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August Appreciation: Hannah Whitney

15 August 2017

AFP Utah Chapter, meet Hannah Whitney, Development Director of HEAL Utah, the latest member to be spotlighted as a part of our August Appreciation Month!

Though Hannah has had an official fundraising-related job for a little less than one year, she previously provided fundraising support, both in a volunteer and paid capacity, for quite a few small organizations.  Her first such gig was as the fundraising coordinator for the Western State University of Colorado Mountain Rescue Team in 2003 during her college years.  "That's nearly 15 years ago!" she says." 

Hannah lists her biggest struggle as understanding the intricacies of HEAL Utah's campaigns in order to write and report about them in grants. "We work on some complicated issues like air quality and renewable energy," she says. "Fortunately we have great organizational communication and regular, well-facilitated meetings, which are helping move me in the right direction."

HEAL Utah recently received a new and unexpected grant that Hannah wrote with the organization's former Executive Director, and she cites this as her greatest recent accomplishment. "It was a somewhat last minute scenario. It showed how we're able to successfully spring into action when opportunities arise!" she explains.

As a new development professional, Hannah decided AFP membership would be an important step to building a network of skilled allies.  She adds, "I'm always on board to work smarter, not harder, and I know there are so many helpful resources out there to guide me as a new Development Director."

August Appreciation: Amberlie Phillips

10 August 2017

Our AFP Member Appreciation spotlight today goes to Amberlie Phillips, Chief Development Officer at YWCA!

Amberlie began her career in development in 1999, just out of college, and with the exception of two years, she has worked as a fundraiser her entire career--almost 16 years.

While she is currently navigating the obstacles of building infrastructure within the YWCA Utah development department to increase efficiency and maximize potential, she is also excited to see the continued growth of the YWCA’s major gifts program. "We made a conscious decision to focus on major gifts about four years ago, and we are seeing some amazing gifts as a result of this sustained effort," she says.

When asked why she became an AFP member, Amberlie says,"Very early in my career I attended the AFP International Conference in Seattle, thanks to a supervisor who recommended I attend. It was a great experience that opened my eyes to the diversity and depth that exists within the field. It is wonderful to belong to a professional association dedicated to fundraising-- it allows for idea sharing, networking, and that great feeling of being in a room where everyone feels your pain (or joy!)"

August Appreciation: Kirk Huffaker

09 August 2017

And now for our third member spotlight of August Appreciation Month: Kirk Huffaker of Preservation Utah!

Kirk has served as Executive Director and the staff lead on fundraising for the last ten years, though he's been on staff at Preservation Utah for a total of twenty years. "I realized early in my time at the organization that it's everyone's job on staff be part of the fundraising effort, whether it's making an event successful, writing a grant, or helping in the identification and cultivation of members and donors," he says.

Kirk lists his greatest fundraising-related struggle at the moment as trying to keep the momentum going with Preservation Utah's supporters, who helped the organization (formerly Utah Heritage Foundation) meet big fundraising goals for it's 50th anniversary last year and facilitated a success rebranding campaign. 

As for his greatest accomplishments, he says "In my ten years as Executive Director, we've exceeded goals for three fundraising campaigns, and been able to start an endowment. These have provided us with a stronger foundation for continuing to build long-term organizational strength."

"I'm an AFP member because I don't have it figured out and am always seeking how I can get better at my job. At the same time, I'm seeking how to best establish our organizational culture around fundraising. Surrounding yourself with the professional community for networking and peer learning opportunities is one of the strongest ways I believe to put us on the path to what works for us."

 

August Appreciation: Olivia Custodio

08 August 2017

AFP Utah Chapter, meet your fellow member Olivia Custodio!  

Olivia became the Development Manager at Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC) in February of 2016 after Cynthia Fleming, SLAC's Executive Artistic Director, sought her out. "I'm brand new to the fundraising world!" says Olivia. "[Cynthia] took a chance on me and asked if I would be interested in the position. She definitely saw something in me that I had not seen in myself, and now I am thrilled to be in this position doing non-profit fundraising."

When asked to name her greatest fundraising-related struggle at the moment, she says, "I have learned so much so quickly, and while I feel confident in my abilities, I know that there is much that I don't know yet."  She adds, "I'm an AFP member because I am striving to be an accomplished fundraising professional, and I want to surround myself with and grow from the other incredible members in AFP."

Olivia states her greatest accomplishment as the significant increase in contributed income that SLAC has seen this past year with her in the Development Manager position. "It's rewarding to see that all I'm learning is paying off!

 

August Appreciation: Meet Diane Spencer

04 August 2017

August is Member Appreciation Month for AFP Utah Chapter! Every week this month we will highlight a few of our stellar members on our Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook sites.  Know someone you think should be featured? Leave us a comment and let us know!

First up: Meet Diane Spencer, Development Officer at West Ridge Academy.

Diane began working in nonprofit fundraising in 1996 and considers her organization's greatest fundraising-related struggle making connections with new potential donors.  She is excited to have helped West Ridge Academy pull off its biggest-earnings-ever golf tournament in June.

"I’m an AFP member because it’s the best way I’ve found to stay up to date on trends, challenges and solutions. And fundraisers in Utah are a fabulous group of professionals to be associated with!"  says Diane.

Nonprofits to Congress: Don't Politicize Houses of Worship

18 July 2017

July 11, 2017 | AFP International, Public Policy blog

The House Appropriations Committee is considering a bill that would weaken the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits charities from directly or indirectly attempting to influence an election or defeat of any candidate for public office.

The Financial Services and Government Appropriations Act contains language that undermines the Johnson Amendment by prohibiting the Internal Revenue Service from spending any funds on determining if a house of worship or its affiliate broke the law. The only exception would be if the IRS Commissioner approves the investigation and Congress is notified well ahead of time.

The language is just one of several attempts this year by Congress and the White House to either weaken or outright eliminate the Johnson Amendment. The issue is likely to come up again later this year when Congress considers comprehensive tax reform.

The Financial Services and Government Appropriations Act may be considered this week. AFP members are encouraged to contact their Members of Congress, especially if they serve on the Appropriations Committee, and ask them to remove the Johnson Amendment provision (referred to as a “rider”) in Section 116 from the bill.

AFP announced its position on the Johnson Amendment earlier this year.

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We will continue to watch this space and report back to our AFP Utah Chapter members as the issue unfolds.