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Important Year for Diversity and Inclusion at AFP

Diversity and inclusion are important topics every day for organizations, but 2016 is shaping up to be especially critical for AFP, as a variety of projects and goals are coming together.

“The 2013 Diversity and Inclusion Summit marked a very important moment in AFP’s awareness about what we can do to improve diversity and inclusion,” said Jaye Lopez Van Soest, CFRE, chair of the AFP Diversity and Inclusion Committee and who also served as co-chair of the Summit. “It set the stage for our future work, and we’re seeing the fruition of some of the projects that were recommended as a result of the Summit.”

One of those projects is the Diversity and Inclusion Summit Report, based on a survey created by a task force of the committee, and distributed in partnership with CFRE International, the African American Development Officers Network (AADO), the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), Native Americans in Philanthropy, and the Grant Professionals Association. The report, which was just released, establishes a baseline of information on diversity in the fundraising profession, and can be read here.

The survey and report is just one of several efforts the committee will address on behalf of AFP and the fundraising community this year. Key for AFP will be developing and articulating a vision and core principles for the association’s future work in diversity and inclusion. This project is especially important given the role of diversity in AFP’s strategic plan, where it is one of the four key goals.

“We want to create the foundation that informs our work—develop the guiding principles that we can use as we move forward,” said Van Soest. “It will also send a message to members and others how committed we are to diversity and inclusion, and that we hope to be a leading voice in the ongoing conversation.”

Later this year, AFP and its foundations will be expanding its North American New Faces of Fundraising pilot program, and AFP Foundation-Canada will soon select the second cohort of its Fellows Program to support and train fundraisers from diverse backgrounds.  AFP Foundation’s Diversity Scholarship Program is sending 24 scholars from diverse backgrounds to the International Fundraising Conference later this month in Boston, where you can also find the Diversity Art Showcase (again sponsored by The Alford Group).

“I’m so grateful to The Alford Group for their continued support of our conference diversity programs, and to everyone who has supported the Diversity Scholarships Program and other diversity and inclusion projects,” said Van Soest. “Our continued focus on diversity and inclusion will help the our members -- and the organizations they represent -- more successfully achieve their missions and philanthropic goals by helping them to recognize the value of having as broad a range of voices at the table as possible.”

For more information about AFP’s diversity and inclusion programs, click here.

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