It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today as so many unspeakable things are surrounding all of us and those we care about, many we will never meet. I wanted to share that the AFP Southwest Florida Chapter has made a firm stand and defines diversity as a core value in relations to board members and individual chapter members, the organizational missions they represent, the people they serve, and the community within which AFP Southwest Florida Chapter operates. It is an inclusive concept encompassing, without limitation, race, color, ethnicity, culture, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation or identity on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, religion or lack thereof, age, economic class, educational level, rural or urban location (geography), language, immigration status, physical mobility and ability, and marital and parental status. The state of being diverse means having the broadest possible representation of individuals, experiences, and perspectives in all-encompassing terms.
We also support the views and words of Mike Geiger, President and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals who wrote:
“As fundraisers for nonprofit organizations, no matter our cause, we are part of the solution to making the world a better place—by listening, empathizing, inspiring, raising funds and taking action. AFP stands for and fights for the values of inclusion, justice, diversity, fairness, generosity and compassion. Fundraising unites people—there is no place for exclusion, racism and oppression. AFP members raise funds for thousands of different causes, but stamping out institutional racism must be a priority for all. Every donor we inspire, every dollar we raise, every colleague we support, every action we take—is another vital step on the journey to eliminating hatred and racism. Most importantly, regardless of our race, gender, socioeconomic circumstances, sexual [preferences], geography or any other applied labels, we must ALL act and we must all act TOGETHER.”
Please know that each one of us can be the voice of unity reaching forward to serve, each and every day. And united, we can truly make our world a better place for all. AFP Southwest Florida is committed to diversity and inclusion as an ongoing proactive process in its governance, chapter, committees, membership programs, and activities and we are grateful for those who join us in our efforts.
This is a learning process and AFP Southwest Florida Chapter will continue to do our best to listen to the needs of the nonprofit community and to learn from our members. If you are interested in learning more about the chapter’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, please contact Kim Noyes at email@example.com to be connected with the committee chairs.
Yours for a better world,
Janet K. Ginn, CFRE
AFP Southwest Florida Chapter