and our newest President-Elect of AFP Greater Madison, to share his fundraising journey and the lessons he’s learned along the way.

We hope his story motivates and encourages you.

What inspired you to become a fundraiser?
While in grad school in Berkeley, California, I thought I wanted to be a campus minister. But after a year, I realized it wasn’t for me. Fortunately, the career development director at my school noticed I was passionate about different causes and a strong communicator. He encouraged me to pursue fundraising. I finished the program, moved back to Madison in 2008, and landed a job a couple of months later as an entry level fundraiser.


AFP ICON Scholarship – Annie Louis

The annual AFP ICON conference is heading to New Orleans April 16 – 18. This year’s conference is sure to be filled with education, professional development, and fun (how can it not be fun with a theme like “Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler” or “Let the Good Times Roll”?!) Thanks to the AFP Greater Madison Scholarship program, our chapter will be sending multiple members to the conference. 

One of the AFP Greater Madison Chapter members attending AFP ICON is Annie Louis. Find out more about Annie and her plans for ICON!

New President Anna January “Energized” by community, new role

AFP Greater Madison welcomes new president, Anna January, as she begins her two-year term in January 2023.  A member for many years and a co-founder of our emerging Mentorship Program, she’s ready to help lead AFP Greater Madison. She is currently the Director of Individual & Legacy Giving at PBS Wisconsin. 

Why did you become a fundraiser?

Why did you become a fundraiser? Everyone will have a different answer to that question, and we’d love to hear yours.

This year, AFP-Greater Madison would like to celebrate you—the fundraisers who help people make a difference in the world.

Our goal is to feature an individual in each issue—seasoned or novice, fundraising director or gift processor, major gift officer or executive director. It doesn’t matter what your role is or how long you’ve been in your fundraising career, you have a story to tell, and we want to hear from you.

This month, we’ve chosen to lead by example and feature our very own – Max Nguyen. Max is a Major Gift Officer at Edgewood College. He also serves on AFP Greater Madison’s Board of Directors and is chair of the group’s Communications Committee. We asked Max to share his story. We hope it motivates and inspires you.

Member Feature: Campaigns Corner

Within the nonprofit sector, there are many types of campaigns your organization may work on throughout the year – peer-to-peer, capital, annual giving, etc. While the goal of each of these various campaigns can vary, the core strategies are actually very similar! 

In my work as the Fundraising Campaigns Associate at the American Red Cross, I work on three national campaigns throughout the year, as well as leading the matching gift campaign program. I’m excited to share some best practices that I have learned during my time leading fundraising campaigns.

NPD Highlights: ReMitts – Outstanding Grassroots Fundraiser

On Thursday, November 10th, 2022, the AFP Greater Madison Chapter celebrated the 35th Annual National Philanthropy Day. National Philanthropy Day is a wonderful opportunity to recognize the contributions of those within the philanthropic community and the work they’re doing to impact the local community. 

This year’s event took place at the Overture Center for the Arts and featured nine honorees, who were nominated and selected from a panel of judges. Each honoree has displayed selflessness and commitment to serving others, so we’d like to continue the celebration by sharing more about the people and organizations from the event. 

This month, we’re excited to highlight ReMitts, the recipient of the Outstanding Grassroots Fundraiser award!

Year Two in the Books! Highlights from Our Mentorship Program

Year two of AFP Greater Madison’s mentoring program has wrapped up with six mentor/mentee pairs. It provided an opportunity for mentor and mentee to learn from one another and touch base monthly in a continuing professional development program throughout the year. A perfect chance to do what we do best (build relationships!) and seek advice from another who is invested in you!

This year we had twice as many pairs (six) as we did in year one. We talked to a few of them to hear what their highlights and takeaways were from this worthwhile program! Check out their comments below.

We are excited to see what year three has in store as we continue one of our favorite professional development programs. Stay tuned for more information on our website as we prepare for year three:

Grant Writing Workshop Offers Practical Tips

That question opened the September Grant Writing Workshop offered by AFP Madison and the UW-Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies. The workshop was the last session of a professional development series entitled Top Trends and Promising Strategies in Revenue Model and Funds Development.

The workshop presenters offered practical tips for new and seasoned grant writers alike.

New Member Spotlight: Rowan Childs

The AFP Greater Madison Chapter is made up of seasoned members, as well as newcomers. This month, we are excited to share more about one of our newest members: Rowan Childs! 

Rowan Childs is the Executive Director and Founder of the Madison Reading Project. Madison Reading Project aims to connect the Madison community with free books and literacy resources that ignite a love for reading and affirm and reflect the diversity of young readers. 

How Spooky is Your Office?

It is October - the spookiest season of them all! And so, the AFP Communications team decided to have a little fun. 

Welcome - to the AFP haunted house!!

In a small beige room with paint bulging from the years of water slowly dripping through the ceiling that no grant funding will ever pay to fix sit THE DEVELOPMENT STAFF. 

Click through to find the ending...if you dare!

Eliza’s Art and Giving Spirit Recognized at National Philanthropy Day

With National Philanthropy Day 2022 on the horizon (November 10 at the Overture Center) we wanted to continue to honor our 2021 honorees! This month, we spotlight Eliza Gepner and her beautiful, unique art. Eliza was celebrated as the 2021 Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award after being nominated by MOM (Middleton Outreach Ministry).

Pursuing your CFRE?

Creal Zearing (Gathering Waters) and Lynn Perez-Hewitt (Hewitt Consulting Enterprises) recently started a CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) monthly working group that is intended to bring together those in the greater Madison community looking to learn more about and pursue their CFRE certification. Join this dynamic duo on the second Tuesday of every month from 4-5 pm!

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, National Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized from September 15th to October 15th. Hispanic Heritage Month was established to celebrate the incredible contributions of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the AFP Greater Madison Chapter sat down for a conversation with Baltazar De Anda Santana, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Latino Academy of Workforce Development, Inc.

Stoughton Students Learn to Dance Thanks to Jonathan and the Madison Ballet

Stoughton Courier Hub and Scott De Laruelle’s recently released a full article about our very own AFP GM board member, Jonathan Solari (CEO), and Madison Ballet teaming up with the Stoughton Area School District to bring dancing summer classes to Stoughton. This was a great opportunity to highlight how Madison Ballet is making a difference in our community through partnerships and new ideas!

Local Member and Chapter Director Receives Recognition

Jen Davie, the AFP Greater Madison Chapter Director, will be recognized with Outstanding Alumnus Award from the UW-Platteville College of BILSA (Business, Industry, Life, and Agriculture). This award acknowledges an alumnus who contributed to a body of knowledge that advances a profession through research or professional activities, has made a significant contribution to society in the form of philanthropic contributions, or has demonstrated visionary thinking and actions.

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, Timeka Rumph (Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association) and Jamie Sims (100 Black Men of Madison and Middleton School District) about black philanthropy and what it means to them and our community.

Five Qualities of a Great Fundraiser

Hear from Angela and Patricia about their Top 5 qualities below! Do some of these sound familiar? Living out these qualities in our every day work is why we do what we do.

Angela Davis
Director of Grantmaking
Madison Community Foundation


Patricia Eldred, CFRE
Patricia has more than 25 years of development experience, having raised significant dollars for arts, human services, education, early childhood and animal rescue organizations. Patricia has been an AFP Madison Chapter member since 2002, and in 2005 was honored as Outstanding Professional Fundraiser by the Chapter. She received her CFRE certification in 2005.

AFP Greater Madison Strategic Plan Update

The AFP Greater Madison Chapter Board of Directors gathered on Friday, July 8th to review the Chapter’s strategic plan. The strategic plan outlines the mission, core purpose, core values, and goals for our organization and is meant to guide the chapter year over year. Normally the plan would follow a three-year plan, but due to COVID, the current strategic plan has been in place since 2019.  

While the plan itself is still being finalized with the Board of Directors, the group is excited to share an update on the core values. These core values will guide the overall strategic plan and inspire activities within the Greater Madison Chapter moving forward.

Celebrating Disability Pride Month

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!

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 and friends, including Lori and Jason, for sharing their experiences with us.

With that being said, we are always looking for insight, stories to share or advice from all of our fundraisers of varying backgrounds and experiences. Keep us in the loop and share your story today, right here!

Hear more from Lori Werbeckes (Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired) and Jason Beloungy (Access to Independence) below as they share about their work, the communities they serve and other thoughts on the community of folks with disabilities.