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Winona Fundraiser Philip Schumacher Earns Highest Professional Credential from AFP

(April 8, 2009) The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the largest community of professional fundraisers in the world, has awarded its highest professional certification, the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE), to Philip G. Schumacher of Winona, Minnesota.

Available only to senior-level fundraisers who have worked in the profession for 10 or more years, the ACFRE is a distinguished achievement earned by only 85 professionals since the inception of the program in 1992.

Schumacher was honored for his achievement on March 31, 2009, during AFP’s 46th International Conference on Fundraising in New Orleans.

Schumacher currently serves as executive director of Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The foundation is responsible for the medical and health education, basic and clinically based research and community outreach of the Gundersen Lutheran Health System.  He has served as executive director since 1993.

“I am very proud to have achieved the ACFRE certification,” said Schumacher. “It would not have been possible without the encouragement of our board chairman, Dr. Mark Connelly, and the support of my colleagues and family.”

Active with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) for many years, Schumacher has served on its board of directors in the positions of treasurer and vice chair of member services, as well as on the Committee on Directorship. He is a member of the AFP Southern Minnesota Chapter and of the AFP Wisconsin, Upper Mississippi Valley Chapter, where he served as president. He continues to participate in various committees and task forces with the association.

Schumacher has been a member of the graduate faculty of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota where he taught in the Philanthropy and Development masters program. He held a variety of administrative posts in student development and institutional advancement, including vice president positions during his 16 years at the university before joining Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation.

A dedicated volunteer, Schumacher gives of his time to numerous nonprofit organizations, including the United Fund for the Arts and Humanities, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Minnesota Maritime Art Museum and the Girl Scouts.  He has made numerous presentations related to fundraising at meetings and conferences throughout the United States, Canada and in Poland.

Schumacher holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Norbert College, a Master of Arts Degree in Human Development from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and a certificate from the Executive Leadership Institute.

The ACFRE program is the most rigorous certification process available to professional fundraisers.  The ACFRE Certification Board, chaired by Karla A. Williams, ACFRE, oversees the ACFRE candidate review process, which includes:

  • a comprehensive application, detailing achievements in practice, education, publishing, teaching, and service to the profession;
  • a written examination that measures a candidate’s knowledge of fundraising as well as the philosophical, ethical, and social aspects of philanthropy;
  • a portfolio representing the candidate’s body of professional work; and
  • an oral peer review in which the candidate must articulate a mastery of advanced-level knowledge in fundraising management, leadership, and ethics.

More information about the ACRE can be found here.

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