News from the President 5.26.17

Diversity and inclusion are taking seats at the table, and AFP is fully on board with it.  The NYC Chapter launched a Diversity and Inclusion committee a year ago and though we have a long way to go, we have made strides in adding diversity to our Board and to our programs including Fundraising Day in New York. 

Last May members of our Professional Advancement committee put together a program titled Engaging Communities of Color in Your Organization’s Fundraising to address best ways to partner with diverse communities as a means to enhance their organization’s mission, maximize impact, and cultivate relationships with a new set of potential donors. The diverse panel included moderator Storme Gray, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategist with Inclusive Ventures; panelists Isabelle Leighton, Director of Equality Fund, Asian Americans for Equality; Danielle Moss Lee, President & CEO, YWCA-NYC; and Christian Weaver, Major Gifts Officer, American Indian College Fund. It was an informative and dynamic session that opened a window on other fundraising perspectives.

In October of 2016 the Chapter received the Charles R. Stephens Excellence in Diversity Award from IAFP.  We are proud of the recognition but I also view it as an incentive.

Data from a 2015 study by Community Wealth Partners shows that people of color made up 30% of the American workforce, while citing Nonprofit diversity levels at the time for Overall Staff (18%), Boards (17%) and CEO/Executive Directors (18%). They believe the disparity resides in a self-reinforcing cycle. 

Or I might say our self-reinforcing “bubbles” that we need to break out of to pursue new, unchartered and meaningful territory.

What that means for us is being more proactive in “engaging communities of color” through outreach, conversation and especially listening.  The Chapter and I welcome your thoughts and feedback at


Fundraising Day in New York 2017

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