President's Perspective Blog

Accessibility in Fundraising

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As many of you know, AFP has made IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, and access) a key part of our mission and something we try to incorporate into all of our work. 

Today, I want to focus on that last letter of IDEA — Access. Accessibility is an aspect of IDEA that is often overlooked in traditional DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) efforts which have often focused solely on gender, race, and sexual identity as measures of diversity. 

We know, however, that ableism, discrimination in favor of non-disabled people, can be just as harmful as other forms of discrimination we may be more familiar with. 

This year, AFP is doing more to educate members on accessibility in fundraising, to reduce overt and unconscious biases that exist within our events, donor outreach, and internal hiring processes. 

For example, last month we hosted a webinar, Including Disability in Fundraising – From Inclusive Language to Accessible Events. This complimentary webinar, featuring Liz Chornenki and Alison Hughes provides some great information on the type of language to use when referring to members of the disability community, how you can ensure that your digital fundraising is inclusive, and writing job postings in a way that does not exclude qualified disabled candidates. 

An important part of normalizing accessibility is making it a part of your organization’s culture. So, to make it easier for you to share this information with colleagues, Liz and Allison have taken key points from this webinar and created an Accessible Fundraising Toolkit

The toolkit provides:  

  • Valuable background information on ableism, enabling you to begin the conversation at your organization. 
  • Additional resources such as blogs, books, movies, and individuals to follow on Twitter, if you’re interested in learning more about ableism.
  • Other resources from authors Liz and Alison about ableism in fundraising specifically, and why it is a problem.
  • Checklists for events, staff accommodations, your website, and social media, that can be used to keep accessibility top of mind in your planning process. 

This toolkit is a fantastic resource that I highly recommend everyone download! I’d like to extend a big “thank you” to Liz and Alison for their hard work in this ever-important space.

I’m also excited to continue the conversation around accessibility at AFP ICON in April at sessions like Allyship and Accessibility in the Disability Sector - Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned, and Best Practices. Check out all AFP ICON sessions. 

This accessibility toolkit joins another recent toolkit released last year, Speaking Truth to Power in Fundraising, which discusses sexual harassment and bullying in the fundraising profession. 

Through these types of resources, AFP is working to level the playing field for fundraisers and ensure that this profession, and the larger philanthropic sector, is reflective of, and responsive to the diversity of the communities we serve. 

I welcome your questions and comments on AFP’s IDEA work, or any of our other initiatives. You can reach me via email at or on Twitter at @AFPMikeGeiger. I’d love to hear from you.

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06 Jun 2023 Member Story
05 Jun 2023 President's Perspective Blog
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