In the midst of so much turmoil in the past weeks and months, we wanted to take a moment to reaffirm VAFRE’s determination to be a professional organization that is inclusive, diverse and supportive of the growth and expansion of fundraising and philanthropy throughout our community, regardless of race or ethnic background.
Our current circumstances are a powerful catalyst for change and VAFRE stands ready to support the black community and all people of color in the pursuit of justice and the end to systemic racism which has plagued us throughout the past four centuries.
VAFRE continues our commitment to highlighting issues and working towards their resolution by partnering in the AFP Inclusive Fellows program by providing participants with VAFRE membership. We also have offered and will continue to offer educational topics that focus on fostering diversity and inclusion within our field, with a goal of building a pipeline of fundraising leaders that reflect the diversity of our communities. We continue to welcome members from small shops, startup organizations and those with tight operating budgets by offering dues scholarships. Social justice demands that we constantly question what is ethical and what is culturally informed.
As fundraisers, we are often asked to work creatively and resourcefully to raise our organizations to new heights and to meet both expected and unexpected challenges with successful outcomes. We encourage all VAFRE members to join us in raising this issue to a new level and in helping find solutions to systemic racism. Together we are powerful. We welcome new ideas and strategies on how we can harness the energy and passion that are visible now to make VAFRE, the fundraising profession, and our communities better, stronger, and more equitable.
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Jenn O'Rourke, CFRE
2019-2020 VAFRE President
2020-2021 VAFRE President