IDEA Fellowship

Association of Fundraising Professionals Silicon Valley Chapter (AFP SV)

Case Statement: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Fellowship Program


The Association of Fundraising Professionals Silicon Valley Chapter (AFP SV) was founded thirty-three years ago to serve the needs of the Silicon Valley fundraising community, including professional fundraisers, nonprofit leaders, board members, and volunteers. In addition to providing a high level of fundraising training, our Chapter’s programs and services support capacity building, increased impact, and mission delivery for all non-profits in our region. 

As part of our 2008 strategic plan, AFP SV identified diversity and inclusion as a priority, and our work to that end resulted in our Chapter being awarded the  “Friends of Diversity” designation from the international office of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for the last ten years.

Despite the rich diversity in Silicon Valley, we have observed that the Chapter’s current membership is largely white, female, and more established in the profession, and we are missing the voices and experiences of young professionals of color (African American, Latino, Hispanic, Asian), and those working in smaller and/or emerging nonprofits.

The IDEA Fellowship Program was conceived to provide opportunities to bring more diverse individuals to have a seat at the table, and to participate in training, mentorship and networking activities.  This will enrich all of our experiences and provide a more powerful base from which to express multiple missions. In addition, inclusion will have wide reaching impact within the populations we serve and represent through our work across all sectors by increasing the fundraising capacity of the organizations the fellows represent.

Proposed Program and Participants

The IDEA Fellowship is a year-long program for fundraisers from underrepresented communities, including fundraisers of color (African American, Latino, Hispanic, Asian), LGBTQ and/or gender-nonconforming fundraisers, individuals, new nonprofit professionals, emerging fundraisers, and those who work at smaller, under resourced nonprofits. 

The fellowship would provide participants with full access to all the benefits of Chapter membership, including:

  • 10 chapter luncheon workshops on a variety of topics;
  • The Mentoring Program, which pairs fellows with senior AFP mentor in one on one relationship to get direct assistance tailored to the fellow’s experience, interest and organization;
  • Webinars;
  • Fundraising School, a two-day program presented by the Sanford School of Philanthropy;
  • Affinity groups;
  • Two networking mixers;
  • An orientation Session in January 2019 for all participants to meet AFP SV Board members, learn about program commitments and opportunities, sign up for activities, and participate in a community building exercise with the fellowship class;
  • A round-table in August 2019, where fellowship participants will meet with AFP Board Members and past presidents, as well as other experienced fundraising professionals to explore issues relating to diversity, inclusion, equity and access in the philanthropic sector, and to pitch projects and ideas to generate warm leads for their prospecting and networking activities;
  • Access to a full complement of online educational resources through AFP International;
  • A ticket to Silicon Valley Philanthropy Day.


In addition to all of the training benefits, fellows will have opportunities to network, meet leaders in the fundraising and philanthropic sector, and participate in leadership opportunities while building fundraising capacity and increasing mission impact.   Please see the attached application to apply and for instructions for submission. The application deadline for 2020 is December 31, 2019 with fellows announced the first week of January. Questions, please email Manju Ramachandran, VPElect of IDEA AFP SV at

Download the Application (PDF) | Diversity Statement (Word)

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Endowed Fellowship Sponsors
PhilanthroFuel Foundation 
Health Trust
Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Individual Contributors
Raj and Swadesh Singh
Manju Ramachandran, AFP SV VP Elect of Diversity and Inclusion
Julia Zarcone, AFP SV VP of Diversity and Inclusion
Nivisha Mehta, Past AFP SV Board President
Beverly Lenihan, Past AFP SV Board President
Matt Seigel, AFP SV President Elect
Vinney Arora, AFP SV VP Programs