Connecting People to Causes, and a Dog Named Polly

Npd 2019 Award Recipients
National Philanthropy Day 2019 award recipients Bruce McEvoy, Mike Smith, Diane Wilhelm, Sassy Smith, Henriette Churney, Karen Mulder, Ryan Baudo, Larry Mulder and Marcus Fini.


It’s been 15 years since Kerry Bartlett, Lenora Ritchie and 14 others founded the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indian River (AFPIR). Many had been members of AFP’s Treasure Coast chapter, which at the time served Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties and held meetings in Stuart. They were eager to bring the educational programming and networking opportunities the organization offered closer to home.

Thanks to sponsorship and funding support from the Treasure Coast chapter, they succeeded. Documents were pored over, signed, sealed and delivered. All was in order, and shouts of joy could be heard the day the Indian River chapter became a reality.

Enthusiasm and optimism joined hands as membership numbers climbed, programs proliferated and collaborative relationships blossomed. Three years after being founded, AFPIR was recognized as a Ten Star Gold chapter by AFP International for its efforts to increase professionalism within fundraising and public awareness of the importance of philanthropy.

Today, the Indian River chapter has 94 members engaged in advancing and promoting philanthropy through education, training and advocacy. While some have been involved in fund development for several years, others are relatively new. No matter where members are on that spectrum, they encourage and support one another as they travel along the professional path they have chosen. The passion AFP members have for the work they do speaks to the heart of the nonprofit organization. Here are four of their stories.

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