IDEA Fellowship


We will reopen the application process for 2022 IDEA Fellowships on September 1st, 2021. 

2020 IDEA Fellows

Association of Fundraising Professionals Silicon Valley Chapter (AFP SV)
Case Statement: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Fellowship Program


The Association of Fundraising Professionals Silicon Valley Chapter (AFPSVC) was founded thirty-three years ago to serve the needs of the Silicon Valley fundraising community, including professional fundraisers, nonprofit leaders, board members, and volunteers. Since its founding, our Chapter has greatly increased and expanded our professional training offerings, including monthly luncheons, fundraising school, mentoring programs, Silicon Valley Philanthropy Day, and a host of other educational opportunities that have had an enormously positive impact on the fundraising profession and the overall Silicon Valley community. In addition to providing a high level of fundraising training, our Chapters programs and services support capacity building, increased impact, and mission delivery for all non-profits in our region. 

AFPSVC identified diversity and inclusion as a priority, and our work to that end resulted in our Chapter being awarded the Friends of Diversity” designation from the international office of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. AFP Global is renaming this designation in early 2020 to IDEA Champion Chapter. We have maintained that designation from 2008 through 2020, and this recognition has been a journey of steps AFPSVC has taken to be inclusive and represent the diverse populations of fundraisers, their donors, volunteers and clients; however, we are aware that there is much more work to be done. There have been tremendous forward strides made since 2018 when the IDEA Fellowship was launched.

Despite the rich diversity in Silicon Valley, we have also observed that the Chapter’s current membership is largely white, female, and more established in the profession, and we are missing the voices and experiences of young professionals of color (African-American, Latinx, Hispanic, Asian), LGBTQ+ and fundraisers from other underrepresented communities.

We believe that affordability and representation may be two of challenges keeping professionals of color from participating in trainings, networking events, and mentorship activities. Many fundraising professionals in the Valley work for non-profits that lack the financial capacity to reimburse and/or support participation in career development trainings. Coupled with the low salaries that nonprofit professionals earn and the high cost of living in Silicon Valley, these professionals are unable to invest in their own professional development without assistance.

The IDEA Fellowship Program was conceived to provide leadership opportunities for individuals to have a seat at the table, participate in training, mentorship, networking activities be a future board leader and join as full-time members. This will ensure our chapter is representative of our entire community and enrich all of our learning experiences. In addition, inclusion will have wide reaching impact within the populations of donors, volunteers, and clients with whom fundraisers work.

Proposed Program and Participants

The IDEA Fellowship is a year-long program for fundraisers from underrepresented communities, including fundraisers of color (African American, Latinx, Hispanic, Asian), LGBTQ and other under-represented communities. The IDEA fellowship would provide participants with full access to all the benefits of Chapter membership, including:

  • 2021 AFP Membership to AFP International including AFP Global’s newest offering from Korn Ferry, a 360-degree career building tool.
  • 8 Chapter Luncheon Workshops on a variety of topics
  • 4 IDEA Virtual Trainings on a variety of topics; some taught by subject matter experts outside our Silicon Valley Chapter
  • Opportunity to apply and participate in the AFPSV Mentoring Program
  • Fundraising Academy, a 2-day program previously presented by Sanford School of Philanthropy
  • Two Networking Mixers
  • Two Webinars
  • Orientation session in January 2021
  • Ticket to Silicon Philanthropy Day (dependent on Shelter-in-place guidelines)
  • A portion of 2022 AFP Membership to continue professional development
  • In addition to all of the training benefits, fellows would have opportunities to network, meet leaders in the fundraising and philanthropic sector, and participate in leadership opportunities while they build fundraising capacity and increase mission impact.


In addition to all of the training benefits, fellows would have opportunities to network, meet leaders in the fundraising and philanthropic sector, and participate in leadership opportunities while they build fundraising capacity and increase mission impact. Please see the attached application to apply and for instructions for submission. The application deadline for 2021 is November 30, 2020 with fellows announced the first week of January. Questions, please email Manju Ramachandran, VP of IDEA AFP SV at

Download the Application (PDF) | Diversity Statement (Word)

Kathy Kwan

Endowed Fellowship Sponsors
Health Trust

Individual Contributors
Kathy Kwan
Avnish and Madhu Aggarwal 
Becky Levine

Manju Ramachandran, AFP SV VP of IDEA