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Foundations in Fundraising: AFP’s Collegiate Newsletter (Spring 2010)

June 30, 2010

Seven Questions With…

Aliya KhanName: Aliya Khan, 2010-2011 AHSA/AFP Chapter President

University/College: Indiana State University

Hometown: Danville, Ill.

Major/Course of study: Psychology/American Humanics

1. How did you become involved with AFP?

Our student chapter became involved with AFP in 2009 when our already established American Humanics Student Association saw the value in forging a relationship with the Association of Fundraising Professionals. We wanted to build our fundraising skills and network with professionals currently in the field. Our student chapter discussed the issue, and we had many meetings with Catherine Wemette about the procedure for establishing a collegiate chapter. Our student group was enthusiastic about the endeavor, but there were many things needed before moving forward, including funding. It was not until we received a grant from the Indiana State University Foundation and gained support from the AFP Indiana Chapter that we finally succeeded in establishing the chapter at our university.

Since then, we have actively promoted AFP at our university. For the past two years we have sent students to the AFP conferences. We have established invaluable ties with the AFP Indiana Chapter, including student attendance at monthly board meetings and luncheons. The information and networks formed have been an asset to our chapter growth, as well as the professional growth of each student involved in our student group.

Our group recently became an Autism Speaks University Collegiate Chapter. This lets us promote online and special-event fundraising opportunities to those involved. We are looking forward to using our philanthropic skills to help further both our school and community.


2. What do you want to be when you "grow up"?

I would like to work in the public or nonprofit sector with children or women. I want to work with underrepresented populations, preferably in programming and management. My current aspiration is to work in juvenile or women's correctional facilities, developing programs that help individuals gain a sense of citizenship, community and responsibility, as well as decrease recidivism rates.


3. How is this different (or is it?) than what you wanted to be when you were 6?

When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher. Though my current plans are different, they are rooted in the same foundation: the desire to help people. Though the avenues have changed, I have always wanted to help people grow and to give back to my community.


4. Who is your role model?

I am constantly amazed by the passion and virtue in the people around me. From my family to my peers, from my coworkers to my professors, I see a community working together to create something positive. I believe everybody has qualities worth learning from, and therefore every person I meet has helped shape me into the person I am. All my teachers are inspirations to me because of their commitment to helping and educating people. From mission trips to personal triumphs, my peers and friends continue to inspire in me the constant desire to be better and do better. My values and beliefs are shaped and molded by my family, and for that I will be forever grateful.


5. What's the last book you read that wasn't assigned in class?

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin.


6. What is the cause or issue you're most passionate about and how do you support it?

I am most passionate about working and giving within the community-whether through donations or through time. I think service is the foundation of communities. Therefore, I have tried to be active in Terre Haute through student groups on campus, AmeriCorps and volunteering with various organizations like the United Way. I believe that those of us who are fortunate enough to be in a situation to help others have a responsibility to give back. More so, I think everybody has a strength with which they can help empower others. Change happens in our own communities first, and that is where everyone should start.


7. What skills and abilities make you an effective fundraiser?

I am passionate, organized and focused. I have learned that effective fundraising comes first from really believing in the cause for which you are raising money. Second, you have to be able to relay that passion and belief in those from whom you are asking. Finally, you have to be persistent and resilient. These are qualities which I have and which I will continue to further develop so that I can raise money to help nonprofits in my community.


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