Your Chicago Chapter News

Welcome to the AFP Chicago February 2021 Newsletter

Board Member Message
Ishan Johnson

Dear Friends,

Happy Black History Month! From the “Father of Chicago,” Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, to Ida B. Wells, and Barack & Michelle Obama, Chicago has long been the home of influential and game-changing African-Americans. We’re proud to honor and recognize their contributions during this month-long celebration.

I want to also recognize my fellow Black fundraisers, who continue to inspire me on the daily. Our courage and resilience is reinforced in every ask we make and dollar raised. Please know that you have a home here at AFP Chicago.

When we said Black Lives Matter nearly a year ago, we meant it.

As our Vice-President of IDEA, I’m responsible for overseeing initiatives that create inclusion, diversity, equity, and access within our chapter. Some of these include striving for 50% of our speakers to be persons of color, encouraging emerging fundraisers from underrepresented minority groups to apply for our Fellows Program, and facilitating five affinity groups. I want to thank our IDEA Committee and my fellow board members for their dedication and leadership in stewarding this integral part of our organization.

When I share with other chapter leaders what we’re up to in Chicago, it becomes very clear that we are champions in this work. This year, we will expand even further with more IDEA-focused programming that will be accessible to the entire chapter. I encourage you to partake, and add to our ever-evolving dialogue.

As we continue to fight a pandemic, while also combating systemic racism, please find the time to be good to yourself. Take a mental health day (or two), and prioritize your self-care.

I look forward to serving you this year, and wish you all health and happiness in 2021!


Ishan Johnson
Vice-President of IDEA

AFP Global Updates

Complete Your Demographic Information 

AFP is committed to the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) in the fundraising profession. AFP President and CEO Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA, discusses the importance of IDEA and how you can assist us in promoting these principles by providing demographic information in your AFP member profile that will remain confidential.

Watch Mike's Video

Complete Your Demographic Information


AFP Chicago Affinity Groups Offer IDEA Thought Leadership

AFP Chicago White Fundraisers Advocating for Racial Equity (WFARE) Affinity Group
Wednesday, February 10 | 8:00 – 9:00 AM 
Understanding that white people have a responsibility to address and dismantle racism, White Fundraisers Advocating for Racial Equity aims to develop a shared understanding of systemic racism’s manifestation in fundraising, nonprofits, and philanthropy; support individual growth for fundraisers to become anti-racist; and develop tools, techniques, and support for fundraisers to influence change in their workplaces and the broader sector towards a more racially-equitable society. All are welcome. 

AFP Chicago African American Affinity Group
Friday, February 12 | 8:30 – 9:30 AM
The AFP Chicago African American Affinity Group seeks to create a cohort of like-minded fundraisers to discuss strategies, turn obstacles into successes, and build a strong sense of community. Join us for coffee at this virtual gathering. REGISTER

AFP Chicago Latinx Affinity Group
Wednesday, February 17 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Join us for the next AFP Chicago Latinix Affinity Group networking event. REGISTER

AFP Chicago LGTBQ+ Affinity Group
Wednesday, February 17 | 5:30 – 6:30 PM
The AFP Chicago LGBTQ Affinity Group provides opportunities for LGBTQ members of AFP Chicago to come together periodically for professional and social networking. By recognizing an affinity among this population, AFP Chicago becomes more personal and relevant while providing opportunities to discuss career advancement, successes, and challenges. REGISTER

AFP Chicago Asian/Pacific Islander (API) Affinity Group
Friday, February 19 | 3:00 – 4:00 PM
The Asian/Pacific Islander (API) Affinity Group provides opportunities for API development professionals to network, build community, and share fundraising successes, challenges, and resources. 

February Virtual Workshop
Attaining CFRE Certification: The Next Step in Your Professional Journey
Friday, February 12 • 1:00 - 2:30 PM

Jeff Stanger, CFRE
CFRE Education Resources Director

Yashica Weeks, CFRE
Major Gifts Officer, Elmhurst Memorial Hospital

Paige Craig, BA '99, MBA '14, CFRE
Senior Director, Alumni Relations & Annual Giving, Concordia University Chicago

Curious what you can do to advance your career and stay on the cutting edge of the fundraising profession? The Certified Fund Raising Executive certification helps you stand out as a recognized, confident and ethical fundraiser. CFRE International is an independent nonprofit organization whose sole mission is dedicated to setting standards in philanthropy through a valid and reliable certification process for fundraising professionals.

AFP Chicago encourages and stands behind the pillars of CFRE certification and education. In fact, all of AFP Chicago’s educational credits are certified by CFRE International.

Join AFP Chicago as it welcomes Jeff Stanger, CFRE Education Resources Director, for a virtual presentation on exactly how to become a CFRE, from breaking down the necessary application requirements and components to actual exam preparation and fulfillment. Then, learn from two local Chicago fundraisers on their personal experience with the CFRE process, followed by a Q&A with Jeff Stanger. Register today to get the answers to all of your questions about the process.

Register NOW!

Members: $40
Members can register ONE non-member for $45 at the time of registration
Non-Members: $50

Special thanks to our Virtual Workshop Sponsor:

What Is the Role of White Leaders in Philanthropy in Dismantling White Supremacy?
Friday, February 19 • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Presented by Decolonizing Wealth Project in partnership with the Schott Foundation for Public Education and The Nellie Mae Education Foundation

In 2018, Edgar Villanueva, author of Decolonizing Wealth, moderated the first #PhilanthropySoWhite webinar to discuss white leaders’ role in philanthropy in supporting racial justice. The title raised eyebrows, but the conversations that transpired were vulnerable, truth-speaking catalysts to sector-wide discussions about the urgent need to change philanthropy’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion and a call to action for white leaders.

Read More & Register


Application for the Peer Mentoring Program Spring 2021 Class 

AFP Chicago's Peer Mentoring program pairs seasoned fundraisers (mentors) with individuals who have between one and five years of professional development experience (protégés) for a year-long program that includes one-on-one discussions, networking opportunities, resources and more. The application for the Spring 2021 Class is available now. Mentor and protégé applicants must be AFP Chicago members in good standing. Please join us for one of the most valuable benefits of membership in AFP Chicago!

Application deadline is February 19, 2021.

Apply TODAY!

Diverse Communities Scholarship

AFP and the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy have created a scholarship to provide financial assistance for the professional development of fundraising professionals who are members of a diverse community, or who are employed by grassroots organizations that primarily serve diverse populations. The next round of funding is to attend AFP ICON June 28-30, 2021, either in Minneapolis, MN or virtually.

Scholarships will cover the full conference registration fee, plus some travel support for each chosen scholar if the event is held in person. These scholarships have been made through the generosity of the Chicago chapter's 2020 Chapter Impact gift, and matching gifts from two members of the chapter board.

Application deadline is February 26, 2021. Selected candidates will be notified by email by March 26, 2021. AFP members and friends who would like to support the scholarship program with a gift may contact John Huebler at [email protected].

Apply Here


Making the Most of the Peer Mentoring Program as a Protégé

AFP Chicago’s Peer Mentoring Program is an extraordinary opportunity for early-stage development professionals to be paired with mentors who can help support their trajectories.

Every year, the Program matches two cohorts (spring and fall); each cohort has 15 pairs of mentors and protégés. (The next application deadline is February 19 for the Spring 2021 cohort.)

While the primary focus is the one-on-one relationship between each protégé and mentor, the Program also provides wrap-around supports and resources to ensure everyone’s success. If you’re selected as a protégé, here are some recommendations for making the most out of your time in the Peer Mentoring Program (and beyond):

Ask every question
Perhaps you might be early in your professional career and you’ve never had a mentor before. Perhaps you’re unsure of what to ask your mentor, and how you might most benefit from your partnership. That – in and of itself – is a great question to ask your mentor. As the saying goes, “we don’t know what we don’t know.” A good mentor will meet you where you are, and will help you discover and explore what matters to you the most as a development professional. Even if you have articulated goals for your participation in the Program, it’s always helpful to have additional perspective.

Tap into multiple networks
Each protégé-mentor pairing is assigned a liaison from the Peer Mentoring Committee; the liaison’s role is to make sure that your partnership is progressing well and to be another sounding board. While your mentor is a great source for networking connections, so is your liaison. Get to know your committee liaison and ask if they have potential connections for you. (Regardless, you should be updating your liaison regularly on your meetings with your mentor.)

The more people you get to know – as peers, colleagues and friends – the sooner and stronger you’ll feel engaged with Chicago’s development community.

Be proactive in what you’re seeking
Each protégé-mentor relationship is different. Some of your conversations may be open-ended. But if you have a specific topic for discussion, inform your mentor in advance of your next conversation, so that they can plan ahead and come with resources and connections that might be helpful to you. While these relationships are reciprocal, they are most effective when protégés are proactive in seeking guidance.

Having a mentor is one of the most beneficial things we can do to advance our careers. The recommendations above are just some of the many ways that protégés can maximize the value of their partnerships with mentors. We hope you’ll consider applying for the Spring 2021 Cohort by the February 19 deadline. Learn more about the Peer Mentoring Program.

Christopher Chantson
Director of Development, Ingenuity
Co-Chair, 2021 AFP Chicago Peer Mentoring Committee

Contact Christopher Chantson ([email protected]) or Jennifer Dettloff ([email protected]) directly if you are interested in learning more about the Peer Mentoring Committee.

AFP Chicago Welcomes Our New Members

We're happy to have you!

Jennifer Bienemann
David Chappell
Mauricio Huertas, Latino Union of Chicago
Taylor Nischan, Smile Train
Milena Perryman, Andromeda Blue Foundation
Heather Radzinski
Nicole Zienty, Little Friends, Inc.

New members as of January 2020
If your name is not included, please contact Shawn Jezak at [email protected].

Member Resources

Ethics Resources  |  AFP Global  |  Update Contact Information

Community Links

Community-Centric Fundraising (CCF) 

Nonprofit Management Essentials is Live!

Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN)

North Park University

Axelson Center Professional Development Programs



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