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Eileen Heisman, National Philanthropic Trust, Named AFP’s 2014 Outstanding Fundraising Professional

“One of sector’s leading voices, pushing for more effective fundraising and encouraging greater philanthropy” 

(Mar. 4, 2014)  Eileen Heisman, ACFRE, whose leadership as President and CEO of National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) has transformed it into the largest, independent provider of donor-advised funds in the US, has been named the 2014 Outstanding Fundraising Professional by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

The award is presented to the fundraiser who has practiced his or her profession in an exemplary manner for at least 15 years while generating significant revenue for his or her organizations. He or she must have demonstrated effective, creative and stimulating leadership and practiced and promoted ethical fundraising. Heisman will receive the honor on March 22, 2014, at the Celebration of Philanthropy award ceremony during AFP’s 51st International Conference on Fundraising in San Antonio.

Since becoming president of NPT in 1998, Heisman has grown the organization into one of the largest fundraising and grantmaking institutions in the U.S., raising more than $4 billion in contributions and making more than 90,000 grants totaling $2 billion to charities in 57 different countries. As president, she has led the creation of significant partnerships with some of the largest banking institutions in the world. NPT’s board has also expanded in conjunction with her forward-thinking desire to diversify in gender, geography and professional disciplines.

“I’m extremely proud to be this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award,” Heisman said. “To be recognized by my peers is an honor. Fundraising is a body of knowledge; and what we do with that knowledge—the way we can use it to impact the world in a positive way—is a privilege.”

Heisman is recognized as one of the sector’s leading voices, pushing for more effective fundraising and encouraging greater philanthropy, and is often interviewed by U.S. and international media outlets. In 2011, she was named by The NonProfit Times to its Power and Influence Top 50, an annual listing of the 50 most influential executives in the philanthropic sector. In 2013, she was invited by the Chinese government to speak to its emerging nonprofit sector about philanthropy and fundraising.

Heisman began her career in 1987 at the Philadelphia Foundation, where she helped grow its endowment by more than 40 percent to $73 million. In 1992, she moved to the Abington Memorial Hospital, where she led a variety of fundraising efforts during the institution’s $30 million capital campaign.

“Eileen Heisman isn’t just an extraordinary fundraiser, but also has become one of the public faces of philanthropy,” said Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of AFP. “Her fundraising achievements speak for themselves, and how she has transformed NPT is worthy of recognition all by itself. But it is her moral leadership—and her commitment to diversity, innovation and public education—that sets her apart, and why AFP is so proud to honor her this year as our Outstanding Fundraising Professional.”

Heisman is one of approximately 100 fundraisers in the world to achieve the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive (ACFRE) credential. She has a bachelor's degree with honors in psychology from Carnegie Mellon University and a master's degree in social work with a major in social program evaluation from the University of Michigan. She is a member of the third Wharton Fellows class at the University of Pennsylvania and completed the Executive Program for Leaders in Philanthropy at Stanford University. 

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Since 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has inspired global change—helping nonprofits and charities and supporting fundraising efforts that have generated more than $1 trillion. AFP advances effective and ethical philanthropy by providing advocacy, research, education, mentoring, collaboration and technology opportunities for the world’s largest network of professional fundraisers. AFP’s more than 30,000 members raise more than $100 billion annually, equivalent to more than one-third of charitable giving in North America, with millions more generated around the world. For more information, go to

NPT, one of the Top 100 grant-making institutions in the US, is the largest independent charity that enables donors to realize charitable giving goals through the use of donor-advised funds.  Founded in 1996, NPT has raised $4 billion in charitable contributions and currently manages more than $2 billion in charitable assets. NPT has made more than 90,000 grants totaling $2 billion to US and international charities. Since 2006, NPT has published the annual Donor-Advised Fund Report (, the preeminent resource about the state of DAF’s in the US.  For more information, visit

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