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Community Engagement Initiative

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Silicon Valley Chapter (AFP SVC) will continue the innovative Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) later this year. After a successful inaugural term where three smaller non-profits benefited from pro-bono mentoring and AFP programs and educational opportunities, the CEI will continue with some modifications.

The AFP SVC Community Engagement Initiative guidelines called to dedicate resources and training to empower the selected non-profit organizations to make a difference in their respective communities. The initiative offered fundraising training, coaching and resources at no cost to the non-profit.

AFP SVC's original impetus for community engagement came as a result of a 'call to action' at the chapter's December 2007 meeting.  In the presentation by Emmett D. Carson, PhD, CEO and President of Silicon Valley Community Foundation he spoke of a "social imperative" that we who have the knowledge of ethical and professional fundraising should share with folks who do not have the resources to have dedicated development staff.

"As a mentor during the CEI's first term, I saw firsthand how necessary and effective the program is for our community" said Christine Jeffers, CEI chair. "For our second term, we will continue the program as a pilot with some modifications...lessons learned from our first effort."

Working over the summer, the CEI committee, mentors and AFP SVC board made changes to the CEI based on outcomes and observations from the first term. "For our second term, the program has been focused a bit. We're going to support two nonprofits, instead of three, and make certain the many resources AFP SVC offers its members are utilized more thoroughly" said Jeffers.

The CEI program will launch in February with a RFP process. Additionally, as in the first term, the committee will proactively reach out to those nonprofits that could benefit from AFP SVC opportunities. Criteria for respondents include those nonprofits with operating budgets under $1 million, are not currently AFP members and employ a full time fundraiser. Benefits include individual assessment and guidance from an AFP member/mentor and access to AFP programs including luncheons seminars and fundraising school.

"The AFP SVC Board was so proud of the CEI's first term and is very excited by the upcoming launch of its second term" says Beverly Lenihan, AFP SVC Board President. "The CEI is unique among AFP Chapters across the nation and speaks to the innovative nature of our region" continues Lenihan. "We are delighted by its evolution and hope to make it a permanent fixture of our chapter."

The Community Engagement Initiative deadline to apply is February 27 and select nonprofit organizations will be invited to apply by the CEI committee. Interested nonprofits should contact Christine Jeffers, CEI Chair at to learn more.