AFP News

AFP LEAD: Why Young Professionals and Emerging Fundraisers Are Attending


Each year, through the Levy Scholarship program made possible through a generous contribution from Stephen and Marjorie K. Levy, one student AFP member from each of AFP’s collegiate chapters to attend AFP LEAD, providing the opportunity for peer-to-peer networking, learning, and leadership development.

VangThis year at AFP LEAD, held Oct. 3 – 5 in Phoenix, Ariz., Levy scholar Gaonoucci Belle Vang (right) undergraduate student at Fresno State College, is attending through the scholarship program. With Thursday’s sessions geared toward collegiate members, young professionals, and emerging fundraisers, Gaonoucci will have the opportunity to network with fellow students and young professionals gaining valuable insight into the world of fundraising.

Q: Why did you join AFP?

A: It really happened by accident. Entering college, I knew I wanted to do one thing for sure—business—but that was before I found out about the millions of programs college actually offered that aren't marketed on television. My fourth year of college, I decided to branch out—calling it close--I know!—but I couldn't have been more delighted with my choice. I accepted an offer to minor in Philanthropic & Community-based Leadership under the Humanics Program at Fresno State. Humanics introduced me to AFP and emphasized the importance of networking with professionals in the field to get my foot in the door. I've been in AFP ever since!

Q: What have you gotten out of your AFP experience so far?

A: I've had the opportunity to meet dozens of philanthropic professionals who have a true drive for the sustainability of Fresno, and that's unlike anything I've ever experienced before. I've always loved Fresno but meeting people who feel the same can be a challenge. AFP has been a breath of fresh air in my vision for the future.

Q: What benefits do you expect what AFP offers to have in your future?

A: I anticipate learning how to develop meaningful gifts and meet amazing people in the community who are worth supporting. I want to network with people who have a similar demographic focus as I do.

Q: What are you most looking forward to learning about at LEAD?

A: I'm really excited to learn about the leadership qualities needed build a great board and develop an outstanding executive director. I know the process has lots to do with teamwork, but what leadership qualities instill that productive and thoughtful teamwork? Leadership is so important in daily activities, and I really look forward to interacting with professionals in the field who motivate their teams to grow.

Q: Whom are you excited to connect with at LEAD?

A: Honestly, I'm most excited to connect with my peers who will be attending LEAD with me. It's a great opportunity for me to get to know them better because we're all passionate about Fresno. Otherwise, I really look forward to meeting women of color who want to make a social impact on their specific demographic. Since philanthropic work is dominated by Caucasian women, and I haven't had much of an opportunity to meet women of color, I really look forward to hearing their stories of how they've made an impact.

Held Oct. 3 – 5 in Phoenix, Ariz., AFP LEAD sessions on Thursday, Oct. 3 is for AFP chapter leaders, emerging fundraisers, young professionals, and collegiate members only. Topics are geared toward those looking to expand upon their knowledge as fundraising professionals. For more information about the AFP Young Professionals Affinity Group and others, click here

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