Why Fundraising Gives Me Hope This LGBTQ+ Pride Season

Chapter Leadership Brief 6.2.2023


By Christa Orth, Co-Vice Chair of AFP-NYC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Committee
Founder + CEO, Seaworthy Fundraising

LGBTQ+ Pride marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprisings of 1969, led by a majority of trans women of color. Stonewall commemorates community resistance against state violence and discrimination. 

Pride season has an urgent meaning this year. 

This year, we are living through a time of unprecedented political backlash, with 530 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in legislatures around the U.S. so far in 2023. Seventy five percent of transgender youth in the South now live in a state where a ban on gender affirming care has passed.

Learning and Unlearning Our Way to Being Truly Inclusive: A Conversation about Ableism in Fundraising

Chapter Leadership Brief 05.19.2023

By Sunil Oommen, President, Oommen Consulting LLC

Between my consulting work and leadership on IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, and access) for AFP-NYC, I have studied and practiced IDEA in fundraising for years. I was wise enough to know I wasn’t an expert on all things IDEA, but that became resoundingly clear when I met a fundraiser at an AFP-NYC event this past January who identifies as hard-of-hearing. She asked me how many people with disabilities are members of AFP-NYC. I did not know. Not even a ballpark figure. We set up a time to have lunch a few weeks later during which she generously shared some eye-opening insights and recounted the various microaggressions she experienced as a disabled person. I was shocked. Then I was shocked at my shock – why did I not know about this? Why am I shocked at this? Those encounters started my journey of reflecting on my knowledge (really, lack thereof) of issues affecting the disability community, about my own ableism, and how we often perpetuate ableism even while ostensibly doing IDEA-informed fundraising.

The Value of Maurice Gurin Scholarships for Fundraising Day in NY

Chapter Leadership Brief 5.5.2023

By Maoly Hernandez Rosario, Development Intern, Columbia University School of Social Work,
Angelie Singla, LMSW, Lecturer, Columbia University School of Social Work

Liliana Cepeda, Development Coordinator at Latinas on the Verge of Excellence (L.O.V.E.), attended Fundraising Day in NY in 2022 as a Maurice Gurin Scholarship Recipient. She joined Angelie Singla and Maoly Hernandez on April 20, 2023 in a virtual meeting to discuss her participation in the Fundraising Day in NY Conference. Fundraising Day in NY is the largest single-day conference on philanthropy. There are over 1000 individuals present to share ideas, network and learn from each other through the amazing array of session topics covering every current and emerging aspect of fundraising. 

Fundraising Day in New York is Coming!

Chapter Leadership Brief 04.21.2023

By Craig Shelley, CFRE
President-elect, AFP-NYC Chapter
Partner + Chief Growth Officer, Orr Group

I’m writing this just having flown home from AFP ICON in New Orleans (and boy are my arms tired!!), a gathering of nearly 3,000 fundraisers from across the globe.  I left armed with content from the great sessions I attended including those on fundraisers as leaders, the differences between successful and failing campaigns, how to communicate with donors, and a session on how I can be a better ally and advocate for my female colleagues.  I also left with a stack of business cards representing new friends, and lots of laughs with old friends, highlighted by “Jambalaya with President Jill” and several of our other chapter board members.


Chapter Leadership Brief 04.07.2023

By Jonah Nigh
Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement
The New School

“Oh! You were the diversity hire!”

 “Do you speak Mandarin?” (Spoiler alert: I do not. I am Korean and Japanese and adopted by a Russian Jew and a Texan.)

“Just so you know, I am not homophobic.”

“He’s exotic.” (Last spoiler alert: I grew up in Minnesota. It was not exotic.)

Elevating Fundraising to Philanthropy to Lift Up All Women

Chapter Leadership Brief 03.24.2023

By M. Angel Flores, AFP-NYC Secretary
Senior Vice President, CCS Fundraising

How is your relationship with money? That’s quite the personal question, isn’t it?! As fundraisers, we are constantly working in this intimate space with our donors. Yet, how many of us are comfortable with our own relationship to money?

My relationship to money is a work in progress. I recently joined a financial literacy and planning program specifically for women. As we near the end of Women’s History Month, I want to boldly elevate our collective fundraising efforts to fully embody the true meaning of philanthropy – love of humanity – for the expressed purpose of lifting up women by helping to build and increase their wealth. A woman’s wealth offers a view of her and her family’s overall financial health and how easily she can invest in her future, handle a financial emergency, and more. Sounds easy enough but first, let’s review the stats.

Spring is Coming! A Time for Personal Renewal!

Chapter Leadership Brief 03.10.2023

By Jennifer Moore, AFP-NYC Treasurer
Vice President of Development,

Each year, March brings with it both a physical renewal in the environment and in my case a mental one as well. Perhaps it’s the combination of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day paired with the extended daylight hours, and more time outside, but I always get an extra boost of inspiration and motivation this time of year.

And even though we’re only a few days into the month, this year is no different.

Fundraising Ain’t Been No Crystal Stair

Chapter Leadership Brief 02.24.2023

By Melissa A. Benjamin
Director of Development
Fiver Children’s Foundation

As we near the end of Black History month, I decided to revisit one of my favorite writers, Langston Hughes.  His poem, “Mother to Son” has always resonated with me, but in reflecting on the past fifteen years of my fundraising career, it feels even more poignant. 

Joy is an Act of Resistance

Chapter Leadership Brief 2.10.2023


By Crystal Fields-Sam
Chair IDEA Committee
AFP NYC Board Member

The feeling that you get when you have told the right story to the right person at the right time is nirvana. That feeling is the perfect combination of knowledge, experience, skill, luck, and magic called Fundraising. Fundraising is the vehicle a worthy cause utilizes to traverse obstacles which would otherwise prevent it from being heard.  Black History Month, the creation and celebration of it, is such a cause and proof that a powerful story can change the world!

Invest in Yourself in 2023

Chapter Leadership Brief 01.27.2023

By Jill M. Scibilia, CFRE
VP, Development, Phelps Hospital, Northwell Health

Today we have the privilege of honoring our late AFP-NYC board colleague Michele Hall-Duncan with the Ralph E. Chamberlain Award at our 2023 Annual Meeting. The award is given to a fundraiser for a lifetime of service to our fundraising community.  We lost Michele much, much earlier than any of us would have wished when we lost her to breast cancer six months ago. Her legacy of wisdom and service will live on and be a source of inspiration for all who had the pleasure of knowing her.


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