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Detroit Fundraiser Richard Martin Honored for Lifetime Service to the Profession

April 1, 2015

Richard K. Martin., CFRE, an outstanding fundraiser who has been a leader in Michigan and around the world in encouraging the profession to address the issues of diversity and inclusion, is the recipient of the Chair’s Award for Outstanding Service presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

Martin is Chief Advancement Officer for Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, one of the largest faith-based nonprofits in the state, with 80 programs in 44 cities.

The Chair’s Award is given to individuals for exceptional service to AFP, the fundraising profession and the philanthropic community. Martin is the 17th recipient of the honor since its inception in 1982, and will receive the award on March 28, at AFP’s Celebration of Philanthropy Banquet during the International Fundraising Conference in Baltimore, Md.

After nine years in manufacturing and finance, Martin left to pursue a career in philanthropy because, in his own words, he “felt a longing to serve people.” After over twenty years in the philanthropic sector, he is chief advancement officer for Lutheran Social Services in Detroit, MI where he directs a twelve-person staff in the areas of fundraising, communications and public relations for the Lower Peninsula region of Michigan. As a senior administrator, he also helps guide the $120 million nonprofit in service delivery and business development.

Throughout his career, Martin has dedicated his time and efforts to introducing African-Americans to careers in fundraising and tirelessly encouraging individuals and organizations to create a welcoming culture for diversity. He has taught and mentored thousands of fundraisers in techniques and practices of professional fundraising.

“Philanthropy is a means to connect people with causes they care about,” says Martin, a Sterling Heights resident. "I’ve been so honored to work in a vocation that serves everyone.  My career journey is one of creating space for altruistic expression and diversity.”

Martin helped form the African-American Association of Fundraising Professionals (AAAFP), which provides support, education and mentoring for African-American fundraisers in the Greater Detroit area. During discussions with AFP on how to support AAAFP, he helped create the proposal that would become AFP’s Diverse Communities in Fundraising Program. The program has become AFP’s key diversity outreach initiative and a blueprint for its inclusion work around the world.

Martin has contributed to the profession in many other ways as well. He led the AFP Greater Detroit Chapter as Chapter President in 2007 and 2008. He also served on the board of AFP International, including two years as treasurer of the association, and is a member of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy’s Leadership Society. He has also worked with CFRE International in keeping the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) fundraising credential current and updated with trends and changes in the profession.



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