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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.

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.

FIND OUT MORE!

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.