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Nashville Fundraiser Wins International Award for Service to the Profession

November 4, 2011

(Arlington, Va.)  The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has bestowed the Barbara Marion Award for Outstanding Leadership to AFP, the association’s highest volunteer and leadership recognition, to Susan Earl Hosbach, CFRE, of Nashville, Tenn.

Hosbach is currently the executive director and CEO of The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation and has been a member of AFP since 1994, serving in a variety of leadership positions and spearheading several important initiatives for the association.

AFP is the largest association of fundraisers in the world, and the award is named for Barbara Marion, ACFRE, the first woman to chair both the AFP and the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy boards of directors. The Barbara Marion Award is given to a leader in the fundraising profession who has worked on the local, regional, national and international levels to help build, advance and promote AFP and fundraising.  In addition, the honoree demonstrates involvement in the creation, development, training, teaching and/or mentoring of programs, campaigns, initiatives and projects for AFP and its members and supports them financially. 

Hosbach has followed in Marion’s footsteps, serving on both the boards of AFP and the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy. She was the vice chair for both Membership Services and External Relations, and led AFP’s Governance Transition Task Force as the association moved to change and streamline its infrastructure and governing processes. She has also served on nearly every committee of the foundation, leading a variety of fundraising campaigns and working to strengthen its outreach to members around the world.

In addition to her extensive international volunteer service, Hosbach has been equally busy on the local level with the AFP Nashville Chapter. She has not only served in numerous chapter leadership roles, but also made presentations to the chapter on many different topics, sharing her experience and expertise, and taught as a lecturer for the CFRE Review Course and Fundamentals of Fundraising. In recognition of her leadership and contribution to fundraising in Nashville, the chapter selected her as the 2002 Fundraising Executive of the Year.

“I am extremely honored to receive such a prestigious award,” says Hosbach. “AFP has been integral in helping me grow as a fundraiser and nonprofit leader. It has provided me with incredible tools and learning opportunities, friends throughout the international community, mentors I admire and a platform through which to advance my career. To be recognized both with the award that is named for such a beloved and incredible leader, and for giving back to an organization that I love, is humbling.”

With nearly 20 years of fundraising experience, Hosbach has raised hundreds of millions of dollars during her service to charitable organizations in Nashville, including the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee and Second Harvest Food Bank. Since 2008, she has served as the executive director and CEO of The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit organization that compassionately assists adults impacted by cancer. Hosbach has brought great vision, leadership and dedication to the organization’s revitalization and has initiated key changes that have tripled the organization’s reach across the country. 

Hosbach also gives of her personal time to causes in Nashville. She is a member of the Downtown Nashville Rotary, CABLE and the Nashville Women’s Breakfast Club, alumni of Leadership Franklin and past chair of the Williamson County Library Foundation. She was honored as one of Nashville Business Journal’s Women of Influence in 2011.

“Susan is the epitome of an outstanding professional and extraordinary volunteer and leader who has given so much to AFP and the fundraising profession,” said Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of AFP. “Nearly every aspect of AFP operations and programming—from governance to membership, government relations to solicitations—has been influenced by her and her prodigious work ethic and commitment. All of us at AFP are honored to recognize Susan, and we owe her a great debt of gratitude for everything she has done for the fundraising community.”

Hosbach received the award during AFP’s Leadership Academy and Fall Board Meetings on Oct. 15 in Montreal, Quebec.

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The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents over 30,000 members in 227 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. For more information, go to

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