South Dakota AFP Awards for Philanthropy

The South Dakota Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP SD) is honoring four individuals, one company, and one community with philanthropy awards on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, as part of the organization’s 2023 National Philanthropy Day conference in Chamberlain. (Luncheon program PDF)

  • David and Janet Hovey Johnson of Sioux Falls are being recognized as AFP SD’s 2023 Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year. Dave and Jan have instilled philanthropy in hundreds of others, including their own children, through their personal giving, matching challenges and their many ReliaBank locations. Their leadership and personal generosity have restored historical buildings in several small South Dakota towns, facilitated countless Lutheran Social Services’ adoptions, enhanced student education experiences at Augustana University and ensured support for South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

  • The Community of Hill City, nestled in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, is being honored as the 2023 Outstanding Philanthropic Community. Hill City community members have significantly participated in several fundraising projects and events throughout the year. Citizens have raised funds for hundreds of student scholarships, school activities, facility upgrades, the Hill City ambulance and volunteer fire departments, the senior center, the library, the food bank, a church pavilion, the Boys and Girls Club and more. In 2021, community members formed the Hill City Area Community Foundation, initially raising $250,000 to provide grants to Hill City nonprofits.

  • West River Electric Association, Inc. (WREA) is being recognized as AFP SD’s 2023 Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation. This award recognizes a business operating in South Dakota that has a significant record of exceptional generosity in its community or across the state. WREA’s philanthropy reaches small towns in its western South Dakota service area, covering an expanse of 4,500 square miles. WREA has benefited 265 organizations since 2001, 128 teachers since 2017, countless people with disabilities for more than 25 years and dozens of students through scholarships and leadership experiences. WREA’s culture of philanthropy encourages employee giving and volunteerism in the small towns where they work and live. WREA employees are civic leaders, volunteer firefighters, EMS technicians, board members and coaches. The association’s innovative philanthropic support, especially in rural communities, creates a sense of community and empowers benefactors to embrace a philanthropic heart.

  • AFP SD is honoring Janet Kahler of Rapid City as its 2023 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser. Janet leads by example. She is a philanthropist who gives not only her treasure, but also her time as a volunteer with a heartfelt desire to make a difference. She has been a member of Rushmore Rotary for 13 years, earning Rotarian of the Year in 2016, and has played financially supporting and organizing roles in Rotary’s three signature projects: Storybook Island, the Children’s Home Society’s Child Advocacy Center and the St. Jude International School. She motivates others, including her daughter, to be philanthropic, providing major financial support to many nonprofits in South Dakota and beyond.

  • Richard “Dick” Bohy, an inspirational leader for more than 40 years with a rich legacy of achievements, has been selected as AFP SD’s 2023 Outstanding Fundraising Professional. Now retired, Dick is considered a pioneer in the building of the modern fundraising profession in South Dakota and was instrumental in organizing South Dakota’s National Society of Fundraising Executives (now AFP SD). His career began in 1974 at the Sioux Valley Hospital (which later became Sanford Health), setting up its first marketing and social work program and overseeing the region’s first Children’s Miracle Network telethon. In 1984, he founded the Sanford Health Foundation. Over his long career, he served on the boards of many organizations, often as a founding board member.

Each year, all AFP South Dakota members can submit nominations for NPD awards in the following categories:


  • Outstanding Philanthropist — a South Dakota individual, couple, or family with a proven record of exceptional philanthropy.
  • Outstanding Philanthropic Community — a South Dakota community that has successfully achieved a community improvement by encouraging the entire community to work together to raise the necessary funds.
  • Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation — a business operating in South Dakota that has a significant record of exceptional generosity in its community or statewide.
  • Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser — an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in coordinating groups of volunteers for major fund raising projects.
  • Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy — individual ages 10–23 who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteering and leadership in philanthropy.
  • Outstanding Fundraising Professional — Honors individuals who have had a significant impact on people through nonprofit organizations because of their outstanding documented accomplishments in fundraising. The nominee must have at least 15 years of professional fundraising experience.

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