Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA)
Inclusion Makes our Profession Stronger

Cross-pollinating ideas among those from diverse backgrounds fuels innovation and keeps us all sharp. Diversity and inclusion are a cornerstone of AFP Chicago’s values that guides our governance, our organization, and our programs.

AFP Chicago is honored by the “Friends of Diversity” designation from AFP International. The award recognizes our chapter’s effectiveness in embracing and engaging diverse individuals, groups, and organizations within our profession. AFP Chicago has earned this designation annually since 2007, its charter year.

AFP Chicago, We Stand in Solidarity.

The unjust murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others, and the unrest of the past week, has left our AFP Chicago community and our nation anguished and outraged. The tremendous outpouring of grief, anger, and pain we are seeing today is deeply rooted in systemic racism in our country and continued violence against the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community. We must be moved to act and be willing to do our part to create a more just and equitable world - because Black lives matter.

We stand in solidarity with our friends, colleagues, and those fighting for racial justice. AFP Chicago is committed to inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) for our members and our community. We are proud of the progress we have made, while acknowledging that we have more work to do. We continue to advance IDEA in our programming. We aim for at least 50 percent of our volunteers (speakers, committees, board of directors) to represent communities of color. Our Fellows program recognizes emerging leaders from underrepresented communities, and we award an annual IDEA scholarship for young professionals. We know that we can and should do better. We invite you to hold us accountable as we improve our efforts. 

Our chapter also offers a variety of affinity groups to promote dialogue and engage in conversations around common interests or issues. Join us in these conversations, even though they may be difficult, and be a part of the change this world needs to see.

As fundraisers and non-profit leaders, we have a responsibility to show up, stand up, and speak up in matters of racial and social justice. That is our challenge. That is our commitment.  

Join an AFP Chicago Affinity Group Today!

AFP Chicago seeks individuals interested in exploring future networking opportunities and to get involved. To join one or more of these groups, please contact Becky Gilbert at [email protected], 630-599-7105.

AFP Chicago African American Affinity Group
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.

AFP Chicago LGBTQ+ Affinity Group
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.

AFP Chicago Latinx Affinity Group
The AFP Chicago Latinx Affinity Group serves to strengthen the nonprofit community by creating a space where Latinx fundraisers can develop relationships, provide support, and share resources. 

AFP Chicago Asian/Pacific Islander (API) Affinity Group
The Asian/Pacific Islander Affinity Group provides opportunities for API development professionals to build community, explore our role as API fundraisers, and share successes, challenges, and resources.  The API Affinity Group welcomes any Chicago-based development professional with an API identity of any nationality, including but not limited to: Central Asian, East Asian, Native Hawaiian, Southeast Asian, South Asian and Middle East Asian.To learn more and to be notified about upcoming events, please contact Christopher Chantson at [email protected].

AFP Chicago White Fundraisers Advocating for Racial Equity (WFARE) Affinity Group
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.

Upcoming AFP Chicago Affinity Groups Virtual Meetings

AFP Chicago's Affinity Groups are formed around common interests or issues. They offer opportunities to meet and form relationships with colleagues who have similar backgrounds and identities. Come broaden your professional network and join AFP Chicago at an upcoming FREE virtual Affinity Group meeting.


AFP Chicago All Affinity Groups Reception
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 
5:30 – 6:45pm CDT

AFP Chicago proudly celebrates one year of our affinity groups and IDEA thought leadership. In recognition of the diverse communities that comprise our membership, please join us for our first-ever All Affinity Groups reception! The evening will include networking break-outs facilitated by our IDEA Committee, an uplifting conversation, and Q&A. Our guest speaker will be Doris Parent, Senior Managing Director of Institutional Development with The Philadelphia Orchestra and President-Elect of the AFP Greater Philadelphia Chapter.

Ishan Johnson, Chair of AFP Chicago’s IDEA Committee, will lead a virtual fireside chat with Doris about all things fundraising, navigating these challenging times, and building equity and inclusion within philanthropy. This event is free and open to all, and we look forward to sharing with you.

Featured Speaker

Doris Parent
Senior Managing Director of Institutional Development, The Philadelphia Orchestra, President-Elect, AFP Greater Philadelphia Chapter


Reserve Your Spot

Additional meeting dates are added regularly. 
Save these dates for all our upcoming affinity group meetings and stay tuned - as details on registration are posted.

AFP Chicago White Fundraisers Advocating for Racial Equity (WFARE) Affinity Group

  • Wednesday, November 4 from 8 - 9 AM

AFP Chicago Asian/Pacific Islander (API) Affinity Group 

  • Friday, November 20 from 3 - 4 PM 
  • Friday, December 18 from  3 - 4 PM

Past Recording

We know your schedule is tight and so we’re offering this previously recorded program that can be watched from the comfort of your own home at your own pace. Bringing fundraising experts and thought leaders right to your desktop or mobile device.

Queering Philanthropy:
A Panel Discussion on Cultivating LQBTQ Donors

On September 23, 2020, the AFP Chicago LGBTQ+  Affinity Group presented an engaging panel discussion focused on cultivating philanthropy within the LGBTQ+ community. Our panelists discussed current giving trends, stewardship strategies, and the future of LGBTQ-focused giving both from the perspective of development professionals as well as philanthropists. 

BETSY RUBINSTEIN, MA, 2018 AFP Chicago Chamberlain Scholar, Major Gifts Officer, Lambda Legal

RICHARD BURNS, Consultant and Interim Executive Director, Johnson Family Foundation
DENISE FOY, Vice President, Health Solutions Business Operations, American Medical Association, Co-Chair LGBT Community Fund, Chicago Community Trust
ZAKIYA LORD, Senior Philanthropic Officer, Movement Voter Project

View Recording