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Sean McCarthy Honored as 2023 AFP Outstanding Young Professional

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Sean McCarthy

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

(Arlington, Virginia) Sean McCarthy, development manager, National Housing Trust, has been recognized as one of two Outstanding Young Professionals by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

The award recognizes fundraisers under the age of 31 who display excellence in raising funds, inspiring donors, and managing campaigns, while demonstrating dedication to the charitable sector. 

“AFP's Outstanding Young Professional Award is a testament to the importance of nurturing the next generation of philanthropic industry professionals. I am honored to receive this award and represent thousands of young fundraising and philanthropy professionals who are dedicating their careers to empowering nonprofits in service to their communities,” said McCarthy. Throughout my early career, I have sought to reimagine philanthropy for the 21st century, lending a critical eye toward traditional systems of philanthropy and reshaping the future of fundraising through equitable and inclusive relationship building. Young professionals, like myself, are spearheading changes in our industry to open up pathways to philanthropy for everyone, secure more revenue for our nonprofits, and embolden the constituents we serve.”

McCarthy has 5 years of experience in the fundraising profession, holding positions previously at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and The Center for American Progress (CAP). 

While in their position at the National Center for Transgender Equality, their work has been focused on the organization’s corporate donor and mid-level donor portfolio. Between 2019 and 2022, they have increased corporate revenue from $27,428 to approximately $2 million, including $400,000+ in program support from corporate foundations. 

When they served as the corporate relations manager at CSIS, they directed and managed a portfolio of corporate partners totaling $1 million, and successfully secured five new corporate partnerships within their first six months in the role. At the Center for American Progress, they supported a foundation relations team tasked with achieving a $26 million-dollar annual fundraising goal.

“On behalf of everyone at AFP, I want to offer my congratulations to Sean McCarthy, one of our amazing Outstanding Young Professionals this year,” said Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA, president and CEO of AFP. “Their commitment to social justice causes echoes AFP’s own dedication to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access, something we strive to promote throughout the fundraising profession. We look forward to showcasing their impact at AFP ICON in New Orleans.”

McCarthy is an active AFP member, extremely dedicated to professional development. They are currently working towards earning their CFRE. 

Outside of AFP and their professional responsibilities, McCarthy is extremely involved with several arts organizations within Washington, D.C., most notably serving as co-lead of Avant Bard Theatre in Arlington, VA. In this capacity, they have worked with organizational supporters to secure $180,000 in annual gifts for Avant Bard.  

The award will be presented in New Orleans on April 16 during AFP ICON 2023, the largest gathering of fundraising professionals in the world.  For more information about Sean McCarthy and AFP ICON, please contact Natalie Paskoski at (434)-236-5583 or  

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Since 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has been the standard-bearer for professionalism in fundraising. The association works to advance effective and ethical philanthropy by providing advocacy, research, education, mentoring, collaboration and technology opportunities for the world’s largest network of professional fundraisers. AFP’s more than 27,000 members in over 240 chapters raise over $100 billion annually for a wide variety of charitable organizations and causes across the globe. For more information, go to

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