The local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has embarked on a campaign to grow the diversity and size of its membership. “AFP is committed to the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity and access in the fundraising profession, the philanthropic sector and throughout all of society,” said Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair, Kelly Nevins, who also happens to be the Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island. “We are showing our commitment by creating new opportunities to engage with the chapter and its members.”

To that end, several new events have been scheduled, specifically designed to address inclusion and equity. These include:

  • Careers In Development, January 30
  • Build Your Community, Build Your Brand, March 7 from 6-8pm at Rhode Island Spirits in Pawtucket
  • Unconscious Bias for Fundraisers, March 29 from 8-10am at the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island

The Careers in Development program will be held in partnership with College LeadershipRI where students can meet with practitioners to learn about their fundraising career path. Although the event is private, Nevins says that similar programs will be offered to interested student groups across Rhode Island upon request to

Professionals and entrepreneurs are especially welcome to participate in the Build Your Community, Build Your Brand program in March. The networking event will explore how partnering with nonprofits can enhance your personal or professional brand awareness through skills based volunteering, in-kind donations and sponsorships. Participants will be able to meet with local nonprofits to learn about these marketing/branding opportunities. New Pawtucket distillery, Rhode Island Spirits, is hosting the event and offering complimentary tastings. Sponsors are still be sought for this event, with 60 people expected to attend.

For those already in the fundraising profession, or who raise money for nonprofits as a volunteer, are encouraged to attend the Unconscious Bias for Fundraisers workshop on March 29. In this program, participants will learn how to identify bias and navigate around it without impacting the bottom line. Naomi Thompson, Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Rhode

Island, will be the workshop facilitator. Sponsors are still being sought for this event, with 40 people expected to attend.

AFP-RI utilizes sponsors and volunteers to make their events possible. If you would like to join the Diversity & Inclusion Committee or discuss sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to Kelly Nevins at For information on all upcoming events and to purchase, visit:

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