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What is the big IDEA?

What is the big IDEA?

Chapter Leadership Brief 7.17.2020

In my May 2020 article, I spoke about IDEA, which is a global initiative and priority of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. IDEA stands for: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access. I have the honor of serving on our local committee.

The world has turned on its head as people are struggling and facing an uncertain future.  Crises like the ones we are experiencing right now change the world forever.  History tells us this. 

We have already seen far too many incidents of racism, scapegoating and stigmatizing.    We have also seen some positive outcomes of people stepping forward and stepping up in remarkable ways. During times of crisis, conflict and challenge, change is inevitable.  Ask yourself what change you would like to see in the world.

As professional fundraisers—and those who provide services to fundraisers—we have a unique opportunity to advance the change we want to see in the world as we connect those who want to make a difference with the missions we champion.  It is hard for me to imagine a time when the world has needed us more.

And yet…who is “us?”  Who are the fundraisers working in our development shops? Who is sitting at the leadership table in our departments and firms? Who is sitting at the leadership table in our professional associations?   Are we representative of the deep diversity of the people in our communities? 

We are asking ourselves these very questions on the board and on our committees at the New York City chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. 

The fact is that segments of our population are under-represented in our workplaces and at our leadership tables.  This means we are missing key voices in our profession.  We are missing key people who are able to lead and make the impact that we as fundraisers have the opportunity to make.  We will be stronger when the deep diversity of our communities is represented.

AFP-NYC is committed to leading the fundraising sector in achieving the goals of IDEA.  IDEA provides the guiding principles and framework to help guide our actions on the AFP-NYC board and on our committees.  It is helping us hold each other accountable. 

Let’s go back to the unique moment in time in which we are living—a time of great change.  Ask yourself what change you would like to see in the world and what your role should be, can be. 

If not, now, when?

Remember that we all have the opportunity to make a difference.  Making a difference is not just about big ideas and gestures.  It is also about the everyday interactions we have with the person in front of us (or with whom we engage on zoom). It is often about what we call “the small stuff,” which we know is not so small at all. 

If you are not already engaged in AFP-NYC, I want to encourage you to get involved and add your voice to the conversation. 

Thank you for your leadership and commitment to professional fundraising.

With gratitude


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