AFP Emerging Leaders Virtual Workshop

This workshop is a virtual educational offering designed for emerging leaders and young professionals interested in career and skill development.


AFP Emerging Leaders Virtual Workshop Logo

Calling all emerging leaders and young professionals! Join us online for this exciting half-day conference geared toward helping you develop your fundraising skillset and advance your career. We’ll cover topics such as legacy giving, diversifying your grant writing, tech innovations in fundraising, and more!

November 14, 2023 | 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. | All Times Eastern   

Pricing is $139 USD for members and $209 USD for non-members.
Eligible for 4 CFRE Education Points for full participation

Register Today

Education Session Topics

  • AI Empowerment: Leading Ethical Tech Innovations in Fundraising: Cherian Koshy: Attention emerging leaders and young professionals! Dive into the revolutionary world of AI and its potential to reshape the fundraising landscape. As we navigate the digital age, understanding the ethical implications and transformative power of AI becomes paramount. This session will spotlight how fundraisers can harness AI to enhance virtual stewardship, elevate donor engagement, and craft robust development materials. Together, we'll explore the successes and challenges of AI in fundraising, offering insights into countering biases and maximizing its potential for inclusivity. Equip yourself with the cutting-edge tools and knowledge to lead the next wave of ethical tech innovations in philanthropy.
  • Centering Equity & Justice in Grant Seeking: April Walker: One of the most challenging aspects of grant writing is authentically responding to questions about diversity, equity, and inclusion in ways that comprehensively address power balances, advocate for community-driven solutions, and account for historical and systemic injustices. This session will explore actionable strategies to embed equity and justice in grant seeking as fundraising professional. 
  • Unlock Your Leadership: Navigating the Boardroom with Confidence and Credibility: Ben Mohler: As fundraising professionals, the primary objective is to engage external donors and encourage lifelong philanthropy. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that our success is contingent upon fostering strong relationships within our organizations. By adopting a holistic approach to our work — encompassing self-leadership, leading up, and leading out, we can enhance our self-confidence and establish professional credibility when collaborating with boards and organizational leaders. This collaboration, in turn, can open doors to increased leadership opportunities and further propel the growth of our organizations.
  • What’s Your Legacy? Implementing a Gift Planning Program: Lisa Chmiola: Want to launch a legacy giving program for your organization but don’t know where to begin? Is it the right time for this venture? In this session, you’ll learn the foundations needed to begin and grow a successful (planned giving) program for your organization. 

Meet the Facilitator:

LandisWith more than 10 years of experience in nonprofit work, Landis Erwin has realized her passion for helping communities thrive. She joined Crossroads in 2019 as the Director of Development, coming from an extensive background of event fundraising, capital campaign design, individual and corporate relationships, program development, and marketing through numerous media platforms. She is now putting that knowledge to use as the Executive Director of the Apartment Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh where she leading the organization through community outreach, strategic planning, and lobbying for safe housing for multi-family living.

Landis earned a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism communications with a leadership minor from Gannon University, as well as a Master’s Degree in organizational leadership and project management from Geneva College.

Landis is a member of several professional organizations, including the AFP Western PA Chapter, AFP Conference Education Advisory Committee, Pittsburgh Young Professionals, and was recently recognized as a Class of 2023 Pittsburgh 40 Under 40 honoree. She also volunteers as a college coach and community mentor to high school seniors. In her free time, she is often found with her fiancé and puppy going hiking, reading, ballroom dancing and traveling.       

Meet the Speakers:


Lisa M. Chmiola, M.S., CFRE, CSPG has more than 21 years in philanthropic development. She has served in major gifts and gift planning roles in education (public and private) and religious institutions, following initial career experience in event-based philanthropy. As Chief Fablanthropist for Fablanthropy (the intersection of fabulous and philanthropy), she works with nonprofit organizations and fundraising professionals providing consulting, training, and coaching services, particularly on legacy giving strategies.

An AFP Certified Facilitator since 2014, Lisa has presented at four AFP International Conferences, and a variety of AFP and other industry association regional conferences, chapter meetings, and webinars. She serves as an adjunct instructor in Communication at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and in Rice University’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership.

Lisa is an active volunteer, serving as chair of the AFP Global U.S. Government Relations committee and member of the AFP PAC board, as National Association of Charitable Gift Planners board member and chair of its Emerging Professionals Committee (and past president of the Houston chapter), as an AFP Baton Rouge Chapter board member, as a Junior League of Lafayette sustainer, a member of Ellevate Louisiana, and is a graduate of Leadership Houston. Additionally, she has co-authored several pieces for AFP’s Advancing Philanthropy magazine.   

Cherian KoshyCherian Koshy is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP), & AFP Master Trainer. He is the founder of the NonprofitOS, a generative AI platform designed to help organizations streamline their operations and maximize their impact. He has raised over $100M for various nonprofits, holds advanced certifications in Behavioral Economics, and was a former successful debating coach. He is a sought-after trainer and speaker, and his thought leadership has been featured in several publications. 


Ben Mohler

Ben Mohler is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive (ACFRE), and has completed a master’s degree in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Ben is the chief executive and principal consultant of GivingThree. With over two decades of experience, Ben is a sought-after thought leader with deep experience teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels and making regular appearances presenting for AFP on the chapter, state, and international stage.       

Ben has volunteered in several roles with AFP, including two terms as a member of the ACFRE Credentialing Board. The AFP Bluegrass Chapter honored him with their Exemplary Service Award in 2015. Ben currently serves on the AHP Journal Advisory Council and the boards of both AFP Global and United Way of Kentucky. Ben makes his home in Kentucky’s bluegrass region with his wife, Christina and their four children.      

April WalkerApril Walker (she/her) is a nonprofit and foundation consultant, equity and social justice champion, speaker, and writer.    

April’s career in philanthropy spans grantmaking, fundraising, and consulting roles at the American Heart Association, CCS Fundraising, and VNA Foundation. She previously served as Chief Development Officer for a workforce development nonprofit in Cleveland, OH where she led a $10 million capital campaign raising $3.2 million in 18 months.      

In 2021, April founded Philanthropy for the People, an equity-centered consulting firm that equips donors, foundations, and nonprofits to embrace philanthropy that centers racial equity and social justice. Philanthropy for the People has partnered with a growing list of nonprofit and foundation clients throughout the country including the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Immigrant Defense Project, Boys and Girls Club of America, the Columbus Foundation, and the Western Center on Law & Poverty.      

Born and raised in Baltimore, April has called the Midwest home for the past 10 years. She serves on the boards of Arts Impact and the Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation.      

April earned a Master of Arts in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago, a BA in Sociology from the George Washington University, and a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University. 

Emerging Leader Virtual Workshop Program Schedule

11–11:10 a.m.                        Welcome  
11:10 a.m.–11:15 a.m.           Chat with Emerging Leader Committee Chair Jonathan Meagher-Zayas  
11:15 a.m.–12 p.m.                Education Session: Managing Boards and Organization Leadership: Ben Mohler  
12–12:10 p.m.                        Bonus Content: Birgit Smith Burton and Mike Geiger 
12:10–12:55 p.m.                   Education Session: Centering Equity & Justice in Grant Seeking: April Walker 
12:55–1:05 p.m.                     Bonus Content: Landis Erwin and Adrienne McDade-Taylor 
1:05–1:15 p.m.                       Break  
1:15–1:20 p.m.                       Morning Wrap Up     
1:20–1:55 p.m.                       Lunch Break 
2–2:45 p.m.                            Education Session: AI Empowerment: Leading Ethical Tech Innovations in Fundraising: Cherian Koshy 
2:45–2:55 p.m.                       Bonus Content: Landis Erwin and Mentee 
3 p.m.–3:45 p.m.                    Education Session: What’s Your Legacy? Implementing a Gift Planning Program: Lisa Chmiola 
3:45 p.m.–4 p.m.                    Closing

Want The Latest AFP & Fundraising News Delivered To Your Inbox?Sign Up Now!

Recommended for You

Members: Sign in to view your personalized recommendations!

Sign in