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National Philanthropy Day Highlights 2023

Stewardship & Marketing: Donor Relations/Stewardship
Leadership and Teams: Boards and Volunteers
Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Access (IDEA): Diversity and Inclusion (IDEA)
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Group of diverse people with arms and hands raised towards a hand painted heart. Charity donation and volunteer work. Support and assistance. Multicultural and multiethnic community.

Throughout the month of November, AFP will be highlighting honorees from National Philanthropy Day chapter events around the world, showcasing outstanding donors, volunteers, corporations, foundations and others who are being recognized for their commitment to change and philanthropy.

ColoradoOutstanding Youth Group: Womxn of East (Colorado Chapter)

Throughout their group's existence, Womxn of East, a youth-led organization at Denver East High School, have collected more than 1,300 period products for I Support the Girls and The Gathering Place. The group also raises money for Dignity Grows, an organization that addresses period poverty through direct product, support, vibrant partnerships, and data-driven social policy change

"We have always been so impressed with the participants in the club – they are a motivated, interested, well-informed, compassionate group of volunteers who are always interested in learning more and pitching in however they can.” - Erin Persaud Director of Operations, I Support the Girls.

Womxn of east

HawaiiPaulette V. Maehara Community Leadership Award: Dr. Sulma Gandhi (Hawaii Chapter)

In 2021, Gandhi joined the Stupski Foundation and serves as the health program officer, leading investments in Hawai‘i that are focused on critical areas of maximizing early brain development and improving serious illness care. Her passion, she says, is building diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities for a thriving Hawai‘i.

“Hawai‘i’s diverse cultures, community expertise, and lived experiences are critical to improving health outcomes and social equity,” Gandhi says. “I am grateful to find alignment in the Foundation’s vision that all people have the opportunity to enjoy a life marked by dignity, connectedness, and caring.”

Dr. Sulma Gandhi

TexasEmerging Leader in Philanthropy: Sarina Davidson (Ft. Worth Chapter)

"Today was such a beautiful & memorable day surrounded by the best Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) in Fort Worth! I‘m so honored that my familia at both the Ronald McDonald House Fort Worth and Red Shoe Society of the Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth nominated me as an ”Emerging Leader in Philanthropy” this 2023 season. Between the following organizations: Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, UNT Alumni Association, Casa Mañana, SteerFW, Leadership Fort Worth, RMHFW & RSS, with my community & my teams, I’ve officially raised over $1,000,000 this 2023 season for various events and engagements across the county and city.

Thank you for welcoming me for the last 4 years and always saying yes when I make that “favor” or ”ask”! ❤️"

Sarina Davidson

KentuckyPhilanthropist of the Year: Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative (BlueGrass Chapter)

The Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative was created to pursue the goal of strengthening, supporting, and making a meaningful impact in Black communities. Since its founding in the summer of 2020, LBPI has awarded more than $300,000 to local organizations that are building a better future and transforming lives in local Black communities. With a spirit of giving rooted in faith, family, and community, our supporters generously share their time, talent, and treasure to advance our work.

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Outstanding Founder: Wahoos Family Foundation (Orange County Chapter)

“At the heart of our mission is the belief that sharing embodies true caring, and giving back is not just a choice but a responsibility we all bear. Our focus on supporting children, hunger, and those with special needs reflects our commitment to building a better, more inclusive world. Guided by the lessons our parents imparted, we’re dedicated to standing by our communities, families, and friends, fostering a cycle of support and kindness.”– Ed, Mingo Lee, and Wing Lam, co-founders of Wahoo’s Fish Tacos

Brothers Mingo Lee, Wing Lam and Ed Lee of Wahoo’s Fish Tacos.

Philanthropic Leader of Tomorrow: Ryan Wilson (Greater Atlanta Chapter)

At the age of 24, with a mission to create a world where opportunity is the byproduct of community and collaboration, Ryan and his business partner raised capital to open their first Gathering Spot location in Atlanta. The club has since established itself nationally as a home for creatives, business professionals, and entrepreneurs, and regularly hosts notable and culturally impactful events. The organization has a mission of closing the wealth gap for minorities through community building, entrepreneurship, group economics, and wealth building.     

Ryan Wilson

VirginiaOutstanding Fundraising Innovator: Samaritan House (Hampton Roads Chapter)

Samaritan House provides comprehensive support services and housing to victims of domestic violence and human trafficking in Hampton Roads.  All donations are vital as they help fulfill our mission at a time of great need in our community.

Thank you for your generosity and support of our mission.

Samaritan House

Outstanding Fundraising Executive: Eileen Savage (Greater Detroit Chapter)

Eileen Savage, the Chief Advancement Officer at Cranbrook Educational Community, is a seasoned professional in the field of fundraising who has left an indelible mark on the world of philanthropy. Throughout her remarkable career, Eileen has consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities and a deep passion for her work. Her colleagues at Cranbrook Educational Community, in their enthusiastic nomination letter, describe her as a fearless leader who constantly encourages her team to innovate, take risks, and learn from their experiences. Eileen goes above and beyond, fostering a culture of professional development within her team, organizing internal educational sessions, and promoting peer-to-peer learning.


Outstanding Individual Youth Philanthropist: Riley McBrine (Ottawa Chapter)

Riley is a 16-year-old high school student who has raised more than $25,000 for cancer care and treatment as the creator of Riley’s Walk for Cancer. While completing eighth grade in 2020, one of Riley’s school projects involved creating a mock fundraiser. Thinking back to his time doing the Epic Walk, he contacted his grandmother to talk about their memories and experiences. Alongside his grandmother, Riley contacted the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation to get set up and Riley’s Walk for Cancer was off and running.

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