In light of current events around the Globe – affirmation that we all have a responsibility to confront racism wherever and whenever we witness it It is unsettling to see all the unrest that is going on in the world today around social (in)justice, racial discrimination, police brutality, Black lives matter, on top of the three months of physical isolation that we have endured to keep COVID-19 at bay.

Much of this hits very close to home in many ways with issues that we sometimes overlook because they don’t seem to impact us directly. I have served locally, nationally and internationally on the Diversity and Inclusion, then the “IDEA” portfolios. Through this, I have learned and shared so much around the ideas of inclusion and equity and have gained a much greater appreciation for the value that EVERYONE brings to the table. Even so, as a white male, it can often be very challenging to weigh in on issues of race and social justice for fear of appearing to be ill equipped, patronizing or insincere – in fact, for most who have actively chosen fundraising as a profession, sensitivity and compassion are key to making us good at our profession.

I am grateful for the resourcefulness of our AFP Global leadership to be able to craft messaging that is sincere and truly reflects what I believe all – or the vast majority of – fundraisers believe and I share and echo our President and CEO, Mike Geiger’s message here: ( and which follows below.

As we continue to also grapple with the socioeconomic and health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, I also wish to share a link to Imagine Canada’s most recent newsletter in which they highlight a number of important activities they are leading, including Covid-19 resources, racism, and calls for support from the Government of Canada for charities and non-profits in Canada. Read that newsletter here.

If you have questions or comments, please contact the AFP Calgary & Area Chapter by simply replying to this message or by email to

Wayne Steer, President, AFP Calgary & Area Chapter
As fundraisers for nonprofit organizations, no matter our cause, we are part of the solution to making the world a better place—by listening, empathizing, inspiring, raising funds and taking action.AFP stands for and fights for the values of inclusion, justice, diversity, fairness, generosity and compassion. Fundraising unites people—there is no place for exclusion, racism and oppression.AFP members raise funds for thousands of different causes, but stamping out institutional racism must be a priority for all. Every donor we inspire, every dollar we raise, every colleague we support, every action we take—is another vital step on the journey to eliminating hatred and racism.Most importantly, regardless of our race, gender, socioeconomic circumstances, sexual preferences, geography or any other applied labels, we must ALL act and we must all act TOGETHER.AFP continues to create its long-term plan in conjunction with our IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) Committee, volunteer leaders and different voices in the profession. In the short term, AFP is:Supporting organizations working on issues of equality, racism and racial justice through monetary donations. We’ve identified Bryan Stevenson (a past speaker at our AFP ICON) and his Equal Justice Initiative as one recipient, and are looking at two other organizations, including one in Canada.Hosting a townhall forum on social justice and fundraising on June 15.Developing a series of panels and webinars on the issues of racial justice, diversity and equal pay.Creating a bundle of webinars and resources about these issues that we’ll be offering at no cost to all members.More information will be coming soon, and in the meantime, you can read my previous message—along with the comments of Birgit Burton, Martha Schumacher, CFRE, ACFRE, MInstFour, and others—here.Please contact me with your thoughts on all these issues at

Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA
President and CEO
Association of Fundraising Professional
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