IDEA Fellowships

AFP-MN’s (Association of Fundraising Professionals - MN Chapter) IDEA Fellowships are a one-year membership in AFP and free access to all AFP-MN’s trainings, events, and educational offerings available via AFP during the year. In a cohort environment, Fellows also receive four professional development trainings tailored to them, learning from local nonprofit, corporate, or public sector leaders and from one another.

The 2022 cohort of AFP-MN IDEA Fellows will be active from January through December 2022. Fellows should be able to commit to attending all cohort sessions to help ensure a fulfilling experience for themselves and their peers.

The mission of AFP-MN is to advance ethical and effective fundraising. As a key part of our current strategic plan, AFP-MN is focused on increasing inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) for fundraisers who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC) within the organization and the sector.

Fellowships are for current or aspiring fundraisers in the Twin Cities who identify as BIPOC. A broad definition of fundraising applies here. Applicants are eligible if they are doing work to increase resources for their organizations and/or communities. Applicants who both are and are not current AFP-MN members may apply.

We are hosting a virtual information session on Wednesday, August 18 12:30 - 1:30pm. Join past IDEA Fellows to learn more about the program and their experience! This is a great time to ask any questions you have as well. To RSVP, click here.

If you would like to prepare in advance, click here for the document with the short answer questions from the application.

Application Timeline

Please note that dates and times may be subject to change.
September 2, 2021 | Application Opens
September 24, 2021 | Application Closes
October 14-19, 2021 | Phone interviews
Week of November 1, 2021 | Acceptance notes sent out

2022 Cohort Commitments

We are currently planning for a hybrid model.
Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 11:30am - 1pm | Orientation
Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 11:30am - 1pm | Cohort Session #1
Thursday, May 5, 2022 at 11:30am - 1pm | Cohort Session #2
Thursday, August 4, 2022 at 11:30am - 1pm | Cohort Session #3
Thursday, November 3, 2022 at 11:30am - 1pm | Cohort Session #4
November 2022 | National Philanthropy Day
December 8, 2022 | Time TBD | End of Year Celebration

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are AFP-MN IDEA Fellowships for?

AFP-MN IDEA Fellowships are available to applicants who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC). IDEA Fellows may already be working in fundraising/philanthropy; they may be interested in moving into the field of fundraising/philanthropy; and/or they may be working on increasing resources for their organizations and/or communities in ways that are unique and may not fit into the typical roles of professional fundraisers.

In short, applicants will be BIPOC interested in learning more about fundraising, growing a professional career in fundraising, and building their networks within the fundraising/philanthropy community in the Twin Cities.

What exactly is an AFP-MN IDEA Fellowship?

The AFP-MN IDEA Fellowship is a one year cohort experience of tailored professional development sessions and an all-inclusive “Golden Ticket” to AFP-MN . The Fellowship includes full membership in both AFP-MN and in AFP International. In addition to membership, the Fellowship includes free access to all of AFP-MN’s education and social events, National Philanthropy Day, and more.

IDEA Fellows will benefit from a cohort model, where they will have opportunities to meet with each other and other IDEA champions to learn, share, build relationships with each other and key leaders in the field.

What if I need special accommodations for my application?

If you need to apply via an alternative format, please email that request here:

How many IDEA Fellowships will be offered?

The number of Fellowships will vary from year to year. Generally, AFP-MN will sponsor six to ten IDEA Fellows annually.

I applied last year but didn't get in. It looks like the current Fellows all have a lot of experience. Do I need more experience in fundraising?

Typically, with more experience comes more clarity around career goals, fundraising philosophy and community ambitions. Regardless of years of experience, a strong candidate has a clear vision for their personal and professional development and what skills or experiences they need to get there.

Can you describe some specific experiences Fellows have had?

In the Fellows sessions, fellows have discussed topics such as "Decolonizing Wealth", "Bringing Your Authentic Self to Work", and "Tactical Skill-Building". We've also been able to use AFP's relationships with community partners to offer discounted or complimentary professional development opportunities like conferences and training's outside of AFP.

What is expected in terms of preparing for Fellows sessions?

Fellows typically don't need to prepare for Fellows sessions or complete assignments in between. If a session does require prep work. such as reading a book, materials are provided to Fellows at no cost.

Does the AFP-MN membership begin once accepted, or once the program starts in January?

Starts in January, but you’re welcomed into the community and usually have access to the AFP-MN events soon after you’re accepted.

There seems to be diversity in various representation/backgrounds in a cohort. Are you intentional about who you select in the makeup of this group?

We are! We love reading about your experience, passion, and vision during the review process. We believe that everyone has something to bring and can learn from one another.

We have a robust individual giving program at my organization, but I’m looking to expand institutional giving, and the skills/networking behind it. Can this program help me with that?

There might be some opportunities! We often invite program officers and leaders of local foundations to share their experience and background with the cohort. Please make sure to share what you are looking for from this program in your application!

What are some benefits as a Fellow alum?

An alumni community! We host alumni reunions, and throughout the year alumni stay in touch, share job openings, call for resources, and share other information. We also advocate for free or discounted access for alumni Fellows at AFP-MN events and other partner events. As we are currently supporting our third cohort, the alumni program is still building and growing.

Whom can I contact with additional questions?

You may email your questions here:

About the Fellows

2022 Fellows

General Alumni