AFP Announces 2018 Class of Distinguished Fellows

The Distinguished Fellows program and Honorary Fellows program spotlights individuals who have made significant leadership contributions to the philanthropic and fundraising professions, and who will continue to advance AFP’s mission and vision through their volunteer and advisory work. 

“Our Distinguished Fellows this year represent the best of the fundraising profession,” said Mike Geiger, president and CEO of AFP. “Not only are they extraordinary practitioners who have raised incredible sums of money for their organizations, but they have given back so much to the fundraising community. We wanted a program that properly recognized outstanding leaders in the profession, and I can’t think of anyone more worthy of being a Distinguished Fellow than Ken, Jim and Abbie. They have given so much to the profession, and all of us at AFP look forward to working with them in the years to come.”

Any AFP member with fifteen years in the profession is eligible for nomination as a Distinguished Fellow. For the Honorary Fellow, a minimum of fifteen years in nonprofit leadership is required. Nominations were required to address professional recognition, employment history, publications and speaking history, AFP memberships, honor and activity, and a concise description of why he or she should be selected a Fellow.

The following members are part of the first class of Distinguished Fellows:

Kenneth (Ken) C. Frisch, ACFRE
Frisch has more than 40 years in all areas of development. Currently he is mentoring young professionals, doing presentations, working with organizations in NW Ohio, and serving on the ACFRE Certification Board. He retired in 2016 as VP for Philanthropic Services and Advancement for the Toledo Community Foundation. Throughout his career, he served in fundraising and led major campaigns at a number of institutions, including Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Bowling Green State University, and Ohio University. He started his career as a high school teacher in Tipp City, Ohio.

In 2009 Frisch was recognized as the CCS Outstanding Fundraising Professional by AFP – International. He has earned the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) certification and is a certified AFP Master Teacher.  He was also a Fellow with the National Endowment for the Arts.

“It is an honor to be selected as an AFP Distinguished Fellow,” said Frisch. “Throughout my philanthropic journey, there have been mentors and colleagues providing support and guidance; volunteers enthusiastically sharing time and talent; and philanthropists investing and believing in our organizations’ mission.  To each one, I say thank you.  This recognition belongs to you and everyone who has been part of this wonderful experience, especially my family.”

James (Jim) Greenfield, ACFRE
Greenfield’s 55 years of service to the fundraising profession includes employment at three universities and five hospitals on the East and West Coasts of the USA. He was a member of the first Certified Fund Raising Executive group (CFRE) in 1981, and in 1995, was a member of the second class to receive AFP’s prestigious Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive credential (ACFRE). He retired from Hoag Memorial Presbyterian Hospital in Newport Beach, Calif., in February 2001 after 14 years as senior vice president, resource development and executive director, Hoag Hospital Foundation.

Since 2001, Greenfield has remained actively involved in the advancement of our profession as a writer, speaker, educator, advisor, and mentor. He served as adjunct faculty of The Fund Raising School at Indiana University until 2015 and remains a member of the AFP Growth in Giving Steering Committee and the Fundraising Effectiveness Project Working Team. The author/editor of 10 books and more than 40 articles and chapters on fundraising management, he was among the first to tackle measuring fundraising performance for effectiveness and efficiency.

“When I joined the Los Angeles Chapter of AFP in 1969, I quickly learned that members were doing creative things in fundraising that really worked; thus, began my educational experience,” said Jim Greenfield. “To be honored as a Distinguished Fellow these many years later is testimony to all those who taught me along the way. Because it was and continues to be my profession.  My CFRE in 1981 and ACFRE in 1995 were steps to achieving mastery of my craft that I can continue to share with others through consulting, teaching, volunteering, and writing.”

Abbie J. von Schlegell, CFRE
With more than 40 years of experience in the development field, von Schlegell, CFRE has served as a consultant with several national firms for half of her career, and then and as a senior development officer with four institutions. She has held key development positions at Stanford University, The University of Chicago, The Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C., and Enterprise Community Partners in Columbia, Md.  In 2007, she returned to consulting and established her own firm in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. She is also currently a Certified Governance Trainer with BoardSource, in addition to her own work with clients. She very much enjoys her board service on nonprofit boards, currently Tapestry Health in Massachusetts and the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires. She often provides pro bono consulting to others with “Buy me a latte and let’s get together!” sessions.

A champion of women in philanthropy, von Schlegell was the editor of the first book on the subject, the best-selling handbook Women as Donors, Women as Philanthropists, published by Jossey Bass in 1993. She has spoken widely about the issue, written many articles and continued research in the field, serving on numerous panels and committees to explore how women give and engage with philanthropy.

“I am humbled and honored to be selected as a 2018 AFP Distinguished Fellow,” said von Schlegell. “I first became aware of AFP—then NSFRE—more than ten years after I became a development officer — in 1980 and soon got involved in the Chicago Chapter I earned my CFRE in 1987, so now it has been more than 30 years! Many AFP colleagues have been wonderful mentors and long-time friends. The professional education I have received from the many AFP conferences is outstanding, and I treasure the relationships that have developed.”

©2024 Association of Fundraising Professionals