Archive for the ‘Member Benefits’ Category

Fully Engaged

September 5, 2013
Nora Gunn, CFRE

Nora Gunn, CFRE

Diana Nyad has made history this week as the first person to swim the 110-mile Florida Strait. This was Nyad’s fifth attempt, and it took her 53 hours to complete. Nyad, 64, said that her record-setting swim was about being “fully engaged” in life – a lesson in passion and persistence we all can take to heart. Here in the AFP Suncoast Chapter, we have several opportunities for our members and the community-at-large to become fully engaged in philanthropy.

Our keynote speaker on September 17 will be fundraising veteran and long-standing AFP member, Holly Duncan. She will be sharing a career’s worth of advice and anecdotes on her professional development experience. It’s a not-to-be missed program.

On September 20, nominations are due for our 28th Annual National Philanthropy Day celebration. This is a great way for your charity to honor donors and volunteers whose gifts of time, expertise and resources contribute significantly to the quality of life in our communities. The National Philanthropy Day committee, chaired by Bryn Warner, has been working hard to ensure this will be the best celebration to date. Please consider submitting one or more nominations on behalf of your organization.

This month, the Resource Development committee led by Judy Anderson will launch a philanthropic guide that highlights some of the most visible and valuable marketing opportunities for partners to support of the development profession.  Partners interested in sponsoring chapter activities should contact us as soon as possible as spots are filling up fast.

We will soon be electing a new slate of officers that will lead our organization in the years to come. I encourage you to speak with a member of our nominating committee if you have interest in serving in a leadership capacity or on a committee of the Board.

Diana Nyad’s goal took a team of experts that helped her make the swim from Cuba to Key West, giving her nourishment, protecting her from jellyfish and monitoring her health. For our volunteer-run Chapter to succeed and accomplish its goal of promoting ethical and effective fundraising, it takes the work of many members and professionals behind-the-scenes and along the way. Thank you to our members and leaders who are fully engaged with our mission, and welcome to those that would like to be.

Nora Gunn, CFRE
2013 AFP Suncoast President
Vice President, St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation & St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Foundation
Phone: 813 872 0979

A New Discovery – I Just Had to Share

May 1, 2012

Sara Leonard

by Sara Leonard, CFRE, Fund Development Academy Director at Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay

There it was, innocently sitting at the bottom of the weekly e-wire from AFP.  Has it been there all along and I just hadn’t noticed it?  Has everyone else been taking advantage of it?  If that’s the case, why hasn’t anyone mentioned it to me?  So just in case you hadn’t noticed it either, I had to share!

AFP Action University Book Review – but it’s not just another book review.  We’ve all seen those, maybe even written a few ourselves.  This one is a book summation.  They have read the book for us, summarized it, created a brief video presentation AND a short workbook that prompts you to take action based on the key points of the book.  Here’s another amazing thing about it:  it’s not just fundraising books, it’s mostly about business books.  For instance, a previous selection was Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos.  Delivering Happiness is all about customer service and is a favorite of my coworkers at the Nonprofit Leadership Center.

I’m sure some of you will read this and think, “But Sara, I don’t need that, I’ve got more than enough time to read all of the current literature and determine how to apply it to our organization.”  OK, I hear you.  I’m not sure I believe you, but I hear you.  For the rest of us, this is a great way to get an entire book condensed to the key points and delivered in our In Box with the AFP e-wire.

Here are a few simple steps to use this resource:

  1. Join AFP Suncoast Chapter
  2. Visit
  3. Click the Professional Development tab
  4. Select AFP Action University
  5. If you haven’t used the online resources before, you’ll need to get your username and password, instructions are on the Web site and it’s very easy
  6. Enjoy!

Here’s the info as it appeared in the e-wire this week:

This Week We Present an AFP Action University Book Review (Video): The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself, by John Jantsch
As lean times force businesses to reduce advertising and marketing budgets, more and more companies are trying to develop new clients through word-of-mouth referrals. Jantsch champions such an approach, asserting that many widely referred businesses do very little when it comes to traditional advertising and that happy customers and actively engaged partners account for a great deal of their efforts. According to Jantsch, referral behavior is a primal activity rooted in our survival instinct and satisfying our need to connect with other people and mint social currency. Jantsch offers practical solutions on how to build a powerful referral engine by developing a systematic, consistent, and replicable approach and exploiting content, using social networking, and building strategic partnerships.
Access this week’s AFP Action University Book Review development tool (video and materials)
Learn more about Action University
• Want to discuss The Referral Engine? Join us on AFP2P!

Mix and Mingle Event a Swimming Success!

April 6, 2012

Big thank you to Judy Anderson, Mark Haney and staff at The Florida Aquarium, for helping the Membership Committee put together a fun free mixer event at The Florida Aquarium’s outdoor Cantina. Surrounded by more than thirty AFP Suncoast members and friends, networking was taken to a new level as various animals introduced themselves to guests – including a four-foot alligator, Hootie the great horned owl, and the majestic falcon!

In addition to friendly networking, the event had at least two prize drawings. One lucky winner received a Florida Aquarium gift basket full of souvenir goodies and tickets to the aquarium. Other lucky winners received free lunch vouchers for AFP Suncoast monthly lunch meetings.

If you have ideas for future member events, or just want to get on the most animal-friendly committee in our chapter, contact Tammy Leventis, AFP Suncoast Membership Committee Chair, at or call 727-460-3149.

8 Reasons to love AFP!

September 28, 2011

by Kim Payne.

8 Good Reasons to Love your AFP Membership:

  1. Professional Development
  2. Involvement/Networking
  3. Information/Research
  4. Certification/Designation
  5. Ethics
  6. Employment Assistance
  7. Scholarships
  8. Advocacy/Public Service

Did you know that AFP represents over 30,000 individual fundraisers in more than 198 chapters throughout North America and the world? Your AFP Suncoast Chapter serves over 250 members in the Greater Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area – that includes Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

Do you want to be a member of AFP Suncoast? First you must be a member of AFP International to be eligible for Chapter membership and its associated rights and privileges. AFP membership is on an individual basis and is not transferable. That means that if you change your employment, your AFP International membership transfers with you, NOT with the organization.

Membership in the Association of Fundraising Professionals offers many benefits including access to customized research; news, trends and expert advice; the ability to demonstrate to donors and colleagues your commitment to ethical and effective fundraising. It also provides access to the support and strategies needed to supply critical fundraising to your organization.

For more information about Membership, contact Tammy Leventis at or 727-460-3149.

10+ New Members & Visitors – WOW

July 23, 2010

New member & visitors introduce themselves

Okay, so what if Linda Eisenhart had a hot topic with how to use voodoo magic to make special events work within your development program. I’m not sure that explains how we had more than ten new members and visitors at the July 20, 2010 AFP Suncoast chapter luncheon. I mean WOW. It is July in Florida, right?

All I know is that our chapter is constantly in motion with education, fellowship, advocacy, diversity and so much more. I believe that explains the interest. And if you are interested and haven’t volunteered yet, we need you! Call one of our officers and find out where you fit in. Why not sign-up for the e-newsletter? But whatever you do or don’t do, keep coming to the meetings – we like you!

Debbi goes Boca!

July 6, 2010

Debbi Ricci, Director of Finance and Operations at Charlotte Community Foundation, was the lucky recipient of a scholarship to Planet Philanthropy 2010 in Boca Raton which was donated by AFP Suncoast president, Melody Marrs. Debbi was kind enough to share her thoughts and thanks, reproduced below.

Dear Melody and Lisa,

What a warm and wonderful experience I had at Planet Philanthropy, the AFP Florida Caucus 2010. Just imagine 400 fellow AFP members, all together to network, learn, and enjoy each other’s company. The venue was the Boca Raton Resort, absolutely elegant, and the June weather was steamy but sunny. After all, we were inside the Mizner Center during the hottest part of the day, and we had access to pools, the beach, and the lush green gardens of the resort after hours.

A member of AFP for two years, I have set my sights on attaining the CFRE certification that AFP has to offer. Lisa Intagliata and her committee did a fabulous job organizing everything. Events and activities ran smoothly. It was a difficult task to choose from the 71 Educational Sessions available, all levels of experience were covered, and the tracks were all-encompassing: Annual Campaigns, Capital Campaigns, Government Relations & Corporate Giving, Planned Giving, Senior Leadership & Management, Technology, Board Development & Volunteerism, Major Gifts, and Private, Family & Community Foundation Giving. We spent two full days in Educational Sessions, and were treated to program speakers and roundtable discussions at every meal. The opening reception combined refreshments, exhibitor booths, and “checking in.” The 30 exhibitor booths were available for three days to browse and many offered door prizes – there was even a casino table and Chinese auction. No wonder it took a committee of 40 people to tie it all together!

Most of the sessions I attended centered on Planned Giving and Major Gifts, a field I plan to move into as I develop my fundraising skills. However, I couldn’t resist some other sessions with names like “Community Sleuthing,” “Fundraising Partnership between Board and Staff,” and “Guerilla Marketing.” Curbside Consulting was also available, but I didn’t want to miss a moment of the educational sessions to explore that one-on-one option. 13 credits toward the CFRE certification were just a portion of the value I gained from this experience.

I would like to extend my most sincere thanks to Melody Marrs, Vice President of Development at the Hillsborough Education Foundation. She won a scholarship to Planet Philanthropy while attending the International AFP Conference in Baltimore last April. She donated the scholarship to our brand new Florida AFP Charlotte Harbor Chapter as a “welcome to the family” gift. How thoughtful and generous. That scholarship allowed me to participate for the entire event, immersing myself in so much encouragement and training in the many fundraising fields that AFP has to offer. I dream that every member of our chapter will attend next year.  What a giant step up that would be for the professional fundraisers in our nonprofit community!

-Deborah M. Ricci
Director of Finance and Operations
Charlotte Community Foundation, Inc.

Chamberlain Scholarship Puts Career in Prospective

May 6, 2010

Two and Already Interested in Politics

by Danielle Wright Landry

I love those Aha Moment commercials.  You know the ones, where they have some amazing person telling an inspiring story where they have triumphed over some terrible scenario or they made it possible for someone else to?  I am sure much to the chagrin of the company—I have no idea what product/company is being marketed—but I love the stories.

My aha moment (moments!)  came during the AFP International Conference.  Being able to even attend was more than I could have hoped for.   If it was not for the Chamberlain Scholarship, and the financial assistance provided from the AFP and AFP Suncoast, I would never have had the chance to experience a career reviving event.  This conference has made my whole career come full circle at a time when I most needed it!

Like many I have a story behind how I entered this profession that involves a very influential person in my life.  I came to this profession by way of being a community activist.  I attended my first protest when I was 14 (much to the heartache of my very conservative New England parents!).

When I was 15 I hosted my first fundraiser to benefit Africa.  By 16 I was protesting in the streets of Boston with college students against the Apartheid government of South Africa.  At 17 I was volunteering on my first presidential campaign with a candidate whose major plank was his opposition to America’s corporate investment in South Africa and by 18 I was living in England and taking part in overnight vigils in front of the South African Embassy with students from around the world.  This was my exposure to the nonprofit community and to the power of volunteerism and community involvement.  I was hooked!  I knew that this was going to be my career.  I didn’t know how exactly, but I knew it involved saving the world (I was an optimistic teenager).  One of my heroes growing up was the Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend the AFP International Conference, you may not know that the Archbishop was one of the plenary speakers.  (What other organization could have keynote speakers of this magnitude??  AFP does everything well! )

Walking into that huge, absolutely filled to capacity,  Baltimore convention hall –  knowing after 26 years I was finally going to see the man who lead me to action as a young girl and sparked my passion in politics. . .in humanity – would be taking center stage was more than awe-inspiring.   Then he said the magic words: “You have a noble profession . . . it is a calling.”   I had thought that for years, but hearing it from an authority like the Archbishop, it must be true.

He also mentioned me.  Well, not by name, but people like me.  He mentioned visiting America in the 80’s and being moved by students who were protesting-not for something that would benefit them, but for people they didn’t know, 10,000 miles away.  He said “maybe you were one of those students?”  A few of us cheered (I had to cry a little).  He said it was because of us that Apartheid was abolished, and the world got to know the greatness of Nelson Mandela.

Already Marching on Washington

That is the amazing thing about our profession, we all get to be a part of making history.  Either we have the great privilege of building relationships with people who are shaping events, or we recruit and train the volunteers that are changing policy, or raise the money for the schools that will educate the future leaders,  or we organize the events that have historical significance. Which ever the case may be, we are all so fortunate to work in our profession.

At a time when I was having a mid-career crisis and questioning if it was time for me to open that t-shirt business, I received the Chamberlain Scholarship.  The AFP International Conference reignited the fire! It reminded me I am in the right field, that I may not be conventional, that I still have a bit of that rebel in me;  but that there is room for all of us that believe in the strength of the  nonprofit sector and the community that supports us  and our ability together,  to impact every aspect of our world.  We have a noble profession!

2010 AFP Int’l Conference – in video

May 1, 2010

Florida members were well represented at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) conference in Baltimore, Maryland in 2010 -together with 4,000 of our closest colleagues from around the world. And we do it right! There was the beautiful Inner Harbor, time spent with friends and family, sampling the food and drink and learning from and being inspired by the conference presentations. Be sure you don’t miss the AFP conference in Chicago next year!

Suncoast Scholarships Help You- Ask Debbie!

April 5, 2010

Looking to expand your fundraising skill set without putting a strain on your organization’s budget? Check out the AFP Suncoast Chapter’s scholarship offerings and learn how easy it can be to obtain free financial assistance for conferences, seminars and other professional development opportunities. Last year 18 scholarships totaling more than $14,000 were awarded to Suncoast Chapter members.

Debbie Sokolov, Director of Development at FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer, is a first-time Suncoast Chapter scholarship recipient who will be attending the upcoming AFP International Conference in Baltimore. Debbie describes the scholarship application process as painless and simple  “I met most of the scholarship criteria right away – The only thing I had to do was join one of the Chapter’s committees for the coming year.”

Within a few weeks of submitting her application, Debbie received a call from the Chapter scholarship committee letting her know that she had been awarded a $1,000 Chamberlain Scholarship to help cover the cost of her conference registration, travel and hotel. “Without the scholarship, it would have been impossible for me to attend the conference,” Debbie said. “My organization is very grassroots and we have no funds in our budget for professional development.”

Debbie encourages Suncoast Chapter members to investigate AFP’s scholarship offerings when faced with financial limitations or hardship. “Definitely submit an application.  It’s such an incredible opportunity! I’m excited and can’t wait to attend my conference and learn new strategies.”


For more information about the AFP Suncoast Chapter and scholarship offerings, log on to

Written by AFP Suncoast member Todd Marrs.