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Next Steps: The Fellowship for Inclusion in Philanthropy Looks Forward

April 19, 2017

With Canada’s changing economic and cultural landscape, savvy charities know that they won’t achieve success adhering to dated fundraising practices. Our stakeholders are changing, as are the fundraisers,  donors and communities involved with served by our causes. And the needs of these groups are changing in kind. Recognizing this fact, the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy - Canada created a nationwide "Diversity and Inclusion" strategy to ensure that the fundraising profession addresses this important issue.

In 2015, the Fellowship for Inclusion in Philanthropy was launched. The program was borne out of the award-winning three-year project, From Diversity to Inclusion in Philanthropy: An Action Plan for Ontario’s Charitable Sector. The project brought together donors, fundraisers, volunteers, and charity leaders from 12 different communities. Participants shared insights about the giving traditions and interests of emerging philanthropic groups across the province.

“After surveying our membership, I think AFP was surprised at how disproportionate its membership was of the communities we serve. It forced us to pay attention to how more diverse workplaces tend to be more entrepreneurial. We realized the importance of having different voices at the table.”Leah Eustace, ACFRE, Chair, AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada

The Fellowship seeks to transform philanthropy by:

  • Recruiting diverse fellows from various regions to champion access and inclusion, and engaging members of their community in AFP and the fundraising profession;
  • Increasing access to philanthropic knowledge and networks through AFP membership and educational resources; and
  • Filling the looming charitable sector leadership gap with competent and diverse professionals who understand fundraising.

How the Program Works

The Fellows are immersed in a year-long program of:

  • Education (AFP Membership, Professional Development, D&I training),
  • Mentoring (One-on-one with a seasoned fundraiser or not-for-profit executive), and
  • Networking (Peer-based collaboration and learning).

The Fellowship in Inclusion and Philanthropy program has successfully supported two cohorts of emerging diverse leaders gain access to training and education toward successful and meaningful careers in fundraising in Ontario. Now is an ideal time to expand the program nationally and ensure that we continue to support diverse leadership in the fundraising profession. 

During the month of May, alumni and mentors of the program will be working to raise $30,000 to enable expansion of the program.  Your support of this campaign will help to ensure that the future leaders of the fundraising profession will reflect the faces, contributions, experiences and needs of the many communities that make up this remarkably diverse country. Watch for #TransformPhilanthropy in your social media feed and add your voice to the discussion!

"As a young, nonprofit professional, I aspire to redefine our culture of philanthropy. Diversity, inclusion and leadership have long been not only an interest of mine, but engrained in my identity through my lived experience as a woman of colour. Participating in the AFP Fellowship has further allowed me to maintain my commitment to promoting, embracing and mainstreaming inclusion. This is an opportunity I strongly believe others of different faces, contributions and voices of our diverse country deserve to have as well."  - Gerri Lutaaya

Download your copy of the AFP Fellowship for Inclusion 2016 Impact Report here.

For more information or to make your contribution, contact Sahar Vermezyari, program manager, Fellowship in Inclusion and Philanthropy Program,, or 416-878-5025.

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