Member Story

AFP Board Member Spotlight: Juliana M. Weissbein, CFRE

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Juliana Weissbein

In honoring the outgoing board members of 2023, we invited them to reflect on their memorable experiences as AFP volunteers and impart valuable advice for our incoming leaders.

In our spotlight on outgoing board member Juliana M. Weissbein, CFRE, associate director of development operations at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, she illuminates her journey from attending young professional gatherings at the NYC chapter to ascending to the AFP Global board. Along this remarkable path, Juliana passionately advocated for queer and women's causes, leaving an indelible mark on the Association.

Q: When and why did you decide to become an AFP member and how did you become a volunteer?
A: In 2017, my journey with AFP commenced, marking a pivotal moment in my professional growth. Having already dedicated seven years to fundraising, I sought avenues to expand my network and broaden my skill set. It was through an invitation from a friend to attend AFP-NYC Young Professionals Committee events (now known as the Emerging Leaders Committee) that I instantly felt a sense of belonging. Soon after, I was honored with the invitation to chair the committee—an opportunity that would significantly influence the trajectory of my career over the subsequent seven years.

My engagement with AFP Global intensified in 2019, a year that proved instrumental in reigniting my passion for professional development and innovation within the fundraising sector. Receiving the AFP Outstanding Young Professional Award and attending AFP ICON for the first time revitalized my enthusiasm for growth and advancement within the field.

The year 2020 brought new dimensions to my involvement as I assumed roles on both the AFP-NYC Board of Directors and the AFP Global Women’s Impact Initiative Committee. This milestone year also marked a decade in the fundraising profession, an occasion I commemorated by authoring an article for Advancing Philanthropy, reflecting on the invaluable lessons learned during my first ten years in fundraising.

The pinnacle of my AFP journey arrived in 2022 when I embarked on a two-year term on the AFP Global Board. This role presented remarkable opportunities, including speaking engagements on the main stage at AFP ICON, conducting seminars for our members, and, most notably, participating in my inaugural AFP LEAD experience—an immensely exciting and enriching endeavor.

Q: You mentioned changing the name of the NYC Young Professionals Committee to the Emerging Leaders Committee. Why was that name change so important? 
A: Using "emerging leader" instead of "young professional" broadened inclusivity and encompassed potential leaders at various career stages beyond age boundaries. It shifted the focus from a specific demographic to a more comprehensive view of leadership potential, fostering a diverse pool of talent and perspectives. Embracing "emerging leader" emphasized growth, development, and the readiness for future leadership roles, promoting a culture of continuous learning and advancement.

Q: Do you have any advice for emerging leaders interested in developing their career? 
A: It is paramount to seek out quality mentors early on. Each of your mentors should serve a different purpose and bring a different strength. It is important to form relationships with those who will not only be your biggest champion but who will also challenge you when you need an extra push or coaching through critical thinking exercises.

Another way to continue growing your career is to pursue professional development opportunities that will distinguish you from your peers and prove that you are a dedicated, well-rounded, and competent fundraiser. Examples include attaining your CFRE credential, starting a fundraising blog, presenting at conferences, contributing to the advancement of our profession by volunteering with AFP, or pursuing a master’s degree in fundraising or nonprofit management. Each of these avenues not only enriches your skill set but also contributes significantly to the advancement of our profession.

Q: What is an accomplishment during your time on the board that you’re proud of? 
A: In 2023 I had the pleasure of hosting the webinar, "Don't Just Slap A Flag On It And Call It Inclusive: Understanding Your Queer Donors And Community" alongside the incomparable Jonathan Meagher-Zayas and T. Clay Buck. We covered a topic near to my heart as a Queer Femme who has dedicated my career to working at progressive causes which directly impact my communities. 

Our session explored how fundraisers can navigate beyond superficial gestures of support, steering clear of performative allyship. We delved into the crucial distinction between genuine advocacy and surface-level actions that merely serve to enhance an organization's brand image, without effecting substantial and meaningful change within marginalized communities.

Q: What’s next for you as you transition off the AFP Global Board? 
A: After serving seven impactful years in leadership, the year 2024 signals a time for me to gracefully step back. Since 2017, life has undergone profound transformations. Moving from NYC to Houston and embracing full-time remote work have reshaped my perspectives and priorities. As I navigate these changes, stepping back temporarily from my role at AFP becomes a conscious choice, allowing for the infusion of fresh leadership within the Association and a deeper commitment to nurturing my family and friendships.

My dedication to the Association remains steadfast, yet acknowledging my limits, I realize the importance of prioritizing my personal life at this juncture. This transition isn't a farewell; it's a heartfelt 'see you later' to my cherished AFP family. Rest assured, my connection to this community and its goals remains unwavering, and I eagerly anticipate reconnecting down the road. Thank you to each and every one of you I have met along the way. You have made this journey truly unforgettable!

Author Information

JulianaWith over a decade of fundraising experience and a record of proven results, Weissbein, is a highly motivated, results-driven nonprofit leader who thrives on bettering fundraisers and the communities she serves. She operates from a fundamental belief that an agile strategy, focus on a strong mission, and data-driven insights can enable big and bold ideas, producing measurable results and impact. Weissbein is formally trained and possesses a proven ability to synthesize, streamline, and simplify data with a robust portfolio of project examples in support of increasing fundraising results and reducing expenses. She is a respected leader and decision influencer in regard to fundraising operations best practices.

As the Associate Director of Development Operations at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Weissbein oversees data integration processes, ensuring that all donor data and contributions are deposited and processed with adherence to internal guidelines and legal standards. She is responsible for enforcing, developing, and enhancing donor-related operations to guarantee data integrity within the Salesforce environment of over 5 million records. She uses her breadth of knowledge to oversee management of multiple vendors as it relates to data management services. She continuously sets priorities and standards to ensure that all contributions and donor data is deposited and processed with adherence to internal guidelines and legal standards. She collaborates with fundraising and financial departments to maintain accuracy of record keeping, ensure cash flow, and protect database integrity necessary for optimal department performance. Ultimately, Ms. Weissbein maintains responsibility for enforcing, developing, and improving donor related policies to guarantee data integrity.

Weissbein began her career at Teach For America on the Data & Operations team where she processed the intake of an annual diversified budget of over $180 million. In this role, she gained knowledge of core fundraising principals and a fluency in best practices for accepting foundation, corporate, individual, and state awards. This position also afforded her the opportunity to create a nationally distributed policy and procedure manual for Teach For America’s fundraising coding structure. She developed chapters on topics such as pledge collection, relationship management, in-kind and matching gift best practices, campaign strategy, and more.

Weissbein’s successes at Teach For America led her to pursue progressively more challenging projects at GLSEN, where she served as their chief database administrator. Upon her start, GLSEN offered her the opportunity to attend unlimited Raiser’s Edge trainings and, throughout 2012, she completed more than 166 hours of coursework giving her the skills needed to develop and enforce database user and data security policies. Taking notice of her dedication, in 2013 she was personally invited by Blackbaud to participate in their certification program. After passing the exam, she became one of the nation’s first certified administrators in Raiser’s Edge.

Following GLSEN, Weissbein joined the team at the Ms. Foundation for Women as their Senior Manager of Donor Data and Stewardship. In this role, she focused on front-line work, most notably the creation of a new mid-level donor program and growing its young professionals ambassador program. In her first year, she exceeded goal and raised over $100,000 from her portfolio. Additionally, she grew the ambassador program from roughly 30 members to over 250 and raised an additional $55,000 from the cohort.

During this time, Weissbein was selected to attend an elite program for nonprofit leaders hosted by the School of Business at Columbia University. Here she was formally trained in essentials such as the strategic management, cultivating dynamic and inspirational leadership, using mission and vision to set departmental priorities, and effective delegation and performance management.

Weissbein has been an actively engaged member of AFP throughout her career. In 2016, she joined the AFP New York City Chapter’s Emerging Leaders Committee, and her work and commitment led her to being appointed chair in January 2018. She has collaborated closely with the New York Chapter board to formalize a series of programs and initiatives to steward all members who join or renew with the chapter at the Young Professional level. Weissbein was recently named as the Association for Fundraising Professionals 2019 Outstanding Young Professional Fundraiser, board member of AFP-NYC and chair of the Mentorship Program. She currently serves on the AFP Global board and is a member of the IT Task Force, Women’s Impact Initiative and Joint Audit Committee. You can learn more about her on her personal blog, ‘Ops & Asks’, at

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