Latest News

Congratulations to the Fundraisers Changing the World Award Recipients!

13 January 2022

Fundraisers Changing the World graphic









As 2021 comes to an end, join us in recognizing these leaders who are a true force for good in our community and exemplify the ideals of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.






Hannah has proven to be a creative and innovative fundraiser. Recently she presented on using livestreaming to drive engagement during One Westminster Giving Day. Hannah is truly passionate about her organization, as she won a gingerbread contest baking a rendition of Westminster College’s historic Converse Hall. 

@westminsterslc (Facebook/Instagram)

unnamed 2



 Janzell embodies the AFP values of integrity, honesty, and inclusivity. Janzell has taken an active role not only with AFP Utah as our new IDEA Chair, but also at the U of U to help bring inclusion, diversity, equity, and access into our profession and the organizations we serve. 

@ uofudentistry (Facebook/Instagram)

unnamed 4



Katie makes coordinating the fundraising efforts of 140 fundraisers look easy. Her work ensures the donor stays centered in all fundraising efforts. She is inspirational in her service. She served as treasurer of American Prospect Research Association of Utah, has been a member of USFR and AFP Utah, and has served as a volunteer advisory board member for Child Care Services at the University of Utah. 

@universityofutah (Facebook/Instagram)

 unnamed 6



Maria is an advocate for rural places, and she channels her passion into lifting up community members in Green River, Utah. Maria leads Epicenter, a vibrant hub for rural investment and cultural exploration of the rural west. Maria includes community members in the planning process for Epicenter events and programs.  She is a shining example of amazing work being done in a rural community. She is inspirational to other fundraisers in small communities. 

@greenriverepicenter (Facebook)

@ruralandproud (Twitter)

unnamed 1



Ryan demonstrates a great deal of integrity in his work by fulling his commitments to donors, the AFP Board, and our AFP members. He looks for ways to highlight and promote volunteerism through nominating individuals for Utah Philanthropy Day awards and encourages others to get involved with AFP Utah or other nonprofit organizations.

@utaholympicpark (facebook/Instagram) 

unnamed 3



Jessie took the lead in making a tough decision about hosting an in-person event. She asked the opinions of donors, sponsors, and guests and ultimately concluded that it was best to be virtual. She stayed true to her code of ethics, and raised more money for the Utah Parent Center. Jessie sees people’s talents and encourages them to share those gifts through volunteer service and philanthropy. 

Instagram: @utahparentcenter

Facebook: Utah Parent Center

unnamed 5



Becky inspires everyone around her with her passion, commitment, and humor. She makes fundraising enjoyable while keeping the mission at the forefront. During the pandemic, she kept her students at Guadalupe School fed for two meals a day, which were sometimes the only meals the students received. Becky has committed her life to fundraising for non-profit organizations throughout Utah.

unnamed 7




Ja’Naye leads the KUER's development department, inspiring individual donors at every level to support public radio. Her passion, knowledge, and commitment to education are evident in every interaction.  Ja’Nayne is known for bringing community and corporate organizations together as one force for education and information. Throughout her 15-year career, Ja’Naye has inspired others with her passion and commitment, she has also mentored many young professionals entering the nonprofit sector.

@kuer901          @kuer90.1          @kuer_fm

unnamed 8      

Safia is truly a force for good, in addition to working to expand opportunities for future teachers she also supports several other non-profit organizations. She chairs the Women's Giving Circle Fund through the Community Foundation of Utah, she raises funds for the MS Society of Utah, and she advocates for the Children's Center, which is an organization near and dear to her heart. Safia embodies the AFP IDEA values, by often asking, "who's not here? who's not being served? who's not at the table?"


2022 AFP Utah Scholarship Applications Now Open!

19 October 2021

AFP Utah Scholarship Program image


The application period is now open for AFP Utah membership scholarships for the 2022 calendar year. Application deadline is Tuesday, November 30th. Winners will be contacted in December 2021, with a public announcement in January 2022.


Please visit our Scholarships page for details on all of scholarship opportunities.

Nominations Open for Fundraisers Changing the World

03 September 2021

AFP Utah is recognizing Utah Fundraisers Who are Changing the World.

Nominees will be selected based on how they live the AFP values of demonstrating personal integrity, inspiring philanthropy and volunteer service, or fostering cultural diversity. Winners will be recognized during a social media campaign in November and December.


Award Recipients Will Receive:

  • Recognition on our social media for themselves and their organizations to increase activity and reach during end of year giving

  • Letter from AFP Utah President and AFP Global President

  • Award Certificate


Nominations will be considered for individuals who:

  • Practice their profession with integrity, honesty and truthfulness
  • Act according to the highest goals and visions of their organizations, professions and donors
  • Inspire others through their own sense of dedication and high purpose
  • Improve their professional knowledge and skills, so that their performance will better serve others
  • Foster cultural diversity and pluralistic values and treat all people with dignity and respect
  • Nominator must include photo to use for social post
  • Nominator must include social media handles so AFP Utah can share


To nominate a Fundraiser who is changing the world, click the Nominate Now button below and complete the online application before the deadline of November 1, 2021. 


Our 2020 Annual Report is Here!

21 August 2021

The AFP Utah Chapter Board is happy to share our 2020 Annual Report with the world!  Click HERE or on the image below to check out all that we were able to accomplish last year, thanks to our amazing members and supporters.

Screen Shot 2021 08 21 at 10.24.25 AM

Screen Shot 2021 08 21 at 10.21.20 AM

We are thrilled to announce the 2021 Fundraising Day award recipients!

12 April 2021

AFP Utah is honored to recognize these outstanding development professionals. Please read on to learn more about this year's award recipients.  


Patti N. Choate Lifetime Achievement Award winner

Buma Carolyn lo      

Carolyn started her career as a public relations account manager at a local advertising agency. She quickly realized her passion for the non-profit sector spending the past 30 years in this field. Carolyn has worked as a development director at a variety of non-profits including Camp Kostopoulos, Ballet West and Fund Raising Counsel Inc. The past nearly 18 years have been at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business.

 Carolyn has been intimately involved in five major capital campaign building projects, as well as fundraising for various programs, initiatives, centers and institutes. She considers herself a “matchmaker” bringing together institutional needs and givers to the betterment of organizations and the individuals they serve.

 A people-person at heart, Carolyn relishes the opportunity she has had to meet extraordinary people throughout the country who wish to pay it forward to others.

 Carolyn actively volunteers in her community currently serving on the board of Larry H. Miller Charities. After being diagnosed with systemic scleroderma in 2015, she has become active in this rare disease community as co-leader of Utah’s Scleroderma Support Group and as a scleroderma mentor presenting to patients, caregivers and medical professionals nationwide. Her disease has given her personal insight into the often unseen daily struggles of those living with chronic illness and other challenges.

 Carolyn is married to Robert (Bob) Buma and has three children, two grandsons, and another grandchild on the way. While her career and volunteer roles have given her fulfillment and purpose, her greatest joy has been her family.  Carolyn’s most cherished gift has been watching her children become caring, empathetic adults who make the world around them a better place.


Carolyn Buma

Executive Director of Development

David Eccles School of BusinessUniversity of Utah



Outstanding Development Officer Award winners

 Melissa Mathews Headshot        

Melissa Mathews is the Chapter President for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Idaho, Nevada, Utah Chapter and has been with the Society for nearly six years.  Melissa is passionate about raising money, creating awareness and engaging donors, volunteers and the community in the MS movement.  She has served in the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years fundraising in Utah, Illinois and Georgia, and worked with the Girl Scout organization, Utah Symphony|Utah Opera and Intermountain Healthcare.  She served on the Association of Fundraising Professionals board from 2012-2019, two of those years as Board Chair.  During her tenure as Board Chair, she worked with the board on transitioning from Utah Society of Fundraisers and creating the Association of Fundraising Professionals Utah Chapter.  In addition to AFP, Melissa has served as Vice-Chair and member of the Salt Lake Chamber Business Women’s Forum and Athena Awards Committee and an alumni of Leadership Utah with the Salt Lake Chamber.  

She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications in 1998 from Weber State University, started her nonprofit work as a grant writer and never looked back.  Melissa currently resides in Salt Lake City with her husband, three children and two pets.  When she isn’t working she is managing chaos, cooking, waiting for the Chicago Bears to win a game, reading, hiking, Pilates/yoga or watching some mindless television to escape the chaos.      


Melissa Mathews

Chapter President

National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Idaho, Nevada, Utah Chapter



 Jessica Nelsonheadshot        

Jessica Nelson is the Director of Planned Giving at the University of Utah and has been in U’s Planned Giving Office for almost 8 years.  Prior to joining the University, Jessica practiced law for two years as a general practitioner; particularly enjoying the areas of civil litigation, criminal law, and estate planning.  Jessica’s passion and interest in working in the public sector began in college at Weber State University and developed further while attending Appalachian School of Law in Virginia.  

Jessica is actively involved in the development community in and around Salt Lake City.  She is a member of the Utah State Bar and regularly participates in the Probate and Estate Planning section.  Additionally, she is a member of the Salt Lake Estate Planning Council and a member of the Utah Planned Giving Roundtable and has been serving on its board since 2016.  Jessica is also a veteran of the United States Air Force Reserve, receiving an Honorable Discharge in 2009.  Jessica enjoys travelling (when we’re not in a pandemic) with her husband.  She also has two dogs, Lulubelle Priscilla and Willie Nelson, and loves all things Disney! 


Jessica Nelson

Director of Planned Giving

University of Utah 



 Scott Olson Photo        

Scott Olson has worked in various Advancement roles at Utah State University for 26 years. Although many of those years were spent in the field of alumni relations, he made the switch to fundraising 3 years ago. This change to fundraising came easy because of his experience working with Aggie alumni worldwide. He is now the Senior Director for Principal Giving, Presidential Engagement, and Campaign Organizer at USU. He is a graduate of Utah State University and is proud to work for his alma mater.

Scott serves on the planning committee for CASE Utah, is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and is currently working on his CFRE certification. He volunteers in many ways outside of work, including serving as Chair of the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau board. When not working, he enjoys spending time with family and planning his next dream vacation.


Scott Olson

Senior Director for Principal Giving,

Presidential Engagement, and Campaign Organizer

Utah State University 


Sign Up Today for Fundraising Day 2021!

12 February 2021

After a long and unprecedented year, AFP-Utah is excited to announce Fundraising Day is back and we are Fired Up!


On April 16, 2021 AFP-Utah will host its first ever virtual conference to bring together development professionals from around the state for a day full of interactive and educational sessions. Join us and Fire Up Your Fundraising! 


For information on Fundraising Day and to see the schedule, please log into the conference here and enter code AFPUTAHFIREDUP!

Can’t find emails regarding Fundraising Day?  Please make sure you are able to receive emails from: 


Keynote Speakers

Gail Perry

President, Fired Up Fundraising

Gail is one of the most sought after fundraising experts in the county. With more than 30 years of experience in successful major gifts and capital campaigns, she was recently named to the Top 10 List of America’s Fundraising Experts. She is a veteran of over 55 capital campaigns from LA to Maine and has helped organizations raise hundreds of millions in gifts. Her wildly popular Fired-Up Fundraising blog is consistently listed among the top fundraising websites in the world. 

Mike Geiger

President and CEO, Association of Fundraising Professionals

As the President and CEO of AFP Global, Mike leads our organization of more than 30,000 fundraisers from North America and around the world. He represents individuals and organizations that raise more than $155 billion in charitable contributions every year. His vision for AFP is bold – and is rooted in raising the next generation of fundraising leaders to be a force for good in our communities.