Local AFP Chapter Recognized as ‘Friends of Diversity’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Association of Fundraising Mahoning-Shenango Chapter was among 82 chapters that were recognized as a 2017 “Friends of Diversity” at the AFP International Conference April 14 in New Orleans, the local chapter announced Monday.

The Mahoning/Shenango AFP Chapter received the award for accomplishing key objectives outlined in the advancing diversity strategic goal.

This designation encourages chapters to perform activities designed to increase diversity and inclusion within fundraising and public awareness of the importance of philanthropy in all cultures.

On hand to accept the award was chapter President-Elect Lisa Long.

Association members Laura Dewberry and Debra Liptak, who are current and immediate past Diversity Committee chairwomen, shared their thoughts on the accomplishment.

“The Diversity Committee did an internal audit which consisted of a survey to the board that helped to identify areas where our chapter could work toward goals that we could achieve,” said Liptak. “We reached out to the Mahoning Valley foundations for support in cultivating future board members, as well as opportunities for new members and attendees at our programs.”

The AFP Mash board recognizes the challenge in the communities is funding for many nonprofit representatives to attend programs and join as members, but the chapter has built in opportunities for free admission to programs and through scholarships.

“Diversity is more than just race, and while our chapter struggles with racial diversity, we also struggle with diversity in other areas. Currently, our membership is made up of majority Caucasian females from Mahoning and Trumbull Counties,” Dewberry said. “We need to reach out to a younger audience, males, those with different ethnicities, and those fundraisers and nonprofit professionals from the Shenango Valley to make our membership base and programs more diverse overall.”

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