Celebrating Women’s History Month: Q&A with Emily Rose Patz and DonorPerfect

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To celebrate Women’s History Month, AFP is highlighting leaders among the charitable sector, along with supporters and sponsors of the AFP Women’s Impact Initiative (WII) and the AFP Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA): Alford Group Mentoring and Leadership Development Program.

Today, we’re talking with Emily Rose Patz from DonorPerfect, our Women’s Impact Initiative sponsor.

AFP: Why did your organization choose to support the Women’s Impact Initiative?

DonorPerfect is committed to the success of the nonprofit organizations we are privileged to serve, which is why we chose to support the Women’s Impact Initiative. We believe that every fundraiser should have equal opportunities to leverage their skills, talents, and experience, grow in their career and work in a safe environment. It’s an honor to join with AFP in funding, promoting and furthering progress in the nonprofit sector as Official Partner of the Women’s Impact Initiative.

AFP: Why is the initiative important to the fundraising profession?

As champions of human rights and advocates for equal access to opportunities, education and health care, nonprofit organizations serve as standard-bearers for society. This is why it’s vitally important for the internal culture of nonprofits to reflect the same values as the missions they uphold.

We believe that the Women’s Impact Initiative helps nonprofits align their organizational values with the good they do in the world by shining a spotlight on important issues regarding equity and inclusion. In addition to their research, the Women’s Impact Initiative equips organizations to engage in critical conversations through best practices content, inspiring stories and a network of peers who are working together to create a more equitable environment for all fundraisers.

AFP: What are you most proud of contributing to?

The team at DonorPerfect is most proud of partnering with AFP’s Women’s Impact Initiative to create and distribute content that promotes actions supporting the initiative’s goals of ensuring that all nonprofit professionals have the equal opportunity to grow and thrive. Our collaborations include The Nonprofit Leadership Workbook for Women and #TimesUp for Sexual Harassment in Fundraising, two guides that address important issues facing women in the nonprofit space today. These guides pair actionable data produced by WII with best practices and solutions organizations can adopt to close the gender gap in nonprofit leadership and create safe spaces in which fundraisers can excel in their important work.

AFP: Give us an example of what you are doing in your workplace to support women?

Here at DonorPerfect, we’re continuously evolving our culture, processes and benefits to support the women who dedicate their talents, time and experience to bolstering the success of the thousands of organizations that rely on our software. Just in this last year, we increased our parental leave, expanded our professional development offerings and sponsored an employee-led Women’s Committee that is about to launch a company-wide mentorship program for women at our headquarters. We have also transformed our leadership model to a squad-based approach that champions inclusion and enables employees of all genders to learn, contribute and shine.

AFP: What’s the most important challenge you see in ensuring equity for women in the profession?

The most important challenge in ensuring equity for women in fundraising will be in achieving the cultural shift that must accompany the desire to establish and maintain a truly equitable environment. Individuals of all genders must work together to address the challenges women face not as one-off initiatives but in a way that is woven into their work processes. Examples of these processes can include the practice of hiring and promoting a diverse group of individuals into leadership positions, offering professional development opportunities and resources, and creating a comprehensive sexual harassment policy. When equity begins as part of an organization’s every day, it also becomes part of its DNA.

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