One of the core values of the Community-Centric Fundraising movement is that of Courage. We must challenge the way things are done and take bold action if we want to see the change that is needed to create equitable fundraising practices. For this reason, we support efforts which advocates for safe and healthy environments for fundraisers to do good work.
A primary example of this is the Fundraiser Bill of Rights, thoughtfully developed by Amelia Garza and Jennifer T. Holmes. We deeply appreciate the hard work put into this document, as it serves as an excellent guidepost for our sector in creating supportive and safe environments where fundraisers can thrive and hold each other to greater accountability. We encourage everyone to review this powerful document here.
Recently, an open letter was issued by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Chicago Chapter to Mike Geiger, President and CEO of AFP Global. It states that although Amelia and Jennifer’s work was recognized in April of 2021, when AFP Global announced the need for a fundraiser bill of rights and began a task force, the two women of color were nowhere mentioned as originators of the concept.
The May 2022 AFP Global announcement stating the need for a fundraiser bill of rights had no mention of the important, foundational work of Jennifer and Amelia. AFP Chicago Chapter has requested that the work of Jennifer and Amelia be properly acknowledged and recognized by AFP Global, and that they acknowledge the harm that was done through their actions. You can find the open letter here.
In the CCF movement, we value integrity as demonstrated by our value system, in particular, “We admit to our mistakes, apologize, learn from them, and publicly share lessons when possible.” We understand that mistakes happen, and would like to take Mike Geiger’s initial response to AFP Chicago’s open letter at face value, that this was an oversight or miscommunication. What is equally important are the actions taken once issues or mistakes have been brought to our attention. We believe women of color and are in solidarity with their experiences. It took immense bravery for Amelia and Jennifer to challenge a large, international organization which holds a privileged position of power in the social impact sector. We understand that there will be a meeting between Mike Geiger and other key people involved, and hope that the outcome will be a total fulfillment of the requests as outlined in the open letter.
This situation presents an opportunity for AFP Global to demonstrate its own stated values of: Ethics and Trust; Inclusivity; and Partnership and Collaboration. We hope that you will take this learning moment to live up to these values, which CCF shares.
If you are reading this and would like to support the open letter, as well as share your thoughts with AFP:
- Email Mike Geiger at email@example.com to share your thoughts and encourage him to adopt the requests from the letter, recognize Amelia and Jennifer’s work, apologize for the harm caused, and credit them going forward.
- Like, comment, and repost the AFP Chicago Chapter open letter on LinkedIn – click here to access it. Be sure to tag AFP Global and Mike Geiger in your posts.
With hope for a positive outcome,
The Community-Centric Fundraising Global Council