Your Chicago Chapter News

Welcome to the AFP Chicago January Newsletter

President's Message
Tula Gogolak

Dear AFP members,

Like many of you, I watched in horror as the events in our Capitol unfolded on January 6. The assault on our democratic processes underscores the political, social, racial and economic hegemony that unjustly impacts many people in our nation. The white supremacy we witnessed is antithetical to our organization or profession.

As a chapter, we remain committed to becoming an anti-racist organization and supporting our members who are promoting inclusion, diversity, equity and access to empower individuals and their communities every day. Our full statement on the events of last week is on the AFP Chicago website.

This grim opening to 2021 compounds the difficulties of 2020, which saw our nation and community impacted by COVID-19, racial injustices and the economic downturn.

Despite these challenges, I am grateful for the strength and support you extended to AFP Chicago in 2020, and for your continued efforts to uplift each other, our chapter and our community. Our members, sponsors, volunteers and supporters stepped up in extraordinary ways to help ensure our chapter’s stability. Thank you!

As we enter 2021 with ambitious goals, AFP Chicago and its Board of Directors will remain committed to our core vision and the goals outlined below:

  • To remain dedicated and true to our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) goals that ensure our chapter’s effectiveness in embracing and engaging diverse individuals, groups, and organizations within our profession.
  • Through education, to act on our vision to be the indispensable professional development resource for fundraisers.
  • To provide you, our members, benefits that will give you the experience and expertise you need to move your nonprofit fundraising career forward.
  • To recognize the achievements of individuals in our community which exemplify the philanthropic spirit of our great city.
  • Be Chicago’s leading champion of building community through philanthropy. 

Thank you again for your grace, collaboration, responsiveness and steadfast support for AFP Chicago.

Tula Gogolak, CFRE
President, 2021 AFP Chicago Board of Directors

Welcome 2021 AFP Chicago Fellows Class

On behalf of AFP Chicago and our Co-Chairs, Anedra Kerr and Joseph Like, CFRE, we welcome our 2021 Class of Fellows. Congratulations to these amazing individuals! Each Fellow will be spotlighted in upcoming issues.

Timmy Arnold
The Honeycomb Project

Marisa Castillo
National Immigrant Justice Center

Kenzie Hunt
Individual Giving

Michelle Rashad
Imagine Englewood if...

Luisa Sosa
Marwen Foundation

Our Chapter Congratulates Members on Becoming CFREs

Becoming a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) signals commitment, competence and credibility. To earn a CFRE, fundraising professionals must document their professional performance, education and professional practice as well as pass the CFRE exam.

We congratulate the following members on this career-defining achievement and for committing to uphold the highest standards in our profession: Phillip Buta, CFRE.


Third Thursday Networking
Thursday, January 21 • 5:00 - 6:00 PM

Begin your year by joining AFP’s network of fundraisers for the first Third Thursday of 2021 on January 21 at 5:00pm. We will reflect on the accomplishments and challenges of 2020, and look ahead to the goals we will accomplish and the obstacles that will push us to be better. We will get to know each other with some healthy competition during a fun scavenger hunt. Be prepared to move as we scramble to find items or fulfill challenges before time runs out!

Members and non-members are encouraged to RSVP today to secure a spot.

And mark your calendar now for 2021’s Third Thursdays, all from 5:00 – 6:00 PM.

  • March 18
  • May 20
  • July 15
  • September 16
  • November 18

AFP Chicago Affinity Groups Offer IDEA Thought Leadership

Asian/Pacific Islander (API) Affinity Group
Friday, January 22 • 3:00 - 4:00 PM
The AFP Chicago Asian/Pacific Islander (API) 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. Join the conversation at our January monthly group meeting. RSVP

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. RSVP

February Virtual Workshop
The Next Step in Your Professional Journey
Friday, February 12 • 1:00 - 2:15 PM

Jeff Stanger, CFRE Education Resources Director

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 a local Chicago fundraiser on their personal experience with the CFRE process, followed by a Q&A with Jeff. Register today to get the answers to all of your questions about the process.

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

Register NOW!


CFRE Application Deadline
January 15, 2021 

A Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) is a fundraising professional who has gone the extra mile to confirm their own mastery of fundraising practices. The CFRE is the only accredited, globally recognized certification for fundraising professionals. Are you ready to make 2021 the year you become a CFRE? Now is the time to pour yourself a mug of “Go get ’em!” Submit your application on or before the January 15 application deadline to take a massive step towards achieving your professional goals!

You will have one year to sit for the CFRE exam from the day your application is approved, giving you plenty of study time. AFP Chicago members always enjoy a special discounted CFRE initial application fee of US$700. Whether 2021 is the year you plan to land your dream job or you are ready to take on greater responsibilities at your current organization, being a CFRE can help you get there. Login to your CFRE account to put the finishing touches on your application or start your application.

Changed Jobs? New Last Name? Got a Promotion? Let Us Know

Double Check Your Contact Information

We are working on compiling our 2021 Membership Directory, which will include all current members as of January 31, 2021.  To confirm your membership status or update contact information, please visit the AFP International website or contact AFP International at 800-666-3863.

Advertising opportunities now available on the official AFP Chicago Membership Directory & Resource Guide!

Click here to view the Media Kit:
Contact Shaneen Calvo for more information

352-333-3376 | [email protected]


COMING SOON: 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 will be available soon. 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!

Learn More



Reflections on 2020: Q & A with Peer Mentoring Committee Co-Chairs Christopher Chantson and Jennifer Dettloff

Christopher Chantson, director of development at Ingenuity, and Jennifer Dettloff, director of alumni and volunteer engagement at the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences Development, assumed the roles of Co-Chairs of the Peer Mentoring Committee in January 2020. 

Both had served as members of the Committee under the leadership of the immediate past Co-Chairs, Sherre Jennings Cullen and Melanie Dykstra. Sherre and Melanie made a tremendous impact on the Peer Mentoring program and the committee and left large shoes to fill. 

Christopher and Jennifer had a few new ideas when they began their own leadership journey. Like all program leaders, their journey quickly evolved into leading an entirely virtual program. Below, they share some thoughts about their first year.

Tell us about your involvement in the Peer Mentoring program.

CC: In 2017, I moved to a job where – at the time – I didn’t have any direct supervisees, and I came to realize that I missed mentoring and coaching team members, which was a big part of my prior role. I signed up to be a mentor through the AFP Chicago program, and am now working with my fourth protégé.

JD: I’m not certain about when I started participating in the program—it was a long time ago! I was looking for a way to give back to our profession and to get more involved in AFP. I enjoy connecting with those who are new to our profession and are early in their career and the Peer Mentoring program appealed to me.

What do you find most enjoyable about your participation in the program?

CC: As a mentor, I’m grateful for the opportunity to support development professionals who are newer to the field. I think an important function of being a good mentor is to meet your protégé “where they are,” so our conversations have ranged from technical skills and inter-personal relationships, to career trajectory planning and problem solving. I’m fortunate to have forged strong partnerships with my protégés, and have continued to remain in touch with them, even beyond the formal 12-month program.

JD: The Peer Mentoring program provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with colleagues in a meaningful way and for an extended period of time. I enjoy having the opportunity to get to know the individual I am mentoring (my protégé) over the course of our year together. This is a different type of opportunity than can be had when you meet someone at a networking program and I often find the relationship is different than you have with co-workers simply because you do not work together. You have the ability to have discussions that may not be possible with co-workers.

How did you become involved in the Peer Mentoring Committee?

CC: I was invited to join the committee in 2018, and am grateful to have been asked to co-chair the program starting in 2020. My involvement with the committee has led to so many new and wonderful connections with development colleagues across the city.

JD: After serving as a mentor for several years, Sherre Jennings Cullen, the previous co-chair of the program, approached me about joining the committee. I was thrilled to be asked and have enjoyed this continued level of involvement in the program.

What were your goals for the Peer Mentoring Committee in early 2020?

CC: I wanted to spend time getting to know the Committee members and program participants more deeply, and determine how best to leverage their skills, experience and networks. I also wanted to elevate the role of Committee members, particularly in supporting them as liaisons to protégé-mentor pairs. Lastly, I hoped to find ways to provide more engagement opportunities for program participants who wanted to get to know individuals other than their assigned protégé, mentor or liaison. Looking back at the past 12 months, I believe we’ve made great strides in all of these areas.

JD: This seems like such a long time ago now that 2020 has unfolded. In addition to what Christopher shared, I would say that we were also very focused on the basics—managing a successful leadership transition and leading our first match in spring 2020.

How has the Peer Mentoring program adapted to the virtual environment?

CC: Building relationships is at the heart of peer mentoring, writ large, so—like everyone else—going virtual was not without its bumps. We were about to launch our spring 2020 class when the initial stay-at-home order went into effect, so we quickly pivoted to virtual programming, including our kick-off meeting, one-on-one meetings between mentors and protégés, and our discussion groups.

JD: All of our protégés and mentors meet over Zoom now and I think this is a great option for participants to consider in the future, when we return to normal. Of course, an in-person meeting is best and is recommended, but for meetings when scheduling is difficult, Zoom will continue to be a great option. During this time, we have also enhanced the role of our committee liaison. Each member of our committee is assigned to liaise with at least one protégé/mentor pair per season. In the past, the relationship of the committee liaison was somewhat informal and many of the communications to the protégé/mentor pair were sent by AFP staff. Today, the committee liaison initiates communications to the pair and plays a more intentional role from the outset of the relationship, thereby setting up everyone for success.Zoom was a new tool for most participants in the program when we kicked off our spring 2020 class. Their participation in the program coincided with our transition to working from home and our nation’s coming to terms with the pandemic. I congratulate this group of protégés and mentors for rising to the occasion.

CC: Moving to virtual platforms has made it easier for participants to join our programs, so we’ve seen record attendance and engagement. Furthermore, while we had previously factored in geographic proximity for each mentor and protégé pairing, that has not been as crucial since their discussions are happening virtually or by phone.

More opportunities for program participants to connect with one another were added this year. Can you tell us about the Quarterly Discussion programs?

JD: The Quarterly Discussion programs were added based on feedback program participants provided, protégés in particular, that they would like more opportunities to network with and connect to other program participants during their year of participation. Article discussion groups have been held in the past and the Discussion programs are a similar concept with some revisions. Our goal is to host a quarterly program for the current participants. Members of the Peer Mentoring committee serve as program leaders and select a timely topic for discussion at the program. Topics discussed this year have included Innovation, Working in our New Environment, and Staying Connected to Donors during the Pandemic. An article is selected to provide “food for thought” for each program but the focus of the program is the small breakout room discussions. These small group discussions provide an opportunity for program participants to meet other participants and have intimate conversations about the selected topic. While these programs are taking place in a virtual environment at this time, we look forward to convening in person when it is safe to do so.

The orientation to the Peer Mentoring program was enhanced this fall. What was added to the orientation program for the new class?

CC: So many exciting enhancements! For our incoming fall 2020 class, we asked our committee members—in their roles as liaisons—to initiate contact with their assigned protégé/mentor pairings and to participate in an introductory conversation to welcome them to the program, and articulate mutual responsibilities and expectations. This has been tremendously helpful in ensuring that each protégé/mentor pair gets to know their liaison, and is aware of additional networking and resource opportunities. We also added new resources to the onboarding packet, including a “Roadmap to Success” that articulates expected 30-60-90-day milestones. And, as part of our fall 2020 virtual kick-off meeting, we invited current and former protégés to participate in a moderated panel discussion, and share their experiences, tips, and best practices with the incoming class.

How would you describe the Peer Mentoring Committee?

CC: We have an extraordinary committee of dedicated development professionals who have been wonderful in rolling up their sleeves with us. Our committee members take active roles as liaisons to ensure the success of each mentor/protégé pair; they help lead our quarterly discussion groups, communications efforts, and much more; and they are terrific thought leaders and problem solvers.

JD: Dedicated! This committee is a wonderful group of volunteers who are committed to the individuals they personally mentor and to the pairs with whom they liaise. During this past year, the committee has taken on several responsibilities to help support the marketing of the committee during this challenging year including managing new communications, assisting with marketing efforts, and helping to lead new programs for Peer Mentoring participants. The committee is comprised of a dedicated group of volunteers who have the best interests of our program participants and AFP in mind.

CC and JD: We are grateful for their enthusiastic support!

What are your goals for the program in 2021?

CC: While the Peer Mentoring Program (and our AFP Chapter) has made good strides in inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA), we would welcome more mentors and committee members of diverse backgrounds to join us. We’ll also collect and use feedback from program participants to help us determine any additional enhancements that would be helpful in their peer mentoring journey.

The Peer Mentoring Program will be accepting applications for the Spring 2021 program soon. Learn more about the program, including qualifications and program expectations, click here. 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!

Malik Benjamin
Kendra Curry-Khanna
Amelia Garza, Rush University Medical Center
Daniel Doc Habeel, RTW Veteran Center
April Harrington
Ashley Hart, Elks National Foundation
Jaye Hobart, Civic Federation
Joanne Lee, North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic
Fred Long, UCAN
Daniel Meyers, University of Chicago
Claire Schnucker, Elks National Foundation

New members as of December 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



  Network With Us