Congratulations to Laura Amerman, CFRE on winning the 2018 AFP Conference registration, and Kisha Norris, CFRE on winning the $100 Amazon gift card! Thank you everyone who played our #SelfiewithACFRE contest at the 2017 AFP Conference in San Francisco!
I suppose professionalism is about fine differences.
There are “pros” in every occupation. You know the ones. Those individuals who take extra care that projects are completed correctly. They take care that people around them, colleagues, co-workers, clients, customers, are treated with respect and listened to carefully. They demonstrate the highest ethical standards and do not compromise their values or integrity. These “pros” are dedicated to continuing to learn about their chosen occupations, committed to making certain they are current with the newest techniques and technological breakthroughs. These people might be your auto mechanic, your plumber, your doctor, a teacher. Any individual that takes that extra care to be and do their best without compromise.
We are members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. However, being a member of AFP doesn’t make us professionals. Membership may make us aspirants to professionalism. The same description of a professional fits fundraisers as neatly as the individuals described above. Each of us knows the “pros” in our profession. We work beside them. We run to be first at their presentations at conference. We sign up for their webinars and most important have their books in our libraries. What makes these “pros” who they are? Perhaps they are just smarter or better than everyone else or maybe luckier?
The difference, I believe, is that the “pros” have dedicated themselves to this profession. They have refused to settle for mediocrity. They have refused to just get by. They have committed themselves to continued and continuous learning and growth. They share the highest ethical standards and insist on the same from everyone they work for and with. They go beyond every time with every donor, and with each organization they serve. These “pros” bring a value added to their organizations, donors, colleagues, and communities. These “pros,” because they have adopted the highest professional standards as the minimum they will accept, are examples of the best we have and the best we must aspire to be.
Do you consider yourself to be a professional? Are you committed to professionalism? Can you prove it? How do you know?
The difference, in my mind, centers around the simple commonality that the “pros” never stop learning and growing. They use experiences, conversations, interactions as opportunities to listen and grow as opposed to a chance to show what they know. These “pros” have a thirst for learning. You may notice these leaders have ACFRE, CFRE, MBA, etc. after their names. These signs of achievement not only demonstrate their commitment to learning, they indicate that others have validated the competence and professionalism of these people we aspire to be.
Start today to commit yourself to the highest standards in all that your do. Conduct your career with an uncompromising grasp of your values. Continue to develop your skills and knowledge through continuing education. Take time today to consider your dedication to this wonderful profession. Give serious thought to engage in the credentialing process. Is the International Advanced Diploma Program your choice? Go for it. Is the Certified Fundraising Executive credential your choice? Terrific! If you already possess the CFRE take the ultimate step and begin the journey to earn the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive Credential. Become one of the “pros”. Make the difference.
Vern Snyder retired as vice president for Institutional Advancement at the University of Toledo on July 1, 2015 serving since 2001. He is a graduate of West Virginia University with a master's degree in music education. In 1993 Snyder earned Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) status from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). In 2010 he earned Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive status (ACFRE), one of only 110 individuals with that distinction. He was recognized by AFP International as the 2016 Outstanding Fundraising Professional. Vern serves on the ACFRE Certification Board.
Russell Raker, ACFRE, former AFP board member who led the development and implementation of the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Credential (ACFRE) program, passed away on Dec. 21 at the age of 75.
Raker was associate vice president for the Office of Institutional Advancement at Nevada State College. His career in fundraising, nonprofit capacity building and leadership in higher education, health care and social services spanned 53 years. He led teams that raised more than $1 billion for various nonprofits.
Appointed by then-AFP chair Del Staecker, Raker led the Advanced Credential Task Force, which ultimately led to the creation of the ACFRE. In 1991 the task force completed the written examination component of the advanced credential program. The first ACFRE examinations were administered in 1992, and the first credentials were conferred in 1993 to 18 individuals: Ted D. Bayley; Mary Anne Chern; C. Neal Davis, Ph.D.; John P. Demoleas; Lona M. Farr, Ph.D.; Simone P. Joyaux; Zoltan A. Karpathy; Barbara R. Levy; David J. Madson; William M. Moran; J. Russell Raker III; Charlotte Rhodes; Del Staecker; Dennis Stefanacci; Dana R. Todsen; B. Jeanne Williams; Karla A. Williams; and Marjorie A. Winkler.
Raker was a member of AFP since 1968, and most recently became president of the Las Vegas Chapter. He served on the AFP Board from 1987-1994 and helped form both the Ohio, Miami Valley Chapter (now the Greater Dayton Region Chapter) and the Nebraska Chapter.
“Russ was an extraordinary man, a dear friend, and had an extraordinary commitment to the philosophy of philanthropy that we all would be well served to follow,” said Dennis Stefanacci, ACFRE, past chair of AFP. “It is truly a great loss for all of us who knew him, and particularly the profession many of us have devoted our lives to. He will be missed.”
Don Campbell, CFRE, another former chair of AFP, echoed those comments: “A more committed professional you could not find! Not only did Russ help build NSFRE and AFP in the most important ways, he was a great client, and wonderful consultant for our firm, and a true friend. I'm deeply saddened to lose him from our world.”
Career and Accolades
Raker spent a decade in Southern Nevada, developing a comprehensive fundraising program at Nevada State College. He led the college’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign, which netted more than $17 million in gifts and pledges to back the college’s facility expansion, scholarships and academic programs.
In 2008, Raker co-founded the Gift Planning Advisors, a collaborative partnership of six valley nonprofit organizations, working to enhance the educational opportunities available to them. In 2013, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Las Vegas Chapter of AFP.
In 1985, 1986, and again in 1987, he received the prestigious Charles W. L. Foreman Distinguished Performance Award from the Independent College Funds of America (ICFA) for the top sustained ICFA fundraising program in the country. In addition to authoring and editing several books, he also served on the national boards of other nonprofit organizations, including: Family Service America (Wisc.); Family Foundation of North America (Wisc.); Red Cross of Ohio; Red Cross (D.C.); Dayton Ballet (Ohio); Omaha Ballet (Neb.); Amarillo Ballet of West Texas (Texas); Omaha Symphony (Neb.); the Women’s Foundation of Nebraska (Neb.); ICFA (N.Y.) and as Vice President/Programs of The Milton Murray Foundation (Colo.),where he led the Foundation to its new focus in grant making.
“Russ was hugely instrumental in the AFP community and had a huge impact on the profession,” said Jason Lee, interim president and CEO of AFP. “AFP was one of his primary personal passions, and our organization—and all of fundraising—is better because of his leadership and dedication.”
After eight years as the ACFRE board public member, Bill Levis will complete his term December 31, 2016. In recognition for his unwavering commitment to the ACFRE and to our sector, the board approved the following resolution:
Resolution of Thanks To Bill Levis
Bill Levis has served faithfully and honorably as the public member of the ACFRE Professional Certification Board from 2009-2016, and
Mr. Levis has diligently attended and dutifully participated in all meetings of the ACFRE Professional Certification Board during his tenure, and
Mr. Levis has thoughtfully contributed to the discussions during board meetings, conscientiously representing the public interest in policy and procedural issues, and
Mr. Levis has significantly enhanced the camaraderie of board meetings with his wonderful sense of humor,
The ACFRE Professional Certification Board gratefully thanks Bill Levis for his many years of distinguished service, and extends best wishes to him in his future endeavors.
New Board Class
Approved for board terms beginning January 1, 2017 for three years were Alice Ferris (2nd term), Vern Snyder (2nd term) and Ben Mohler (1st term).
Ben Mohler is the Assistant Vice President for Major and Planned Gifts at Eastern Kentucky University. Previously, he served key roles at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Cedarville University, and The University of Texas at Austin. Mohler is an involved member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and he was named to Charlotte Business Journal's "Forty Under 40" in 2013. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Cedarville University and a master’s in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. He received his ACFRE in 2015.
June 29, 2016
AFP has awarded its highest professional certification, the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE), to Lisa Kennedy of Atlanta, GA.
“I’m honored to have received the ACFRE credential and appreciate the time the board invested in reviewing my work,” said Kennedy. “The process gave me an opportunity to learn and identify new areas of interest and opportunity for me and for my organization.”
Kennedy serves as chief advancement officer for Bobby Dodd Institute (BDI), an Atlanta-based nonprofit connecting people with disabilities and disadvantages to job training and permanent employment. BDI offers professional staffing services, matching job candidates with community employers, and employs people with barriers to work in its own social enterprises. BDI’s mission-based businesses include janitorial and grounds maintenance services, staffing and recruiting, call center and mailroom operations, and packaging and fulfillment services. Prior to joining BDI in 2009, Kennedy worked as a fundraising consultant with Haas Consulting, an Atlanta-based firm helping organizations succeed in annual and capital campaigns and make effective transitions from grassroots to major gifts fundraising.
Kennedy’s work with nonprofits has ranged from annual funds to planned giving, with focus on directing major gift initiatives, engaging leadership volunteers, planning strategic initiatives and campaigns, and leveraging philanthropy to diversify revenue streams and develop social enterprises. As a volunteer, Kennedy served as president of the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and served in additional executive committee roles, including VP of Education and Certification. She has chaired the Greater Good Luncheon for the Georgia Planned Giving Council (GPGC) and led the Host Committee for the 2006 AFP International Conference on Fundraising held in Atlanta.
Kennedy currently serves on the Advisory Boards for the Foundation Center-Atlanta, and the Atlanta Chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance. She co-chaired the honoree selection committee for Atlanta’s 2015 National Philanthropy Day luncheon. She has been a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) since 2006.
The ACFRE Board is also very proud that our own Vern Snyder was named the 2016 Outstanding Fundraising Professional for AFP International! Vern received his ACFRE in 2010 and has been a member of the ACFRE board since 2013. Vern recently retired from his position as Vice President of Institutional Advancement at the University of Toledo after 13 years of leadership. Well deserved, Vern!