A Year In Review 2021

Thank you for joining me as we kick off another year of fantastic programming, networking, and supporting each other at AFP Greater Madison (AFPGM).  I’m thrilled to be starting my second year as your chapter president, and I look forward to the great things we’ll accomplish together. But, before we get too far into 2022 plans, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the great things that happened for our chapter, members and community last year.


In 2021, we moved our IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, access) plans forward. Each committee talked through goals and questions that would guide them to look at each aspect of their work through an IDEA lens all year.  Thanks to this continued focus on IDEA principles, we are celebrating these steps forward:

  • Our most diverse and inclusive speaker line up to date for AFPGM programs and events
  • New connections with local nonprofits serving BIPOC communities
  • Increased outreach to organizations that employ and advocate for underrepresented groups for National Philanthropy Day nominations and invitations
  • New scholarship policies and procedures designed to make those dollars more accessible to members and nonmembers alike so we can give more back to the community
  • Launching the second cohort of the AFPGM Mentorship Program to provide opportunities for those new to the field to connect with local experts
  • Spotlights in our email and social media communications featuring a variety of people and different perspectives in the AFP and local nonprofit communities
  • Began planning a new JEDI Intensive in partnership with Daniel Sims to offer a course for our community exploring the overlap of philanthropy and social justice
  • Adding information to our Jobs Board page encouraging users to disclose salaries in their postings to help fight pay disparity for women and BIPOC communities


We are proud of the progress that we made last year, but we know we aren’t done yet! Looking ahead, we have challenged each committee to find ways to keep their IDEA goals top of mind as they move through the year. The board executive committee is also keeping these discussions on each board agenda and looking for new ways to support our community. We’re looking forward to celebrating more benchmarks met and progress made this time next year.


In addition to our IDEA work, AFPGM has a lot to celebrate! Our committees kept putting out great programming and networking opportunities, despite the challenges that COVID presented. 


Just a few celebrations for each of our committees:

  • Scholarship Committee expanded the scope of the ‘Emerging Leader’ scholarship, thanks to the generous gifts given by our community in honor of the late Boris Frank.
  • A very successful series of programs and roundtables (almost all virtual) were hosted by the members of the Professional Development Committee.
  • National Philanthropy Day was a success as our first hybrid event, with attendees in person at the Overture Center for the Arts and watching the event virtually. Ten local philanthropists and philanthropic organizations were highlighted for their incredible work in our community.
  • Our Membership & Engagement Committee hosted three virtual social hours to provide a space for individuals to get to know one another.
  • Our Communications Committee kept our Facebook page and e-newsletters filled with great content written by and for our AFPGM community.
  • Fundraising Day Wisconsin pivoted to match the times and became a series of virtual professional development webinars featuring local and national experts.


Each of our committees is gearing up for a new year, and they are looking for people who want to get involved.  If you’ve ever considered volunteering for with the Chapter, this is a great year to do so. Ever since I joined the chapter in 2013, I’ve found working with committees to be one of the best ways to meet and become friends with fellow nonprofit professionals. If these last few years have left you feeling distant from your fellow humans, or you are new to the area or field, this is a great way to get connected!


I look forward to seeing you all again (or meeting for the first time) at one of our upcoming professional development events, networking sessions, National Philanthropy Day, or somewhere else soon. 


Thank you for your dedication to your craft and for everything you do to make our Madison community a better place for all!


Sarah Linn

2022 AFPGM Chapter President