The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Central Florida has been named a 2016 Friends of Diversity Designation Chapter. Every year, AFP, the largest association of professional fundraisers in the world, honors chapters for achieving goals that align with key objectives in its long-range strategic plan. Chapters receive the Friends of Diversity Designation for performing specific activities designed to increase diversity and inclusion within fundraising and public awareness of the importance of philanthropy. Of the 244 chapters in AFP, 76 chapters received the 2016 Friends of Diversity Designation.

“AFP Central Florida is proud to be a Friend of Diversity,” says Mary Lee Walker, AFP Central Florida Chapter President. “Central Florida draws its strength from being a diverse community. The AFP Central Florida Chapter is committed to embracing diversity and acknowledges the positive impact diversity has on the charities our members represent and in philanthropy in general.”

Friends of Diversity Chapters are recognized at the AFP International Conference on Fundraising. Chapters also earn the privilege of displaying the Friends of Diversity logo on their website, newsletters and stationary.

“Congratulations to the AFP Central Florida for its outstanding work in promoting diversity and inclusion in fundraising and philanthropy,” said AFP Interim President & CEO Jason Lee. “It’s clear, now more than ever, that diversity and inclusion are essential not only to fundraising, but also to the communities that we serve. We need new ideas and perspectives to keep philanthropy strong and relevant, and reaching out to different populations ensures we bring everyone together and create a charitable mosaic reflective of our communities. I commend the Central Florida chapter for taking a leadership role in this critical area and educating the public about the importance of diversity, fundraising and philanthropy.”

Criteria for the award are determined by AFP International Headquarters. A list of several goals is published annually, and chapters must accomplish 7 of these goals during the year and submit a nomination form for verification to be honored.

For more information on the Friends of Diversity Designation process, please visit

* * *

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents over 33,000 members in 244 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. For more information, visit



Only 1 week left of Early Bird Registration

Reserve Your Space Now! Early Bird Registration Closes March 15.

Reserve Your Space Now! Early Bird Registration Closes March 15.3 Days
May 22-24, 2016

8 Tracks
Communications & Special Events, Donor Relations,
Leadership & Trends in Philanthropy, Planned Giving,
Annual Fund, Major Gifts, Best Practices, Career Development

48 Workshops
View schedule and educational workshops

400 Attendees
Register now



Beating the Summertime Fundraising Blues

AFPsummerGiving Thoughts: Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…. Unless you’re trying to raise money, that is.

Honestly, I love summer—the rest and relaxation, chillin’ on the beach, cookouts with friends and relatives. But for fundraisers, it can be a tough time to do our jobs.

So the question is, What do you do during the summer when your donors are busy not paying attention to you and your organization?

 The answer is: plenty.

First, let’s make it clear that summer isn’t a time to do nothing. To the contrary, you want to use this time to continue your cultivation and stewardship activities, setting the stage for when you might resume asking people for money. I’m not implying that you don’t ask people for money during the summer months, but rather that people’s vacation schedules, travel and general mindset might prevent you from conducting what you’d consider your “school year” fundraising regimen.

Think back to a few years ago to when the recession hit. Philanthropic giving slowed considerably, fundraisers cut back on their solicitations, and campaigns either modified the strategy, stalled or never got off the ground. Still, development efforts continued in anticipation of the time when giving would return to normal.

And so it is with summer. Use this time as an opportunity to regroup and reassess. Revisit your annual fund case, your marketing materials and your website. For those who count by the calendar year, you’re halfway home. How are you doing in relation to your goals? For those whose fiscal years start in July, you’re just getting started. Be sure your proverbial ducks are in a row so you can hit the ground running come fall.

Summer is also a great time for professional development. If you’re in a small office, think about cross training for your staff. How about a refresher course on making the ask? Try role playing with your colleagues. Read the latest books on grant writing or volunteer management or planned giving strategies, depending on your expertise.

Also, take some time to clean up your database and to peruse your mailing lists. Small housekeeping tasks like this may seem like busywork, but your efforts will pay dividends in the long run.

Above all, continue meeting with donors and prospects as much as possible, though keep in mind they may be less enthusiastic about seeing you. It’s nothing personal. Then again, you might find some folks who think summer is just a fantastic time to discuss their philanthropic commitments. Either way, keep moving forward, but temper expectations and don’t get frustrated.

Fall will be here before you know it, and things will return to normal. Meanwhile, enjoy your summer and have some fun.

Thanks to SkyStone Partners for the article above.

AFP International Conference on Fundraising: March 29-31, Baltimore, MD


Have you registered to attend the AFP International Fundraising Conference? Click to Register!

Being a fundraiser means more than just raising funds.

And it starts with you. Fundraisers are the connection between donors and causes, the catalyst that makes philanthropy happen.

That’s why in 2015 AFP’s International Fundraising Conference is changing to focus on one thing—you.

No two fundraisers are alike, just like no two causes or fundraising campaigns are alike.
Fundraising is about what you want it to be—what you want to focus on and what impact you want to have on the world. It is only limited by your imagination.

What impact will you have on Fundraising in 2015? Get the skills to make it happen—and make a splash in Baltimore,  at the world’s largest gathering of professionals dedicated to building the charitable sector – “The International Fundraising Conference”

For more information please click on the image above or visit the website here:

#GivingTuesday is December 2, 2014

GT_logo2013-final1-1024x85So I’ve seen the hashtag #GivingTuesday here and there, but didn’t have the most thorough understanding of what it was. I attended today’s #GivingTuesday information session at Rollins Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership Center (PNLC) and not only did I learn more about the global day of giving, but I also got REALLY excited about this year’s #GivingTuesday possibilities. For some basic background info check out this video:

This year is expected to be bigger and better than ever, and our very own Rollins PNLC is now a designated partner to the national organization. This means that the PNLC will serve as a local hub for ideas, collaborations, best practices and resources. HOORAY!

Many thanks to the PNLC for hosting and facilitating today’s presentation about #GivingTuesday. Below are some key take-aways from today that I want to share with my sizzling AFP Peeps:

  • You did not miss the #GivingTuesday boat! Even if your organization hasn’t “sailed” before, you can “come aboard” this year. And, if you start NOW you’ll have plenty of time to plan your strategy. Check out the presentation Kaia Forget and Brian Schulte shared with us today to get the wheels in your head turning.
  • Sign up for emails from the PNLC related to #GivingTuesday 2014. You’ll receive information about upcoming events/workshops surrounding this global day of giving and incredible resources that’ll be helpful to your #GivingTuesday campaign planning and implementation (e.g. an outreach calendar – how much easier can this get, right?!).
  • Check out the #GivingTuesday website for a plethora of tools including graphics, examples, ideas, case studies, etc.
  • The PNLC has created the hashtag #GivingTuesdayCFL to promote the initiative and local campaign efforts through December. Look for it on Twitter and Instagram! You can also follow #GivingTuesday on Facebook and Twitter.

Tips to consider when planning your #GivingTuesday campaign:

  • Identify a specific need your organization needs funding for (e.g. $2,000 to provide any number of families with Thanksgiving dinner).
  • Solicit a match. Give Kids the World did this and it proved to be very successful – check out their case study video.
  • Start promoting your campaign early – 2-3+ weeks before Dec. 2, 2014.
  • If this is your first #GivingTuesday campaign, start small. Set your fundraising goals realistically (even though you’ll be reaching for the stars).
  • Create a solid marketing plan to support your campaign. Much of #GivingTuesday is social media-based, but you can promote it ahead of time through other marketing vehicles.
  • Enlist assistance from “social media ambassadors” – board members, volunteers and friends of your organization who will share information about your campaign and the impact your organization has on our community via their personal social media accounts.
  • Consider the mighty ThunderClap! This is a new social media component that I feel is best described this way: “A new tool for amplifying your tweet into a sonic boom.” This FAQ helped me better understand how you can supercharge your message with the help of a crowd.

Have you participated in #GivingTuesday before? If so, share your thoughts with us in the comment section below. For those of you who have not participated before, do you think you will this year? Join the conversation online and perhaps with the crowd at our next AFP After Hours Social on July 31 at Cocina 214 (members and non-members are welcome to attend). We look forward to hearing from you!