Association of Fundraising Professionals launches Women’s Impact Initiative

Written on Mar 13, 2018

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is combining public awareness accompanying studies of gender-based wage inequality and sexual harassment in the workplace with Women’s History Month in the launch of its Women’s Impact Initiative (WII). WII is the association’s response to bias and harassment in the fundraising space.

The initiative is the first in a new series of diversity and inclusion efforts by AFP.

New efforts toward diversity and inclusion, now more broadly referred to within the association as Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access (IDEA), were prioritized by the association’s board last October.

Geiger said the association has long sought to add diversity to the profession by recruiting members from various groups. Equity and access within the profession have come recently front and center, Geiger said, as diversity is not possible without either pillar. AFP has also taken an interest in not only attracting diverse membership, but also helping them grow within the profession.

The series of initiatives will be based around research, education, training, support, and awareness - geared at engaging various demographic groups within the profession, Geiger said. Other communities AFP will seek to engage include African Americans, youth and members of the LGBTQ community. This initial foray will run for the next 18 months, according to Tycely Williams, vice president of development at YWCA USA, who will chair the initiative. These 18 months will focus on highlighting and addressing issues women in fundraising face with the ultimate goal of creating awareness and resources to overcome problems.

Education and information sharing will be primary components of the initiative. AFP is developing a study on sexual harassment in the profession. The association has received 1,000 survey responses from members of the profession and initial findings are expected to be announced during the association’s International Fundraising Conference next month. Survey findings also will be used to build educational tools. Developing similar tools is anticipated for barriers such as salary negotiations and overcoming gender bias.

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