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Leadership, Learning and Laughter: Year-End Reflections on AFP-NYC And the Professional Advancement Committee

Leadership, Learning and Laughter: Year-End Reflections on AFP-NYC And the Professional Advancement Committee

Chapter Leadership Brief 12.15.23

By Mindee H. Barham

As we come to the end of the year, I have been reflecting on my time with the AFP-NYC chapter and my gratitude for my AFP community – my colleagues, peers, and friends. And I am particularly grateful for the dedicated group of fundraising professionals I’ve met over the past 6 years as a Board member and as a co-chair of the Professional Advancement Committee (PAC).  While I am stepping down as co-chair at the end of this month, I will remain on the committee, and I’d like to share what this group means to me and to our NYC community of fundraising professionals.

As outgoing chair of the PAC, I am grateful for my past, current and incoming co-chairs, for the leadership experiences this committee has afforded me, for the opportunities I’ve had to work with long-standing, hard-working and inspirational volunteers, and for the satisfaction of creating high-quality and meaningful educational and thought-provoking programs with and for my fellow fundraising professionals. I have made true friends through this work, and I have valued the support, expertise, and inspiration this network has given me as I have moved through my own fundraising and professional journey. 

Being a member of the PAC has given me, my peers on the committee, and the attendees at our events the following experiences and opportunities:

Leadership roles - Volunteers work in groups of 3-4 committee members to plan professional advancement events and workshops, from selecting content and themes of interest to the field, to identifying and recruiting speakers and moderators, to shaping discussions and planning runs of shows, all the way through to marketing the events and attracting audience members. It’s the perfect volunteer opportunity and experience for a fundraiser!

Learning opportunities - PAC events provide learning opportunities to all members of our diverse fundraising community, from those new to the profession, to veterans in the field, from in-house fundraisers to consultants, representing the breadth of organizations and missions across the nonprofit sector. There are panel discussions that focus on fundraising tactics and implementation of best practices; learning symposia that offer interactive, in-depth learning sessions with opportunities for targeted audiences to delve deeper into topics; and senior leader convenings offering high-level exploration of management topics. There’s truly something for everyone in our field.

Thought leadership - As we have built out the senior leader roundtables and convenings, we have brought together senior fundraising professionals to share their leadership and management experiences with each other, with opportunities to hear from experts and thought leaders in our sector, and to share their expertise and their perspective. We know that senior leaders are looking to network with their peers who have a shared experience.

Networking – Whether one is looking for a new fundraising job or looking for a mentor, or just looking to meet like-minded professionals, PAC events and the committee provide opportunities to meet with other fundraisers and consultants across the industry, and to find trusted advisors to seek professional advice and inspiration.

Peers, Colleagues, and Friends - And most of all, the PAC community is a place to make friends and find a supportive, collegial environment of fundraising peers and colleagues.  As we like to say - it’s the most fun committee in the chapter!

We are planning a full calendar of events for 2024 to serve our diverse audience of fundraisers across our sector. We hope that you’ll plan to join us for a session, a symposium, or a panel event in the new year. And we are always looking for additional volunteers to join us, so please reach out to if you would like to learn more and to become a committee member!

Mindee H. Barham has dedicated her career to working with organizations whose missions address the needs of under-resourced communities in NYC, across the United States, and globally, through access to education, social services and economic empowerment. She most recently served as the Co-Executive Director and Chief Philanthropy Officer of the Scratch Foundation. Prior to that, she served as the Chief Development Officer for Grameen America, a national, non-profit microfinance organization empowering women who live in poverty to build small businesses to create better lives for their families.

Mindee has over 25 years of nonprofit and development experience and has held key positions in fund development at United Way of New York City, Columbia University, Classroom, Inc., the YMCA of Greater New York, and the I Have a Dream Foundation. Mindee is a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals -- NYC Chapter and is Co-Chair of its Professional Advancement Committee.  She holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from the New School and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Hispanic Studies from Northwestern University. Mindee lives on the Upper West Side in New York City with her wife and two teenaged sons, and enjoys spending time at the Jersey shore, traveling, and playing pickleball!

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