Member Confession: David Ibsen Associate Director, Patton McDowell & Associates LLC

I recently had the honor of being able to attend the AFP International Conference in San Antonio, TX.  It was an amazing experience being surrounded by almost 3,000 individuals working a variety of roles within, not only the fundraising community, but within the nonprofit community as a whole.  I had the opportunity to meet people representing organizations of all different shapes and sizes, from faith-based to community centric to nationally-based agencies.  The theme of the conference was SHIFT, attributing to the fact that we all know that the fundraising landscaping, while always evolving, has certainly shifted substantially in the past few years. 
During my time, I got to listen to experts with a variety of backgrounds. Some individuals were in the technology field, some in direct fundraising, some were consultants.  Now, while we are in this shifting landscape in this modern age, the one thing that kept being discussed, maybe not intentionally, was that old-fashioned conversations and relationships are what helps to raise the money.  It isn't flashy direct mail pieces or overwhelming social media presence, but it is the one-on-one conversations that people can have with organizations that they trust and believe in.  Though this may not sound revolutionary, and it took me a while to determine what truly inspired me from the conference, it was truly this one main aspect of fundraising that has stood the test of time. 
While I am not here stating that brochures and mailings are not important, I encourage each of you to consider this as you move forward on your upcoming campaign or ramp up your annual fund and consider what donors that are out there that simply need that human touch!

Member Confession: Katie Benston, Chief Program Officer, Care Ring

Most people who attend AFP meetings and join AFP are on the development team, with titles such as director of development, annual fund manager, grant writer, special events coordinator, or database specialist. But my title at Care Ring is Chief Program Officer, and I am responsible for the strategic direction and operations of our healthcare programs.

That's right I'm a "program person." I believe fundraising is important to all of us who work in and with non-profit organizations. Programs and development are tied together like yin and yang, neither able to do our jobs without excellent planning and results from the other. I say all the time that the funds we raise support our programs, and our programs support our fundraising. It is important to the people we serve and the team providing services that donors understand and support our work. That is why I stay abreast of important fundraising topics through my AFP membership and attendance at meetings.

Top Tips for NPD Nominations

Writing and compiling National Philanthropy Day nominations can be overwhelming, so we put together a helpful check list of the Top 7 Items to Remember when submitting a nomination.

1.       While you might enjoy reading Hemingway in your personal time, writing like him when submitting your nomination is not such a great idea:
Complete, clear and concise is the way to go.
2.       Include every organization who benefits from their support :
Include your nominee's involvement in the community so your nomination will reflect the full breadth of their philanthropic impact.
3.       Three may be a crowd but it's perfect when it comes to supporting documents:
Supporting material is limited to three (letters of recommendation, newspaper articles, etc.)
4.       No one likes to be stood up:  
Nominator must confirm nominee's attendance at the awards luncheon in November.
5.       Maximize impact
Please submit only ONE nomination for each category.
6.       No one likes a double dipper:
A person or organization can only be selected as an honoree once for each category. You can view a list of past honorees on AFP-Charlotte's website here.
7.       If you didn't succeed before, feel free to try, try again:
Past applications can be resubmitted; we simply ask that you send an updated nomination form in the current format.

Attention AFP International Conference Attendees

Robert Touchstone, Director of Development at the Carolina Raptor Center and AFP Charlotte's Chamberlain scholarship winner in 2014, is organizing a meet-up of those AFP Charlotte members who plan on attending the AFP International Conference in San Antonio this March.  If you plan on going this March, please contact him with your cell phone and email:

                Robert Touchstone
                M: 704-616-0732
                O: 704-875-6521 x204

AFP Member Confessions: Marianne Schild, YWCA Central Carolinas

AFP-Charlotte Has a Place For You

In 2011, I had been a professional fundraiser in a small shop for just over a year. My boss, YWCA's Chief Philanthropy Officer, Anita Self, had taken me to a number of AFP-Charlotte's luncheon programs throughout my first year on the job. I enjoyed each one because 1. I always learned something, and 2. I had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people. Anita knew everyone, and I benefited. 
So, one year into these fabulous luncheon programs and encounters, I felt I had to make my relationship with AFP official and graduate from the handwritten GUEST name badge. I discovered AFP has different levels of membership for individuals and organizations, including one for the young professional: professional fundraisers under the age of 30. I presented this membership option to the decision-makers in my organization, who approved my AFP membership! 
Since becoming a member, I have served on the AFP-Charlotte Membership Committee for three years, won the 2013 Chamberlain Scholarship to attend AFP ICON, served on the AFP-Charlotte Scholarship Committee and enhanced my membership with the AFP Small Shop Affinity Group (among other enriching experiences).
I encourage you to let AFP empower you to consider next steps and augment your career, as it continues to do for me.

AFP Member Confessions: Randall Hitt, Community Link

AFP Member Confessions

Randall Hitt (first joined 1997)
October 1997. I'm one month into my new director of development job and walking into the Four Points Sheraton to attend my first AFP Charlotte monthly lunch. Well, actually, back then it was called NSFRE (National Society of Fundraising Executives).

At any rate, I've gone through the buffet line and anxiously seek a place to sit. I don't know anyone, nor do I really know what the profession of "fundraising" is all about.
Heading toward the back of the room, I'm stopped by Stacy Sumner (Jesso) who said "come on over, sit by us." Immediately I was welcomed to the group, felt at home, and was introduced to what I now recognize as the "love" of being an AFP member.

I continued attending programs and steadily got more involved. Instead of just being a participant, I helped plan, joined a committee, and reached out to network with other members (new and current) who I didn't know.

Building relationships, growth and learning, and being a part of a group that lifts our philanthropic profession are why I continue being a member today. And, I'm honored to be on the AFP Charlotte board as its membership chair.

As we enter 2014, I hope you'll become passionately involved in AFP. I'm proud to lead a membership committee who you'll be hearing from throughout the year and who will be glad to help you get more involved.

And, perhaps next time, you'll share your AFP Member Confession with us!

2014 AFP Preview From President Shannon Hinson

Happy New Year!

On behalf of the AFP Charlotte Board, I wanted to send you best wishes for 2014 and give you a little preview of our strategic initiatives for the year.

In November, the Board held its annual planning retreat to discuss many ideas and decided to focus on the theme of  "Philanthropy for the Whole Organization". We see AFP Charlotte as an organization positioned to lead discussions at many levels  about what a true culture of philanthropy should look like within organizations.  So often we focus specifically on the development department, but how do we impact the entire non-profit?

Our first program on February 4th gives us the opportunity to explore philanthropy on a broader scale. And we will continue to roll out this theme across our focus areas: membership, programs, marketing/partnerships, governance/finance, throughout the year.  President-Elect, Michelle Hamilton will report to the membership on a regular basis as to how various committees are implementing specific tactical items.

And  your input is also extremely valuable to this process!  I hope that you will participate in our membership survey next month and share your thoughts and ideas.  Joining a committee is also a great way to be involved.  Please visit our website<> for a list of committees and interest form.

Thank you for being an important part of advancing philanthropy in our community.  I hope this year brings you lots of joy personally and professionally and I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting!

Best regards,
Shannon Hinson, CFRE
President, AFP Charlotte

Scholarship support available from AFP Charlotte!

While the AFP Charlotte scholarship committee has already awarded its Chamberlain Scholarship, there are funds available to help you as a professional.

• Are you a full-time fund raiser and member of AFP Charlotte?
• Would you like to obtain a scholarship in support of your member dues, or partial funding of your attendance at the 2014 NC Philanthropy Conference, First Course in Fundraising, the CFRE Review Course?

You can apply online, see
development/scholarships/ or contact Armen S. Boyajian, CFRE, 704-370-3371 or

Applicants must be members of AFP Charlotte Chapter, and employed as a full-
time fundraisers.

The purpose of the AFP- Charlotte Chapter Scholarship Fund is to promote and enhance the professional development of fund development professionals in the Charlotte area and encourage involvement and membership in the Charlotte chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The chapter is pleased to provide scholarships for educational opportunities, including but not limited to:

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and are considered by the committee through a blind-review process at monthly Scholarship Committee meetings. An individual member may receive scholarship funds only once during the calendar

For more info, please visit or contact Armen S. Boyajian, CFRE, 704-370-3371 or

Nominate a Great Philanthropist for AFP's New Awards Programs

AFP's new awards program is now open for nominations, and we encourage you to submit one today. It's an all-new process, and it's very easy. Here are the key things you need to know:
  • ANY member of AFP can submit a nomination.
  • Any person or organization can be nominated, assuming they fit the initial criteria. Nominees don't have to be chapter honorees.
  • Nominations are due Jan. 31.
  • Honorees will be recognized at AFP's National Philanthropy Day® event in November 2014.
  • The initial nomination "form" is a short video.
The biggest change is the video. Instead of a long written form, nominators must submit a short video, no longer than three minutes, detailing in their own words why the nominee is worthy of being selected.

We are NOT looking for chapter videos, with significant production values and interviews from donors and others. Those are wonderful videos--and they can be submitted if nominators want. But we want to hear--simply and directly--how your nominee is changing the community and the world--their stories of impact and making a difference.

To upload your video--and see examples of the types of videos we're looking for--click here for the AFP awards page:

You have until Jan. 31 to upload your video, and provide a little basic information about you and your nominee.

Then what happens?

After Jan. 31, chapters will be able to vote for their favorites in each category. Yes, that's where chapters get involved, and we'll have more information next year. Chapters will get to decide on their own how they're going to make their voting decisions in each category, and will get a certain number of votes in each category depending on the number of nominees.

After we tally the chapter voting, the top nominees will then be vetted by our Awards Committee. Nominators will be asked for more detailed information about each nominee, and the committee will select the top three nominees in each category.

Those nominees will then be reviewed by a blue star panel of judges, and our final honorees will be honored at AFP's National Philanthropy Day celebration in November 2014.

For information about all of the categories and to upload videos, go to

Questions can be directed to

We look forward to seeing your nomination!

AFP Charlotte 2014 Board

Introducing the 2014 AFP Charlotte Board

We would like to formally announce the newly elected 2014 AFP Charlotte Board, including the 2014 Officers and Committees.
President Shannon Hinson, CFRE
President-Elect Michelle Hamilton, CFRE
Treasurer Katherine Lambert, CFRE
Secretary Deepa Naik
Past President Patton McDowell, CFRE
VP, Programs Jamie Hayes, CFRE
VP, Membership Ben Mohler, CFRE
VP, Outreach Donna Canzano
Alicia Morris (Socials)
Armen Boyajian, CFRE (Scholarships & EMC)
Bart Landess (Leave A Legacy)
Basil Lyberg (Communications & Marketing)
Caitlin Donley (National Philanthropy Day)
Jenna Westbrook (Communications & Marketing)
Jennifer Player (Affinity Groups)
Josh Jacobson, CFRE (Mentoring)
Julie Congliaro (National  Philanthropy Day)
Marjorie Bray   (Mentoring)
Patrick Lynch (Sponsorships)
Rachel Smith (Programs)
Randall Hitt, CFRE (Recruitment & Retention)
Stephanie Stenglein, CFRE (Assistant Treasurer & Job Opportunities)
Trish Hobson (NC Conference)
Rex Otey (Legislative & Advocacy)

In addition to changes and additions to the AFP Charlotte Board, several changes to committee organization have been made:
  • We have created an Assistant Treasurer role, responsible for assuming the role of Treasurer in the following year and Job Opportunities.
  •  We have combined EMC & Scholarships into one role they are related due to the Chamberlain Scholarship.
  •  CFRE and Senior Forum are combined to support our chapter's most senior members.
  •  The position to support Leave A Legacy has been added under Programming.

Posted in AFP Charlotte Programs.

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