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AFP Celebrates National Philanthropy Day in New York

November 18, 2015

AFP held its second National Philanthropy Day Honors in New York City on Nov. 12 at the historic 92nd Street Y, honoring six individuals and organizations from across North America for their extraordinary philanthropic impact.

AFP’s 2015 National Philanthropy Day Honorees included:

  • Outstanding Philanthropist: Macon and Joan Brock, Virginia Beach, Va.
  • Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Peter Ferrantelli, San Diego, Calif.
  • Outstanding Corporation: The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Outstanding Foundation: The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, Winter Park, Fla.
  • CARTER Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Individual: Kinsey Morrison, Louisville, Ky.
  • CARTER Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Group: Youth Making a Difference, Pratt, Kan.

The event featured a variety of speakers, including Maria Cuomo Cole; Geoff Canada; 92nd Street Y Executive Director Henry Timms; AFP New York City Chapter President Mark Hefter; and the 2015 National Philanthropy Day Honorary Chair T. Denny Sanford, a billionaire philanthropist who received AFP’s 2012 Outstanding Philanthropist Day Honor. 

“Not a Dry Eye”

Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of AFP, introduced Sanford by recalling a story about a woman who came up to them during a recent discussion. “The woman said that without Denny’s help, her daughter would not be alive, and neither would she,” recounted Watt. “It was an amazing moment, and there wasn’t a dry eye around the table. It shows you the type of person our honorary NPD chair is.”

During his comments, Sanford urged fundraisers in the audience to get even better at what they do. “If you fundraise, be smarter, more creative, more passionate and more strategic in pursuing gifts from people like me,” said Sanford. “Don’t tell me that my gift can make a difference, show me  Make a better case to show me that my gift will carry forward in a measurable way. Make me want to add extra zeros to that check I want to write you.“

Learning More About the Honorees

AFP also continued its tradition of having some of the honorees interviewed during the event instead of having them giving speeches. Pat Feeley, CFRE, chair of AFP, led the interviews, leading to some great exchanges between the honorees.

Lisa Borders, chair of the Coca-Cola Foundation, accepted the Outstanding Corporation Honor for Coca-Cola, surprising attendees by stating that she was previously a fundraiser and talking about the impact that Coca-Cola has had on her life both professionally and personally.

The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation had a good two days, being honored as the Outstanding Foundation by AFP International on Thursday and then by the AFP Central Florida Chapter on Friday. Foundation President and CEO David Odahowski accepted the international award Thursday night. “The recognition we have received is due in large part to the success of our grantees and the Central Florida nonprofit sector,” said Odahowski. “We’re proud to be a part of the nonprofit community that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Central Floridians.”

Macon and Joan Brock, the Outstanding Philanthropists, and Peter Ferrantelli, the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, were interviewed together, discussing what each inspired them to get involved in philanthropy and how they chose the organizations to support. They also had a brief contest to see who had been married the longest, with Peter edging the Brocks, 53 years to 51 years!

The awards presentations concluded with the CARTER Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Kinsey Morrison and Youth Making a Difference. The honorees talked about the challenges they faced and what their favorite charitable projects were so far. Discussion also ensued about the differences between Kansas and New York City and riding the subway!

“It was an amazing evening, and I want to congratulate all of our honorees,” said  Feeley. “National Philanthropy Day is all about service—service to one another and to our communities—and our honorees reminded us that anyone, regardless of age or any other factor—can serve and make a difference in our world. After listening to the stories and speeches tonight, you can’t help but be inspired about the impact that fundraisers and donors make together.”

More information about each of the honorees can be found at the NPDLove website:

NPD and Giving Tuesday

The evening ended with concluding comments by Geoffrey Canada, a leading education innovator and activist, who was introduced by Henry Timms, the executive director of 92nd Street Y, which created Giving Tuesday.

“One of the reasons we were set on holding this event at the 92nd Street Y is because of Giving Tuesday, and the synergy between National Philanthropy Day and Giving Tuesday,” said Watt. “Not only is the 92nd Street Y a great cultural and community center, but as the birthplace, so to speak, of Giving Tuesday, it seemed like a perfect venue.”

Watt also thanked the AFP New York City Chapter for its partnership and assistance in holding the NPD Honors event this year. “Mark Hefter, the chapter president, gave a very gracious welcome to New York City and pointed out just how important philanthropy is to the city,” said Watt. “We’ve been so pleased to work with members of the chapter throughout this process, and I appreciate all of their help and goodwill. The chapter is holding its own great NPD event on Nov. 23.”

Details about how to submit nominations for the 2016 National Philanthropy Day Honors will be made available in the near future.

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