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AFP Foundation for Philanthropy Receives Significant Funding from the Fidelity Charitable® Catalyst Fund to Create Important Resources for the Fundraising Profession

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Fidelity Catalyst Fund

Natalie Paskoski, Manager of Content, (434) 236 – 5583,

(Arlington, Virginia) The AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) Foundation for Philanthropy has received a major grant from the Fidelity Charitable® Catalyst Fund. This three-year collaboration will result in funding for new educational opportunities and important research on emerging trends impacting the fundraising profession and nonprofit sector.  

Fundraising professionals want to know about the trends, such as Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs), that are influencing the behavior of their donors, and becoming a growing and integral part of philanthropy in the United States. However, education on these trends and topics is not readily available.

While the number of individuals setting up DAFs and the value of funds continues to increase, many professional fundraisers are unclear about how they work and how they could benefit their nonprofit organizations. Professional fundraisers need to better understand how to access and steward the donors who set up these funds.

To address this issue, the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy will use the funds from this grant to work with DAF and curriculum experts to create various training opportunities for fundraising professionals. These deep dives, webinars, and in-person events will focus on incorporating access to DAF dollars into fundraising strategies. Nonprofits based in the South Central and Mountain West United States will receive particular attention, as these are regions of the country that often get the least access to philanthropic dollars and professional development.

Beyond DAFs, there is a lack of translational research on other trends that can help guide the work of fundraisers in securing contributions for their nonprofits. Additional funding was received to provide grants from the AFP Foundation to academic researchers interested in exploring these topics. As findings from this research becomes available, these insights will be incorporated into educational opportunities for fundraisers as well, helping to disseminate these results in a way that provides actionable steps for fundraisers to streamline their efforts and increase contributions to their organizations.

“As the fundraising sector continues to face declines in donors and dollars, the need for innovation in philanthropy is greater than ever,” said Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA, president and CEO of AFP and the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy. “This collaboration with the Fidelity Charitable® Catalyst Fund will allow AFP and the AFP Foundation to be at the forefront of facilitating groundbreaking research and education that will allow fundraisers to adapt to industry changes and take advantage of trends that can maximize their impact in their communities.”  

“Part of our goal at the Catalyst Fund is to ensure promising nonprofits get access to the resources they need to flourish. We want to support nonprofits in developing effective strategies for engaging with and retaining donors that use donor-advised funds,” said Tony Bowen, executive director of the Fidelity Charitable® Catalyst Fund. “This collaboration with the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy will be a win for nonprofits that need more champions supporting their critical work and a win for donors who will have an opportunity to build authentic relationships with nonprofits meeting the needs of our communities.”  

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The AFP Foundation for Philanthropy’s mission is to advance philanthropic investment and impact in the nonprofit sector.

We accomplish this by:

  • serving as a catalyst for the nonprofit sector to address the sector’s greatest issues 
  • acting as a convener between the professional fundraiser and the philanthropist to solve society’s most-pressing challenges
  • conducting and supporting in-depth research leading to strategic insights and innovative thinking in philanthropy.

More information about the foundation can be found at

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The Fidelity Charitable® Catalyst Fund is a grantmaking program of Fidelity Charitable separate from its donor-advised fund program. Led by the Fidelity Charitable board of trustees, the Catalyst Fund envisions a world where promising nonprofits that strengthen our communities have access to the resources they need to flourish. For more information, visit: 

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