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Mentorship Program year 4 starting in June

WOW! What a year! AFP Greater Madison’s mentorship program saw continued growth with our largest cohort yet in 2023: 19 mentee/mentor pairings! And mentorship can be beneficial for anyone, not just for folks who are new to fundraising. We are excited for year 4 of our mentorship program starting this June. 

Greater Madison Coffee Shop Round-Up

As fundraisers, one of the most universally uniting experiences is a coffee shop meeting! Whether you’re meeting a prospective donor, connecting with a colleague, or networking with fellow fundraisers – coffee shops are often the go-to meetup locations. However, going to the same place over and over again can get stale. Here are some new ideas for spots to check out for your next coffee date.

Scholarships Open Opportunities: Natalie Glumm shares her experience from AFP ICON

Natalie Glumm, Managing Director of Corporate Giving at PBS Wisconsin, enriched her fundraising experience earlier this spring by attending the world’s number-one fundraising conference, AFP ICON, in Toronto, Canada.

The conference, which took place from April 7 to 9, allowed Natalie to interact with fundraising professionals from around the world.

 During the conference, Natalie built relationships, shared ideas, and learned from others in the field during informal get-togethers. She also learned about best practices, innovative strategies, and emerging trends during the workshops and seminars.

“Attending AFP ICON contributed to my ongoing professional development,” says Natalie. “The conference offered valuable learning experiences and opportunities. I left Toronto with a renewed sense of purpose and motivation to bring actionable ideas back to my team and community."

You Would Make a Great Mentor or Mentee, Check It Out!

WOW! What a year! AFP Greater Madison’s mentorship program saw continued growth with our largest cohort yet in 2023: 19 mentee/mentor pairings! And mentorship can be beneficial for anyone, not just for folks who are new to fundraising.

Details below:

  • Applications Open: March through Sunday, May 5

  • Cohort kicks off in June and formally runs for 1 year

  • Time Commitment: Min. 1 hour/month – otherwise flexible, dependent on mentor/mentee pair

  • Qualifications: You DO NOT need to be member of AFP Greater Madison to participate, loo; looking for both mentors and mentees all areas of fundraising and development

  • Questions? Email Mentorship Chair Pete Schwieger at

Honoring Women’s History Month & Jenny Pressman

In March 1978, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women planned the first ever “Women’s History Week.” The week-long celebration in Santa Rosa, California was coordinated around International Women’s Day on March 8. The event sparked interest across the country, and other communities joined in the festivities the following year.

As the movement grew across the United States, Women’s History Week was recognized by President Jimmy Carter for the first time in 1980. Women’s History Week later expanded to Women’s History Month and became an official resolution in 1987.

Each March, the purpose of Women’s History Month is to honor women’s contributions in American History. Within the AFP Greater Madison Chapter, there are dozens of incredible women who are working to better the lives of those around them and contribute to positive changes in our world. 

One incredible example of this is Jenny Pressman, Director of Development and Community Partnerships for the UW Odyssey Project and AFP Greater Madison’s 2023 Outstanding Fundraising Professional.

Level Up Your Career and Skills with an AFP Scholarship

Take your career to the next level with a scholarship from AFP Greater Madison.
AFP Greater Madison takes the philanthropy profession very seriously. So seriously, in fact, they provide scholarships to help fundraisers further their careers.

I know this to be true from first-hand experience.

Professional Development Scholarships can help you take advantage of unique learning opportunities.

Last fall, I applied for and received a scholarship to attend the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference. The experience was amazing!

The two-and-a-half-day conference featured an incredible lineup of fundraising experts. Fifty-five sessions covered various topics, ranging from capital campaigns to “weeds” in your direct mail appeals.

Looking for Professional Development? So are we!

As a fundraising professional, you hope to thrive, not just survive. With smaller organizations, it’s sometimes both! We’re always looking to continue learning and growing. There are plenty of professional development opportunities to watch out for this year, including webinars on our AFP Global site, local events, or conferences across the country. Hear where some of our members are heading in the coming months.


FRIENDLY REMINDER: AFP Greater Madison offers scholarships for various professional development opportunities, make sure to check out our scholarship page today

“I Love What I Do”: Origin Story with Jill McNally

This month, we asked Jill McNally, Director of Stewardship and Development at the Diocese of Madison, if she would share her story and the lessons she has learned along the way. We hope her story motivates and encourages you.

Welcome New AFP Greater Madison Chapter Board Leaders

As the calendars turned to 2024, a new group of dedicated leaders joined the AFP Greater Madison Chapter Board of Directors, guided by a new Chapter President! The team will lend their expertise, experience, and energy to the chapter’s mission of advancing ethical and effective philanthropy through education, professional development, networking, and outreach.

Honoring Black History Month with Two Extraordinary Women

In honoring Black History Month, we wanted to share content from two inspirational and transformational African American women leaders, Birgit Smith Burton and Vanessa McDowell. 

Birgit was the first African-American woman in the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 61 year history to be voted board chair. She has a long list of accomplishments as a frontline fundraiser. 

Vanessa was the impactful leader at YWCA Madison for nine years and recently took a new role as Chief Operating Officer at Black Girl Ventures (BGV).

Read more about these extraordinary fundraisers who broke through barriers to make a difference. You’ll find links to their stories below. And thank you to Mary Salisbury, AFP Greater Madison’s IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) Officer for her suggestions and links!

Oh, No, Facebook Made a Change! Fundraising with Facebook After October 31

Are we really surprised that Facebook (Meta) changed its platform? If we have been following their news, this is just another day in the tech enterprise's world. Facebook announced at the end of August that it would stop covering fees for donations through the platform and turn over the administration of giving through the platform to the PayPal Giving Fund. It would continue allowing nonprofits and donors to fundraise, but all transactions would be run through this third-party PayPal Giving Fund.

Peer Spotlight Mailbag

Wisconsin Youth Company Development Director and AFP Greater Madison member Emily Wills sent this email out to donors the afternoon of Giving Tuesday, pushing to the finish line of their $5,000 match challenge.

It stood out to me as a fun way to prompt quick action while expressing her organization’s unique identity. And we can use it as a reminder of some best practices to follow in our own fundraising communications.

AFP Annual Meeting Featured Senator Kelda Roys This Year

The AFP Greater Madison brought together special nonprofit professionals, development consultants, and philanthropic leaders for an annual meeting on Tuesday, December 12. On the agenda were a vote on both the budget and the board for the coming year as well as a talk from guest speaker, Senator Kelda Roys.

Amidst many challenges our nonprofit organizations are working to remedy, including fewer donors, inflation, and other economic woes, AFP Greater Madison is heading for a year of equilibrium.

Members of AFP Greater Madison are committed to maintaining this community and the sense of camaraderie and mutual support. The organization is committed to enhancing and uplifting the talents of local nonprofit professionals, and this coming year is no different.

You Survived Another Year! Celebrate!

Congrats! Another year of fundraising is in the books (or almost, anyways)! We reached out to some of our members to hear what some of their biggest celebrations, challenges, and unique stories were from this year. Some even went beyond and dug into the vault in sharing their highs and lows from years gone by.

HBO’s Telemarketers reveals a foil to responsible professional fundraising

Premiered on HBO in August, the docuseries Telemarketers has reached critical and popular acclaim, shocking audiences with an investigative look into fraudulent for-profit telemarketer fundraising companies hosted by two loveable amateur investigators who themselves once worked for one of those very companies.

With Warner Bros. Discovery reporting in September that the three-episode series garnered an average of nearly 2 million viewers per episode, the show reveals an informative foil to our work as legitimate professional fundraisers and what we’re up against in doing our jobs right and building trust among our donors and the public.

What are YOU thankful for this year?

It’s that time of year already. The time to realize goals (hello Giving Tuesday and end of year giving), but also the time to celebrate victories and reflect on the good we’ve done in the community. We asked a few of our members what they were thankful for and some handy resources that have helped them along the way.

Here’s what we asked them:
1. What are you most thankful for this holiday season? Both professionally and/or personally.
2. What are some of your favorite resources or fundraising experts (webinars/books/blogs/articles) that you are also thankful for and have helped you out?

Miss AFP LEAD 2023? Our President-Elect Reflects on Time in Philly

On behalf of the AFP Greater Madison Chapter, Mike Sweitzer Beckman attended AFP LEAD on October 19–21, 2023 in Philadelphia. Learn more about Mike’s experience at the conference and his key takeaways below.

At AFP LEAD, there were some 450 attendees from around the world, and the time together kicked off for me with all–day meetings with other chapter leaders.

I went with a lot of questions, primarily rooted in: What is the value of the AFP Greater Madison Chapter membership, as well as the AFP Global membership to the fundraising profession? It was helpful to be in a room where I wasn’t the only one trying to articulate answers to these questions.

One of Our Favorite Days of the Year: National Philanthropy Day

On Thursday, November 9th, in the Rotunda of Overture Center for the Arts, more than 250 people gathered to celebrate charitable giving and philanthropic work in the greater Madison community.

The Greater Madison National Philanthropy Day Celebration brought together development professionals, corporate giving and business leaders, individual philanthropists, and people of (almost) all ages.

A resounding message of the luncheon echoed from speaker to speaker – that a love of humankind and the passion to make positive change pushes us all forward. No matter how small the gift is, there is a great impact to be made on the world we share.

Why Nonprofits Should Engage in Advocacy

Advocacy is an important way to fulfill your mission and secure funding.

Did you know that government funding provides a larger share of money for nonprofits than private contributions? That’s one reason why advocacy should be seen as vital to every nonprofit’s mission.

This was the focus of a recent session hosted by the Greater Madison Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where Mike Carlson, Gathering Waters’ executive director, joined presenters from the Madison Community Foundation and the Madison Public Schools Foundation.

In fact, almost one-third of nonprofit revenue comes from government sources.

Nonprofits and their development staff tend to focus on raising funds from individuals and foundations. And while philanthropy is often a crucial source of revenue, there’s a bigger picture to consider: approximately 30% of overall nonprofit revenue comes from federal or state governments, compared to 12% from all other funders (individuals, foundations, and corporations).

Nonprofit Unicorn Spotted!

Vu Le has become a personal hero to many in nonprofits and is known for challenging our industry to think beyond the status quo. Last week, we had the privilege of seeing him IRL (in real life) thanks to the Goodman Community Center with support from the Madison Community Foundation. Goodman brought Le to Madison to give a keynote on the "Evolving Role of Donors" as part of their "Love and Legacy" campaign celebrating Goodman's 70th.

Spotlighting Oscar, Madison and 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 Oscar Mireles, Executive Director of both Omega School and LOUD (Latinos Organizing for Understanding and Development).

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.