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Nine Fundraisers Earn International Advanced Diploma

October 7, 2015

(Arlington, VA)  Nine members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) are among the first class of graduates to earn the International Advanced Diploma in Fundraising (IADF) developed by AFP, the London-based Institute of Fundraising and the Amsterdam-based European Fundraising Institute.

The nine individuals who completed the year-long course, and the first fundraisers to earn the diploma and the “MinstF (Adv Dip)” designation, include:

  • Caroline Basso, ‎Director of Development & Marketing, WSKG Public Broadcasting, Vestal, N.Y.;
  • Holly Bellows, CFRE, consultant, New York, N.Y.;
  • Wendy Dueck, CFRE, MA; Development Officer, Niagara College Canada, Welland, Ontario;
  • Robert Hilbert, CFRE; Vice President, Iowa Public Television Foundation, Johnston, Iowa;
  • Simone Joyaux, ACFRE; Principal, Joyaux Associates, Foster, R.I.;
  • Joseph Krushinsky; ‎Vice President, Advancement Strategy at WVIA, WLVT, WQLN, Washington, D.C.
  • Valerie Pletcher; Chief Development Officer, Brady Campaign & Center To Prevent Gun Violence, Washington, D.C.;
  • Martha Schumacher, CFRE, ACFRE, president, Hazen Inc., Washington, D.C.; and 
  • Robert Tomas, CFRE, National Director of Philanthropy and Communications, National Youth Orchestra, Toronto, Ontario.

“I congratulate each of these fundraisers on this tremendous professional achievement,” said Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of AFP. “They understand that fundraising is increasingly global , What we need to know as fundraisers isn’t based solely on American standards these days. The IADF program is where the future of fundraising education lies, and I am so pleased for these nine fundraisers who are committed to shaping the future of our profession and understanding international trends.”

Earning the IADF represents a significant educational challenge to participants: academically rigorous and stretching skills in analysis, synthesis and evaluation to the limit in a course designed for senior fundraising practitioners presented at a Master’s Degree level.  The material, taught by noted Professors Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang, does not necessarily cover fundraising, but rather how to manage the fundraising function and create the institutional culture in which fundraising will flourish.

"I signed up for the International Advanced Diploma in Fundraising because I thought it would be a good refresher of what was important in fundraising, but it was so much more,” said Robert Hilbert, CFRE, one of the 2015 graduates. “The transformational coursework challenged me to look beyond the 'normal' activities and dig deeper into how we operate and question everything. Personally and professionally, I'm a better person because of this grueling and gratifying course.  It wasn't easy, but it was definitely worth it."

The IADF course consisted of an initial 10 weeks of individual study followed by a three-day face-to-face instruction block conducted during the AFP International Conference in San Antonio in March 2015. A final 10 weeks of individual study wrapped up the course, with participants spending approximately 600 hours in individual and group study over the life of the program.

“The course content, particularly the readings, made for a rigorous academic experience that bent my brain in new directions and made it possible to find fresh solutions to old problems,” said Martha Schumacher, ACFRE, another of the 2015 graduates. “Design thinking, methods for dealing with resistance to change, and collective psychological ownership were just a few of the many theories we studied that gave us new inroads to address the pressing challenges we face at our nonprofits every day. It was exciting and challenging being one of the graduates from the first year of the program, and I’m so proud of our group of nine who completed our diplomas and graduated together last March.”

The deadline for registering to be part of the 2016 class of the International Advanced Diploma in Fundraising is December 5. More information can be found here.

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