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Bruce Nordstrom's & Anne Gittinger's Family: Outstanding Philanthropic Family

In The Nordstrom Way, a book about the business, Erik Nordstrom says, “Our people don’t have one look, one background, one culture. The common thread is they are themselves. They are genuine.” This quote perfectly sums up the Nordstrom and Gittinger family, the 2018 National Philanthropy Day Outstanding Philanthropic Family award winner.

The Nordstrom and Gittinger family have been heavily involved with philanthropy in Washington and across the globe for decades. Many nonprofit organizations in our community have benefitted from their financial support. Even more than the dollars, they share time to help nonprofits grow and succeed.

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The Future of Equity and Diversity in Fundraising - 09-13-2018 Newsletter

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The Positive Impacts of Volunteering - 09-07-2018 Newsletter

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Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue.

I am getting married this month. As a forty-something bride-to-be, I've felt empowered to forgo many of the typical wedding rituals. We will not have a ring bearer, a flower girl, or a bouquet toss. One tradition I am embracing is the wearing of something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. 

Embedded is this quaint custom is the understanding that we benefit when we honor our past, embrace the future, and borrow from our friends. Volunteering gives us the chance to do all of these. 

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Nominations Open for Our Board of Directors - Seeking Leaders and Innovators - 08-30-2018 Newsletter

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Join Us in Celebrating Generosity - 08-23-2018 Newsletter

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Why Personalize Your Professional Goals and Plans - 08-17-2018 Newsletter

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What are Your Professional Goals?

Do you meet this question with dismay? “My current position IS my professional goal!” Does this question cause anxiety? “There are so many directions my career could go. I have no idea which one I want.” Or maybe, you confront this question with excitement. “I know exactly what I want and how I am going to realize it!” 

Most of us fall somewhere between dismay and excitement, with a lot of us feeling a little anxiety. So why find your honest and personal answer? Unlock your potential and open up to the growth opportunities that might otherwise be invisible, while also are working diligently to meet your fundraising or programming goals. 

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Join us for National Philanthropy Day

Claim the early bird price for National Philanthropy Day!

Thirty years ago, the first episode of Seinfeld aired and U.S. Army General Colin Powell was the first African American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was also the first year National Philanthropy Day was celebrated in Washington State!

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The Benefits of Volunteering for AFP Advancement Northwest - 08-09-2018 Newsletter

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Congratulations to the 2018 National Philanthropy Day Award Winners - 08-03-2018 Newsletter

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Who is Oprah's Mentor?

Last month, we shared an interview highlighting some of the experiences of AFP Advancement Northwest mentors. But, let's back up a minute and define mentorship. Oprah Winfrey says, "A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself." 

I like this definition because it makes room for mentors who come into your life in unexpected ways and may look different than what you might expect. In fact, your mentor may not have all the answers. But an effective mentor will help you find the answers for yourself. Or maybe even just help you ask the right questions.

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Our Efforts to Make the Forum Inclusive - 07-26-2018 Newsletter

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Fielding a Forum with a Focus on Diversity and Equity

This year’s Forum on Strategic Fundraising brought together professionals for two days of sessions on a wide variety of topics. The Forum also represented one way that AFP Advancement Northwest is bringing a lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access into its own work. From the planning stages of the Forum, leaders worked to recruit and select presenters with a lens of diversity and equity in mind. This included emphasizing peer learning opportunities and thinking about the representation of speakers from the keynote to the snack time sessions.

The emphasis on diverse voices meant that we planned a lot of sessions that specifically addressed an equity lens, noted Andrea John-Smith, Vice President of Signature Programs for AFP Advancement Northwest.

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Telling a Donor the Truth is Hard

I’ve talked with a lot of donors over my years as a fundraiser. The vast majority of donors give for the right reasons. They care about the mission and want to support the greater cause. They are open to learning about the best solutions, and while they may offer ideas at times, understand when their suggestions are not the right fit for your organization or the overall cause. 

There are times when we have conversations with donors whose goals may not directly align with the mission of the organization. Or, they may personally exhibit inappropriate behavior. 

As fundraisers, we are in unique positions to have many close relationships with people in positions of power. At times, that makes conversations about a gift, values or appropriate behavior uncomfortable. 

Major donors and high-level volunteers are the donors that we need to tell the truth to the most. Even when it’s hard.

What do I mean when I say we need to tell the donor the truth?

First, we need to be honest about our organization’s mission. We need to ask if their idea is, not only within the scope of our work, but also within our priorities and the actual resources involved in making it happen. It’s never easy pushing back. However, the better donors understand the larger picture and how our individual missions offer a focused solution based on an understanding of the community we serve, the stronger we are as a sector. 

Second, are we being true to the values of our organization as well as ourselves? Not all our donors come from the same backgrounds and may struggle with initiatives or decisions that go against their personal belief system. This means, many of us have been on the receiving end of donors saying things that are racist, hurtful, ignorant or that make us angry. But, as the Girl Scouts of Western Washington found, being true to your values can be more beneficial in the long run. 

Thirdly, Maya Hemanchandra wrote about a few months ago, encouraging us to be clear about personally appropriate behavior and what is and is not acceptable. As fundraisers, we represent our organizations with a goal of soliciting support. That is not at the expense of our personal safety. Fundraising is a gray space in most sexual harassment training, which bothers me, so I joined the AFP Women’s Impact Initiative to help create resources that will be available nationally for nonprofits to use in providing training on ways to stay safe when meeting with donors. In case you missed my point above (in bold and underlined), it is not okay for fundraisers to feel unsafe due to donor behavior

I think fundraising is an amazing job. I love working with donors and am lucky to have found a home at WSU that is perfect for me (Go Cougs!). My wish for our sector is that everyone can say the same thing. One way to get there is for everyone to go back to their team and talk about difficult conversations with donors. Let's figure out, together, how you will deal with issues before they arise so that your team will feel supported and empowered. It’s up to us to make sure that we hold the balance between the public trust, ethical practices and executing our missions. Keep up the amazing work. You all inspire me every day!













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Why Fundraisers Need to be Truthful with Donors - 07-20-2018 Newsletter

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What to Expect When You are a Mentor (or Protege)

What to Expect When You are a Mentor (or Protégé)

We recently sat down with Asa Irwin and Nicole Angus, a mentor and protégé pair connected through AFP Advancement Northwest's Mentor Program, to talk about their experience working together and the impact the program has had on their work. If their story inspires you, consider signing up as a mentor or protégé, visit our website.

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National Philanthropy Day - Cultivating a Culture of Giving - 07-12-2018 Newsletter

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Why Philanthropy Needs to Adapt - 07-06-2018 Newsletter

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Advancing Philanthropy, the Marvin Gardens Paradox

Advancing Philanthropy, the 
Marvin Gardens Paradox

What is your favorite property in the game Monopoly? Most of us have a preferred token or coveted corner we believe will assure victory when playing this classic Parker Bros. board game. I like using the Scottie Dog as my game piece. For my dad, it’s collecting the yellow properties, especially Marvin Gardens. No matter what is at stake or how foolish the trade, he will do anything to acquire and keep Marvin Gardens. At first blush, you might applaud his commitment to this quest. He has a goal: to win the game. He has a strategy: acquire the “yellows” (Marvin Gardens, Ventor, and Atlantic Avenues). With this monopoly, he will build hotels and bankrupt his opponents. Seems like a solid plan. However, my father almost never wins at Monopoly.

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