Professional Development Series

2023 AFP WNY Professional Development Series

"Meet the Funders"


Thursday May 25, 2023

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Click here to register today!

Speakers : 
Tracy A. Sawicki
Executive Director
The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation

Ba Zan Lin
Associate Vice President
Community Impact
Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Catherine A. Gura
The Children’s Guild Foundation, Inc., Buffalo, NY


Join us for a panel discussion with several foundation executives in Western New York. Are you thinking of applying for grants but are unsure about how to approach local foundations? Curious about current funding priorities? Or maybe you currently have a grant and are unsure about how to maintain the relationship? This panel gives you direct access to ask the questions you’ve been pondering!
The Saturn Club
977 Delaware Ave Buffalo, NY 14209
Members $40
Non-member $ 50
Soup, Salad and Sandwich Lunch Buffet Provided
11:30 am - Registration & Networking
12:00 pm - Lunch & Program


2023 AFP WNY Professional Development Series

"Conveying Cultural Awareness in Fundraising"


Friday , April 28, 2023

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Click here to register today!


Angel Flores

Senior Vice President of CCS Fundraising, 


In the nearly three years since the start of a new social reckoning across our country, nonprofits have taken various steps to convey more cultural awareness and sensitivity in their fundraising practices. Raising money in a ‘donor-centric’ way can no longer be a buzz phrase.  As fundraisers, we must think about our roles, and therefore our practices, differently, if we aim to elevate what we do from fundraising to philanthropy.


Join Angel Flores of CCS Fundraising for a conversation about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and the significant effect these pillars have on fundraising; the power of inclusive language; strategies to consider as you review your role in conveying cultural awareness to and for your donors; and impactful ways to reach a broader, more diverse community of donors.


The Buffalo Club - Fireplace Dining Room
388 Delaware Ave Buffalo, NY 14202
AFP Member - $30 Before April 10th - $33 / After April 10th - $40
Non-Member - Before April 10th - $43 / After April 10th - $50

Soup and Salad Buffet Provided – Please indicate during registration if you have any special dietary needs.




AFP WNY Professional Development Webinar

Watch Party Event!

Topic: How to Build a Successful Fundraising Campaign Strategy

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

12:30 pm –  2:00pm 


Fundraising is the lifeblood of nonprofits. You need to have a strategy in place to ensure you’re meeting your goals, targeting the right audience(s), and providing the right value to your organization. After all, if you don’t have a plan, how can you know if your fundraising efforts are on the right path? In this hands-on session, different aspects of a fundraising campaign strategy will be covered where attendees will learn how to set goals, define activities and tactics, uncover risks, discover new opportunities, and manage the campaign.
United Way of Buffalo & Erie County
742 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209
AFP Member - $20
Non-Member - $30
Lunch provided from Rachel’s Mediterranean


2023 AFP WNY Professional Development Series

Advanced Cultivation and Engagement

Tuesday , February 28, 2023

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Click here to register today!


Guy Tomassi

Major Gifts Officer,  Shea’s Performing Arts Center


Do you work with major gift donors? Are you looking for ways to cultivate your top donors in a fun setting with your peers? Guy will deliver excellent tips on tactics of high-level donor engagement and feedback built around the knowledge you already have.

While everyone is invited to join us, those with advanced fundraising knowledge and/or working with upper-level donors will gain the most from this content.



Dash’s Market (Community Room Upstairs)
770 Hertel Ave #3002, Buffalo, NY 14216

AFP Member - $30
Non-Member - $40
Soup, Salad and Sandwich Buffet Provided – Please indicate during registration if you have any special dietary needs.

2022 AFP WNY Professional Development Series

Snapshot of the Philanthropic Landscape

Thursday, December 8, 2022

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Click here to register today!


Jared Melville, Vice President and Leah Steele, Director

CCS Fundraising



Join us for our 2022 Annual Meeting to hear a State of the Chapter update from our AFP WNY President and Executive Board immediately followed by our monthly Professional Development Luncheon featuring two professionals from CCS Fundraising to discuss current events that are impacting not-for-profit finances and philanthropy. 


Each year, CCS produces its annual report on the Philanthropic Landscape which compiles and analyzes industry research to provide a snapshot of the state of philanthropy. Featuring essential philanthropic research from all major sources in the industry, this exclusive report examines key themes in American philanthropy and the latest data on giving by US individuals, foundations, and corporations.

This session will feature a presentation by two CCS Fundraising experts highlighting the key findings, analysis, and takeaways from the latest report. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions and will receive a hard copy of the report. 


The Buffalo Club
Millard Fillmore Room
388 Delaware Ave
Buffalo, NY 14202
AFP Member - $40
Non-Member - $50
Soup, Salad and Sandwich Buffet Provided – Please indicate during registration if you have any special dietary needs.




Jared Melville, Vice President

Jared Melville is a seasoned fundraising and campaign management consultant who has worked with CCS and its clients since 2010.  His experiences include working with over 30 nonprofit organizations to conduct capital campaigns, increased annual fund initiatives, development assessments, and planning studies. Projects that Jared has been a part of have raised over $380 million on behalf of diverse causes from individual donors, foundations, and corporations.

Over the course of his tenure with CCS, Jared has partnered with organizations in nearly every nonprofit sector including religious, environmental, social and human services, primary and secondary education, higher education, and arts and culture. His broad and deep knowledge of fundraising in a variety of contexts is a reflection of CCS’s unique position as a leading development consulting firm. His areas of expertise are campaign planning, prospect development and research, case development and communications, board training and cultivation, volunteer management, and major gift strategies.


Leah Steele, Director

In her time with CCS, Leah has exemplified her strong leadership in campaign management, major gift programming, and strategic organizational development. Partnering with Catholic Charities of Buffalo, Leah has worked alongside organizational leadership in reinvigorating their annual appeal – allowing them to meet their goal for the first time after four challenging years. Beyond supporting the $9.5 million campaign and launching the Major Gifts Program, Leah offered critical support in strategic planning around fundraising staff management, communications and marketing, and planned giving initiatives.  

Leah joined CCS Fundraising after years of leadership in both the fundraising and program development worlds of the nonprofit sector. Leah worked in fund development at a longstanding healthcare institution in rural Haiti – serving as a liaison between the local community and international high-net-worth stakeholders. After years of living abroad, Leah returned to the states to finish her master’s degree while simultaneously leading transformational change of an early childhood program serving survivors of domestic violence. Just prior to joining CCS, Leah drew from her merged understanding of programs and fundraising to independently consult community organizations across the US in strategic planning and fund development.