AFP Charlotte 2017 Board of Directors


Stephanie Stenglein, CFRE President
Josh Jacobsen, CFRE President Elect
Katherine Lambert, CFRE Past President
Trish Hobson Treasurer
Chase Law Secretary
Mike Blackwelder VP, Membership
Shelley Clayton VP, Outreach
Robert Touchstone, CFRE VP, Programming
Karen Beach, CFRE Mentoring
Caitlin Donley Scholarships
Penny Hawkins Programs
Randall Hitt NC Conference
Jim Kelley, CFRE Affinity Groups
Nikki Keith Communications
Sarah Lanners National Philanthropy Day
Lucy Mitchell, CFRE CFRE/Senior Forum
Rex Otey Legislative Affairs
Donna Canzano Stucker Sponsorships

Frequently Asked Questions About Legislation

Nonprofits Collecting Sales and Use Tax on Admission Charges to  Entertainment and Live Events

A new tax bill (H.B. 1050) with changes to new sales tax on admission charges to entertainment and live events was signed into law in May 2014 by Governor Pat McCrory. The bill clarifies that many activities conducted by nonprofits, such as educational conferences, trainings, recreational sports, and most fundraising events would no longer be subject to the tax. Live events are only subject to tax if they are conducted for entertainment purposes.
The N.C. Center for Nonprofits has prepared answers to frequently asked questions to help your nonprofit understand this new law. These responses are not endorsed by N.C. Department of Revenue and do not constitute legal or tax advice for any individual or nonprofit on behalf of the Center or the Department. The Department issued a directive on December 18, 2013 with further guidance on sales and use taxes on admission charges, and on June 25, 2014. If you have further questions, please contact David Heinen, the Center's Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at or 919- 790-1555, ext. 111. Power point slides and a recording of a webinar held by The Center are available.

Your nonprofit may wish to consult with your attorney or CPA.

Share Your AFP Story!

We want to share your story in Member Confessions

How did you learn about AFP?  What does membership mean to you?  What do you love most about AFP? How has AFP help you achieve your goals?

Send your AFP Member Confession to and let us know what AFP has done for you. 

Board Nominations Now Open

We are now accepting nominations to the 2015 AFP Charlotte Board of Directors.

AFP Charlotte is always looking for talented fundraisers to lead the chapter and serve the mission of the chapter. Serving on the board is a great way to give back to the profession and work side by side with your fellow fundraising professionals.

Our board is made up individuals from different organizations and backgrounds. Most have served on a committee leading up to their nomination, though this is not a requirement. Special consideration is given to candidates who have obtained their CFRE.

If you or someone you know is interested in joining the 2015 AFP Charlotte Board of Directors, please complete the nomination form:

Board of Directors Nomination Form

Conference Site Down - Regular Rates Extended

Our pain is your gain!  Our Conference Website is DOWN!
Due to a major vendor system failure/website crash we are unable to take any more online registrations at the conference website.  However, we have made arrangements so that you can still register and pay via credit card through our conference administrators. 
Because of this inconvenience we are extending the regular rate until Friday August 8thAll registrations MUST be received by 5:00 PM on Friday.  No exceptions.  AFP Members $139 Guests $170
If you decide to attend after Friday, 8/8 you must register on-site the day at the much higher rate:  AFP Members $170 Guests $200
There are a few seats left in the Fundamentals of Fundraising and CFRE Review courses, please email us if you are interested in one of those. 
Please DOWNLOAD A PAPER FORM (Word or PDF format) to complete and email back to our administrator, Sharon Tripp   
We are sorry for this inconvenience.

Member Confession: Mike Blackwelder, Director of Donor & Community Relations, Safe Alliance

A few years after I graduated college, I was finding it difficult to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my career.  I had recently done some volunteer work with the ALS Association, and a friend suggested that I try working for a nonprofit.  As a last minute decision, I quit my job of several years and took a temporary contract position with United Way during their 2007 campaign season.  I can't think of a better place to start a career in nonprofit fundraising because I was exposed to so many different member agencies in the community and was able to see firsthand the amazing work being done throughout the Charlotte region.  I quickly learned that fundraising was a good fit for me.  After my contract with United Way was up, I was offered a job as Development Director for the Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County, where I spent the next four and a half years. 

When I realized that fundraising would be my career, I fully immersed myself in the world of fundraising and nonprofits.  I immediately joined AFP and also started working on my Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management through UNCC.  The benefits I received from AFP were/are invaluable to my career.  Early on I was given a scholarship to attend the First Course in Fundraising, which was a great introduction into the fundraising world.  I have also participated in the Mentor program, been to four statewide conferences, and attend as many monthly meetings as I can.  The best way to get the most out of an AFP membership is to get involved with the chapter.  I've served two years on the Scholarship Committee, two years on the Conference Planning Committee, and am now in my third year on the Membership Committee.  All of these things are beneficial, but the most important part of AFP for me has been the relationships I've made.  There are so many people in our chapter with a wealth of knowledge and a diverse range of experience and organizations.  At any given time if I have a question or need help with something, there is a long list of colleagues I've met through AFP that I can call on.  These relationships have been crucial to my career development and I have no doubt they will continue to be.  

In the summer of 2012 I was hired by Safe Alliance (then United Family Services) as their Donor Relations Coordinator.  This presented a whole new set of challenges for me: bigger organization, bigger community, issues that I wasn't very familiar with.  Once again my AFP membership paid off.  I've been able to call on colleagues, now friends, for advice and guidance along the way.  I have since advanced to the position of Director of Donor & Community Relations.  I'm also working on completing my MBA at UNCC this year.  I truly love being a part of the nonprofit sector in Charlotte and seeing the incredible work that is being done by the many agencies represented through AFP.  This month marks my 6th anniversary with Charlotte AFP, and I look forward to many more years with this amazing group!

2014 AFP Charlotte Membership Survey Results

In February, AFP Charlotte emailed out a membership survey asking for your feedback.  Thank you for participating!

The Board plans to use this information in strategic and program planning for the chapter.  Below are some of the findings:
·         52 members took the survey
·         75% serve on their organization's leadership team and more than 50% have a role in program operations.
·         74% were somewhat or completely satisfied with local chapter programs and services.
·         More than ½ of those surveyed with neutral or dissatisfied with AFP IHQ services.
·         One of the biggest challenges our members face is not having enough time in the day/being understaffed.
·         Most wanted program topics included: Time Management (program coming in November!), Cultivation/Stewardship and Analytics (May program offered)
·         88% of those surveyed felt as though there is at least 1 person in AFP they can call for advice.
·         35% were neutral or dissatisfied with chapter information about member benefits.
·         42% were neutral or dissatisfied that chapter leadership wasn't interactive with membership.
Our Board values your feedback!  It seems as though we can do a much better job at making members aware of AFP IHQ benefits and resources.  This will certainly be a focus for us moving forward.  As an FYI,  IHQ is redesigning the membership website to offer a more customized log in.  In the meantime, I encourage you to visit the resource center on AFP's website: AFP Hot Topics
Additionally, many of you expressed dissatisfaction with a low level of chapter leadership interaction.  This feedback will be part of our mid-year Board discussion and planning.  We will share some of our ideas at the September membership meeting.  I hope that you will also take time to introduce yourself to someone new at the next chapter event.  Networking remains one of the top benefits according to those surveyed. 
Thanks again for your input and we will look forward to seeing you soon!

LaGrange College Offering MA in Philanthropy

A master's degree in Philanthropy and Development will help you move ahead as a leader in fundraising and philanthropy. The only program of its kind in the Southeast, LaGrange College's 25-month degree is designed for working professionals, offering blended delivery (two-week summer sessions and online components), course credit based on your experience and a capstone project that can focus on your current or future work.  The program prepares leaders and administrators in the fields of major gifts, campaigns, planned giving, annual fund and utilization of new and social media in fundraising.

Space for this year's cohort is limited to 20-22, and slots are filling quickly. Visit, email or call (706) 880-8225.
 More on LaGrange College: Georgia's oldest private institution of higher learning, LaGrange College is located one hour south of Atlanta on Interstate 85 and is consistently ranked as top-10 and "best value" college by U.S. News & World Report. Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, LaGrange aims to provide a transforming experience that both challenges the mind and inspires the soul.

Member Confession: Jennifer Player, Director, Crisis Assistance Ministry

After 8 years of the corporate "rat race", I decided to make a career change.  I felt in my heart that I wanted to work in the nonprofit sector; to spend my life devoted to helping others.  What that looked like, though, I didn't know.  I chose to pursue a Masters of Public Administration from UNC Charlotte with a focus on nonprofit management so I could have a solid foundation on which to start my nonprofit career.  While taking a course on Fundraising, my professor, Beth Fischer, listed off the various traits and skills needed to be a successful development professional.  A light bulb went off.  I felt that Beth was talking directly to me and, as they say, the rest is history.  
Transitioning to a career in the nonprofit sector, though, was not as easy as some might think.  Luckily, AFP and the members of the local Charlotte chapter were there for me every step of the way.  I joined AFP before I even started job searching so that I could meet people and learn about the various nonprofits in Charlotte.  I looked for as many opportunities as I could through AFP to learn more about fundraising:  webinars, affinity groups, and the monthly luncheons.  I also participated in the mentorship program which was another way for me to network and learn from experienced professionals.  This year, I joined the AFP Board.
Fast forward 3 years.  I have enjoyed a wonderful job as the Director of Major Gifts at Crisis Assistance Ministry and have just accepted a role as the Director of Development for Habitat for Humanity in Orange County.  One of the first items on my to-do list is to join the AFP chapter in the Triangle to continue learning and growing as a development professional.  I am confident that they will be as welcoming to me as the Charlotte chapter has been.  That's just the AFP way.

SHIFT or FIESTA: AFP ICON Thoughts from a Newbie

SHIFT was the official theme at the 2014 AFP International Conference on Fundraising, however I feel Fiesta, Spanish for "festival" or "party" seemed equally apropos. Thanks to the generosity of AFP-Charlotte, I attended my first (of what will now be many) AFP ICON. This year's setting was San Antonio, TX, on the beautiful River Walk, just steps away from the Alamo. If you saw Miss Congeniality, then you know exactly what I am talking about, but I digress.

Thanks to the Chamberlain Scholarship, my conference registration was covered, and I received $1,000 to pay for travel expenses. Carolina Raptor Center (CRC) also had travel vouchers from our corporate partner US Airways, so virtually my entire conference experience was free...THANK YOU!

Getting to San Antonio was likely the most difficult part of the journey. I had just submitted our annual operating support grant to the Arts & Science Council, and literally threw clothes in a suitcase that night, only to be at the airport by 7:00am on Saturday. Luckily, I had the fortune to arrive early so I could do some sightseeing and get a good night's rest, so I could be ready for my first day at ICON. Day one started like any normal networking event with a First Timers Orientation. There I connected with a guy from Chicago who is developing an online platform for non-profits where we can share our message across multiple social media sites (think HootSuite), and solicit donations and track ROI, something with which we all struggle. We have since met while I visited Chicago to further discuss, and CRC will likely beta test it for him.

So, now that I'm pumped up, I SHIFT into the Convention Center abyss to take in my first educational sessions. There were so many excellent sessions, but three topped my list: Constructing Your Campaign for Success, Writing a Fabulous Case for Support, and the Social Media for Social Change General Session. My biggest takeaways from the Constructing session were that no matter the environment surrounding your NPO, you can construct a successful campaign--the presenter Betsy Clardy, VP and Chief Development Officer at University of Texas Medical Branch, told her inspiring story of starting a $450M Campaign just after Hurricane Ike hit the Houston/Galveston area--using unique strategies to recruit volunteers and donor recognition programs. The Fabulous Case session was equally eye-opening. I've always thought of Campaign cases as a booklet/folder that had 22 pages with lots of description as to why I should support a Campaign (that's typically what I've seen). Tom Ahern "rocked our worlds"--he also had us laughing heartily--and showed us examples of his work that did it in 8, using only 4,334 concise words surrounded by huge photos/graphics that sell the "WHY?" for you. The last mind-blowing session was our final Social Media general session, and I must say that the tour-de-force panel--Beth Kanter, co-author, The Networked Non-Profit; Carolyn Miles, President & CEO, Save the Children; Ben Rattray, Founder & CEO,; Ritu Sharma, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Social Media for Non-Profits; and, Darian Rodriguez Heyman, Co-Founder, Social Media for Non-Profits--ended ICON with a bang! Beth Kanter advocated for "giving" social media audiences control of your message (something I know we all dread), saying that letting them speak about your mission in their own voice gives them stock and ownership of advocating and fundraising for you. Another great takeaway was Ben Rattray's talk about how is transforming how we interact with corporations and government to affect change. They are also becoming tools for NPOs to fundraise. He challenged us to think about issues affecting our organization and create a petition to recruit volunteer activists. Then, utilize those volunteers to fundraise online for the cause (or a problem created by that cause). This message was powerful and timely, and I feel empowered to petition the State to eliminate lead bullets, so raptors will not get lead poisoning from eating killed prey, and use that support base to help fund some of the amazing work we do in our world class Raptor Hospital.

So, I know you're thinking, "Where is this FIESTA you mentioned?" While the educational sessions were very beneficial, I must say that the opportunities to meet fellow fundraisers from across the world provided some of the most meaningful experiences for me. I had the chance to shoot pool with someone who works for Habitat for Humanity and is helping me develop a job description for a position I will be hiring. I also had the pleasure of hosting the Charlotte Chapter attendees for dinner at Boudro's, a Tex-Mex restaurant on the River Walk. There, I had great conversations about our work in Charlotte and some of the successes and challenges we have--we may have even had a margarita (or two).  There was even karaoke and line dancing at a social event. Through all of this I was able to grow my circle of professional contacts, with whom I can pitch ideas, discuss best practices, and get alternate perspectives on challenges.

If you have never been to AFP ICON, or have not been in recent years, I encourage you to attend ICON 2015 in Baltimore, MD. You will learn some of the latest trends in fundraising, meet industry peers, have a great time, and bring many great ideas back to your organizations, giving you renewed focus on achieving your missions. Thanks to AFP ICON 2014 and the many people I interacted with, I am currently working on redesigning our membership program, reorganizing my staff, and working on new donor acquisition and retention strategies.

If you would like to connect and discuss my experience, I am happy to share. Please email me at or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Again, thank you to everyone in the AFP-Charlotte Chapter for making my experience at AFP ICON possible, and I look forward to seeing you at future AFP events.

by Robert Touchstone, 2014 Chamberlain Scholar

Older Posts »

Latest Tweets

Help AFP recognize diversity within our profession! Looking for a way to get the most out of your membership or kn… from @AFPCharlotte
Don't miss our Annual Fund Affinity Group! We will meet on 0 4/4 at 4:00 PM at the Catholic Diocese. Click here to… from @AFPCharlotte
Subscribe Me