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March 2016 - NewsRaiser - President's Letter

“Inclusion comes with the recognition that what we as people have in common far exceeds our differences. Inclusion is a state of being respected, valued, and supported within a community such that each and every person has the opportunity to reach his/her full potential.” Hannibal B. Johnson, 2015 National Philanthropy Day Diversity and Inclusion honoree

Dear AFP of Eastern Oklahoma Chapter Professionals & Friends:

AFP believes that diversity and inclusion create a strong, vital and unified force for the effective pursuit of an organization’s mission and achieving philanthropic success. The Eastern Oklahoma chapter supports that belief and has dedicated itself to appreciating the unique contributions of every member of our fundraising community and celebrating the specific impact each of our members’ organizations make in enhancing the lives of those they serve.   

Your AFP, Eastern Oklahoma chapter was recently named one of 74 among 243 chapters worldwide to receive AFP IHQ’s Friends of Diversity Designation for 2015. Congratulations to President Tom A. Taylor, II and the 2015 Board of Directors for furthering the chapter’s commitment to this strategic initiative. Learn more about our Friends of Diversity designation here.

In our continued pursuit of Inclusion in 2016, your chapter is committed to:

  • Dedicate a portion of the chapter’s two-year strategic plan to Diversity & Inclusion goals and objectives.
  • Maintain a Diversity & Inclusion Board of Directors seat for the chapter. (Thank you for your leadership 2016 Chair Lee Bartel of John 3:16 Mission!)
  • Support the recruitment and growth of a D&I committee as needed.
  • Conduct at least one monthly luncheon focused on a Diversity & Inclusion topic.
  • Actively recruit and grow nominations to the Diversity & Inclusion category of the NPD Awards.
  • Enhance chapter and member engagement among seasoned and retired fundraising professionals and past chapter presidents through opportunities to share, connect and celebrate.
  • Communicate the relevance of Diversity & Inclusion to the chapter, as well as progress toward goals and objectives.
  • Engage chapter membership with volunteer opportunities to serve.
  • Lay the groundwork to achieve the AFP IHQ Friends of Diversity Designation for 2016.
  • And the list goes on…

These steps may seem small in the shadow of great work done by many others in our community, but I can confidently say that they are made intentionally and with a sincere spirit of humility. As nonprofit professionals and fundraisers, we understand Inclusion as the guiding principle upon which we serve our clients and collaborate with our partners. I would also venture a guess that embedded in each of our organizational vision statements lies the common thread of hope toward achieving full potential -- for ourselves, our organizations, our clients and our communities.

Hannibal B. Johnson brilliantly stated during his 2015 acceptance speech, “Diversity is. Inclusion may or may not be.” Taking it a step further I would say that, diversity is who we are; inclusion is what we do about it.

Do you have ideas to broaden the scope, reach and influence of our chapter? Do you have a passion to serve our D&I efforts or participate on our board elsewhere? Leadership is the key to any meaningful, sustainable effort and your diverse experiences and characteristics make you uniquely qualified to serve alongside us. Join us!


Allison Walden Digital Signature

Allison B. Walden
2016 President, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Eastern Oklahoma Chapter

Senior Vice President of Resource Development, Tulsa Regional Chamber