AFP News

José Andrés, Zainab Salbi to Be Keynote Speakers 
At Largest Conference for Fundraising Professionals in Baltimore


(Arlington, Va.) World-renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés, and philanthropist and bestselling author Zainab Salbi, will be the keynote speakers at the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) ICON 2020, the largest conference of fundraising professionals in the world, in Baltimore, Md., March 29-31, 2020.

Nearly 3,500 fundraisers from around the world, all of whom represent charitable missions that work to create lasting and impactful change across the globe, will come together in Baltimore to discuss critical issues within the sector—including the decrease in giving among American households, the rise of major gifts and the rate of fundraiser turnover in the charitable sector. AFP ICON 2020 will also feature more than 100 education sessions covering every aspect of fundraising around the world.

Salbi will open AFP ICON 2020 discussing her stories of serving women survivors of war through her grassroots humanitarian organization, Women for Women International, providing the life-changing skills necessary to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency. She will also discuss her work exploring contemporary issues from the female perspective through the creation of TV shows such as #MeToo, Now What? and The Zainab Salbi Project.

The closing keynote speaker, Andrés, has established himself as a world-renowned chef, culinary innovator and humanitarian, providing solutions to hunger amongst communities recovering from natural disasters through his creation of the nonprofit World Central Kitchen. In both 2012 and 2018, Andrés was named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” along with his award of “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation. He will share stories of pioneering Spanish tapas in the United States, along with, most notably, the work done in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, where World Central Kitchen and #ChefsForPuertoRico served more than 3.5 million meals to residents.

“The world around us rapidly changing and it’s integral for fundraisers to understand the changes, trends and key issues we’re facing,” said Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA, president and CEO of AFP. “Fundraisers are doing incredible work, raising hundreds of billions of dollars for communities and causes across the globe, but as we begin the Decade of Fundraising Leadership, it’s important for fundraisers to enhance their skill sets related to leadership, diversity and inclusion, management and more. AFP ICON 2020 offers opportunities to develop today’s fundraisers into the leaders of tomorrow.”

AFP ICON 2020 will feature pre-conference sessions on Friday, March 27, and Saturday, March 28, discussing the fundamentals of fundraising, a CFRE refresher and a faculty training academy, all presented by some of the brightest minds in fundraising.

March 28 will also feature a conference welcome reception and networking opportunity beginning at 6:00 p.m., and on Monday, March 30, participants can look forward to a conference party co-hosted by the AFP Baltimore Chapter.

To register for ICON, learn more about conference sessions and events, or obtain details surrounding conference exhibitors and sponsors, visit Media credentials are available by contacting Michael Nilsen, vice president, communications and public affairs, at

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