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What Is The New Faces of Fundraising Program?

new faces in fundraising team

The Greater Cincinnati Chapter and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation launched a program almost 10 years ago that creates a pipeline for minorities to have successful and healthy careers in nonprofit fundraising. The New Faces of Fundraising puts IDEA—inclusion, diversity, equity and access—into action, having created opportunities for more than 50 professionals new to fundraising. This interview explains how the program started, what it provides, and how they plan to handle, what they affectionately call, the #PandemicClass.

New Faces of Fundraising is designed to introduce diverse individuals intentionally entering the field of nonprofit fundraising in the Greater Cincinnati nonprofit community. It was created in 2012 through a partnership between the Association of Fundraising Professionals–Greater Cincinnati Chapter and Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) as a leadership development program that helps remove barriers that disproportionately impact minorities. It’s a one-year program intended for newly minted members of AFP that provides the tools, trainings and resources necessary to land an entry-level job in nonprofit fundraising.

Explain what the program provides.

In addition to the guidance they receive from a mentor in the field, the capstone of their New Faces experience is a 200-hour paid internship funded by Greater Cincinnati Foundation. Internship placements are made through a competitive application and pairing process. The New Faces Leadership Team works thoughtfully to provide each participant with a meaningful, hands-on fundraising experience at a local nonprofit. Pairings are be made based on proposed development support needs for the nonprofits, the participants’ philanthropic interests, and time and scheduling considerations. Other benefits of the program include:

  • Unprecedented access to professionals in the nonprofit industry;
  • Free Fundamentals of Fundraising training (a seven-topic master class in fundraising);
  • Complimentary membership to AFP for one year.

At the end of the program year, each graduate will be able to leverage what they learned during their internship and hands-on experience to secure their first job in the nonprofit sector. To date, the program has graduated 51 participants to the field.

How has this helped your chapter with its IDEA efforts and leadership development?

Our chapter is deeply committed to IDEA—inclusion, diversity, equity and access— and the vision of intentional inclusion. This program directly invests in the areas of equity and access. The ultimate goal of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter is that our membership accurately reflects the demographics of our community. The changing workforce and marketplace both demand deliberate focus and specific measures that creates pipelines for fundraisers of color to represent the broad range of organizations and development shops that serve diverse populations.

How has COVID-19 affected the program?

While we are disappointed we’re unable to meet in-person this summer, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis has only intensified our commitment to increase racial diversity in nonprofit fundraising and build equitable communities. Based on public health projections, gathering restrictions, and nonprofit vulnerability, we’ve delayed the start of the program for the 2020 cohort to later this year, with class sessions held weekly in a virtual format instead of in-person on a bi-monthly basis. We’ve also extended deadlines for partner organizations to reshape the realities they face and how a New Faces participant can help them maintain capacity or garner momentum.

What has the chapter developed to ensure the program is successful during this time?

The chapter, in conjunction with the New Faces Leadership Team, completely overhauled the program format and invested in a new learning delivery method, shifting to an online format. We recently hosted Meet the New Faces—a digital red carpet welcome event—that had more than 30 local chapter members imparting wisdom and advice to the 2020 class. See recap here.

What is your proudest accomplishment related to the program?

The resiliency of this incoming class. Affectionately dubbed #ThePandemicClass, this group has an intimate understanding of the profession and fresh energy to bring to the field. In this current climate, they’ll gain innovative insights, new strategies, and foundational learning skills to support them long after the program year. We’re proud to arm them with the tools they’ll need to pursue the next level of their careers.

Learn more about the New Faces of Fundraising program by visiting

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13 Jul 2020
06 Jul 2020
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