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Dr. Lilya Wagner Wins AFP/Skystone Partners Research Prize for Work on Diversity in Philanthropy

Lilya Wagner(Arlington, VA) The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has awarded the 2017 AFP/Skystone Partners Prize for Research on Fundraising and Philanthropy to Dr. Lilya Wagner, Ed.D., CFRE, for her outstanding book, Diversity and Philanthropy: Expanding the Circle of Giving (Praeger 2016). She becomes the first author to receive the award twice, having already been honored for her earlier work, Careers in Fundraising.

Diversity and Philanthropy: Expanding the Circle of Giving, described as “excellent” by the AFP Research Committee, examines an increasingly important phenomenon: the intersection of philanthropy and diversity and how different populations and traditions are changing the very notions of giving, volunteering and charitable engagement. What makes the volume so distinctive is that Wagner’s work is based on both research and practice and brings together specialists from various countries who provide personal perspectives which explain the preferences for generosity.

The volume isn’t simply a country-by-country recitation of different philanthropic practices; instead it looks at how different populations practice philanthropy and how ideas are being integrated into traditional fundraising and giving practices. Thus, the book is applicable to fundraisers and nonprofit leaders in all of North America as well as around the world. 

“The importance of understanding diversity cannot be downplayed—both within the United States and across the globe,” wrote the Research Council in its comments about Wagner’s book. “We need to understand—at a deep and sophisticated level—the various cultures and their connection to philanthropy in order to create relationships that serve to improve society.  The qualitative research offered through the descriptive stories from different cultures in this volume will help fundraising professionals understand how to better connect with diverse people. The book provides a great variety of resources cited that will provide extensive opportunities for readers to dig deeper into their exploration of the topic.”

Each year, the AFP Research Council awards the Skystone Partners Prize for Research to the author or authors of a book that contributes substantially to the knowledge and understanding of fundraising or philanthropic behavior. The award is made possible by an endowment established by Skystone Partners, an international fundraising consulting firm, through the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy to encourage advanced research that extends the knowledge of fundraising and philanthropy.

Wagner is director of Philanthropic Service for Institutions, an internal consulting group for a system of North American church-related organizations ranging from health care, educational, and community service providers. In addition to her extensive experience in fundraising, Wagner is a long-time faculty member of The Fund Raising School, is on the philanthropic studies faculty of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, and teaches graduate courses for St. Mary’s University in Minnesota. 

“This book fulfills a long-time commitment of mine—one might say it’s been a passion—to diversity and how it affects philanthropic behaviors,” said Wagner. “One might ask what an older white woman is doing, writing a book on diversity, but what you see is the tip of the iceberg.  By the time I was ten I had been a refugee and immigrant, had learned four languages, lived on three continents, crossed two oceans and lived in one of the most diverse places on earth—New York City.  There’s a lesson in this: sometimes what you see is only the tip of the iceberg, and I hope my book will increase the understanding, appreciation and practice of inclusion when it comes to diversity.” 

Skystone Partners is proud to promote the kind of advanced research and thought leadership that Lilya’s book represents,” said Elizabeth Knuppel, president & CEO of Skystone Partners.  “Philanthropy is a part of every culture, and this work is a thought-provoking and practical addition that will benefit the field dramatically.”

AFP will present the Skystone Partners Prize for Research at its board meeting before the 54th AFP International Fundraising Conference in San Francisco in San Francisco on April 29.

 

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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 33,000 members raise more than $115 billion annually, equivalent to approximately one-third of charitable giving in North America, with millions more generated around the world. For more information, go to www.afpnet.org.

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Skystone Partners and its diverse team of fundraising consultants have counseled nonprofits and managed campaigns with goals from $1 million to over $500 million.  Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, the firm and its U.S.-based professional staff members are currently serving institutions throughout North America.  For more information, go to www.skystonepartners.com.



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