Free AFP Webinar: Thank you for Being a Friend: Forming Communities of Support for Fundraisers

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Fundraising is meaningful but challenging work. Mentoring is one of the primary ways fundraisers learn to thrive in the profession. Yet, many fundraisers -- especially those in smaller organizations or rural communities or during a global pandemic -- feel isolated from their peers.

A research project about the profession revealed how fundraisers create informal professional networks to access professional development and mentoring. These peer communities provide coaching and opportunities to share fundraising knowledge while also offering personalized attention, friendship, and a safe space to recharge.

Join "pracademics" and friends Sarah Nathan, Heather O'Connor, and Genevieve Shaker for an interactive research- and experience-based conversation. Participants will discuss creative and accessible approaches to peer mentoring, including how to foster meaningful peer networks among fundraisers in your community.


SarahSarah K. Nathan, Ph.D. is an exuberant philanthropy professional, educator, and avid volunteer. Recently she has focused on community-based philanthropy and now leads the Middletown Community Foundation in Ohio. Previously, Dr. Nathan served five years as the Associate Director of The Fund Raising School at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, where she continues as an adjunct faculty member.

heatherHeather O’Connor, Ph.D., is a research consultant for the Center on Philanthropy and Social Impact at the American College of Financial Services and adjunct faculty in the graduate programs of Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Louisiana State University, Shreveport. A former nonprofit executive turned academic researcher, Heather has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 20 years, fundraising for health, education, and social service organizations. Her research interests include women’s philanthropic giving, nonprofit communication strategies, and the experiences of fundraisers in small or one-person development shops.

GenevieveGenevieve G. Shaker, Ph.D., is associate professor of philanthropic studies in the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She was an advancement officer for 20 years, most recently as associate dean for development and external affairs for the IU School of Liberal Arts. Professor Shaker researches fundraising and fundraisers, particularly within higher education. She was AFP's “Emerging Scholar” in 2015 and is the lead editor for the fifth edition of Achieving Excellence in Fundraising (Wiley 2022).

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