Patricia Clemency – AFP Member Since 1988

“The AFP helped me transition from a career in business to working in the nonprofit world.”

By Susan J. Fields CFRE

Patricia Clemency came to the nonprofit arena with a wealth of experience in television, media sales, and marketing. In 1982 she began volunteering for    Make-A-Wish, which she learned about when NBC aired a story about the nascent nonprofit based in Phoenix, Arizona. “They had granted the wishes of just nine children with life-threatening medical conditions before the story aired. Soon after, Make-A-Wish became known throughout the country for bringing hope, strength and joy to children when they needed it most.” By 1988, Make-A-Wish had 60 chapters around the world and Pat came on board to head up the Metro New York chapter. Throughout the years, her passion for the organization has never wavered. She is currently the President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York, serving 23 counties throughout New York State. “It is hard to believe that Make-A-Wish has grown to 62 chapters in the U.S. and 39 international affiliates, serving children in nearly 50 countries on five continents. With the help of generous donors and volunteers, Make-A-Wish has collectively granted more than 350,000 wishes worldwide since its founding.”

When asked what led her to the doors of the AFP (then known as the NSFRE), Pat explains, “Although I had transferrable skills, I knew nothing substantive about fundraising. It was through being exposed to some of the best fundraising professionals in New York and the world that I learned how to build a mature funding base that helped to make the chapter what it is today. You can have the greatest mission, but without funding support—nothing can happen. Being part of the AFP allowed me to feel connected and supported all of these years.”

Currently Pat is a member of both the New York and Long Island chapters of the AFP, was part of the first AFP National Faculty Training Academy, and is a regular presenter at Fundraising Day in New York (FDNY). Her future plans include transitioning to a position with Make-A-Wish America, where she will be working with chapters across the country.

Don’t miss 2016 Fundraising Day in New York where Pat Clemency will be presenting “The Event Pipeline: Turning Event Guests into Major Donors.”


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Susan J. Fields, CFRE, the author of this profile, has served in the nonprofit sector for 30 years. A former English teacher, she worked in the major gifts department of the United Jewish Appeal and later served as Director of Institutional Advancement at Holy Cross High School in Flushing. Susan is currently a writer and communications specialist.  It is interesting to note that Mrs. Fields has been a member of the AFP since 1993 and found her position at Holy Cross through the AFP job bank in 1994.


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