Chapter History

June 21, 1960 – National Society of Fund Raisers (NSFR) was officially chartered in the state of New York.

February 1961 – The Society held its first annual meeting in New York City and elected a 12-person board of directors. Thirteen board seats were left vacant to permit later representation from other geographic areas and to increase the board in proportion to the growing membership. The Board elected Dr. Abel Hanson as its first president, and established committees on membership, publicity, programs, and ethics.

1965 Code of Professional Ethics and Standards for the Practice of Fund Raising is adopted.

December 20, 1966 – 13 area fundraisers meet at Cleveland Health Museum and approve bylaws, elect officers, set dues rate and discuss future programming.

1967 – NSFR Northern Ohio is chartered as the fourth chapter of the National Society of Fund Raisers.

December 31, 1972 — Chapter disaffiliates with national organization sighting dissatisfaction with the national office.  Local chapter forms and evolves into the Ohio Council of Fund Raising Executives (OCFRE).

1982 – The appeal of national networking and information exchange prompt a group of OCFRE members to petition the National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE) for reactivation of the Cleveland Chapter.  Membership in the reconstituted chapter is 43.

November 14-15, 1984 – NSFRE Northern Ohio hosts the first All-Ohio NSFRE Conference, “Focus on Philanthropy.”  J. Richard Wilson, national president of NSFRE speaks at kickoff luncheon.  L. Leanne Schwind is conference chair.

1984 – First National Philanthropy Day® Awards are given for Outstanding Philanthropist, Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer, and Outstanding Fundraising Professional.

1984 – Membership surpasses 100 for NSFRE Northern Ohio Chapter.

Spring 1985 – NSFRE Northern Ohio wins national Silver Award for Outstanding Member Service recognizing member certification (Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE)), chapter awards programs, quality of monthly programs, career opportunity services and quality and frequency of chapter communications.  The Chapter continued to receive this award in 1986, 1987 and 1988.

November 17-18, 1987 – NSFRE Northern Ohio is host to the fourth annual Ohio/Midwest NSFRE Conference.  Barbara H. Patterson is conference chair.

Spring 1988 – NSFRE Northern Ohio is recognized as the nation’s top chapter in support of the NSFRE 1987 Advancement Fund.

1988 – Corporate Leadership and Foundation Leadership Awards are established as part of National Philanthropy Day®.

1988 – NSFRE  Northern Ohio becomes NSFRE Greater Cleveland.  The name better reflects the current membership.

1988 – NSFRE Greater Cleveland Chapter assists in the formation and chartering of new NSFRE chapters in the Youngstown and Akron/Canton areas.

1989 – NSFRE Greater Cleveland Chapter’s membership is 150.  36 of these members are Certified Fund Raising Executives (CFRE).

1990 – OCFRE membership surpasses 200.

April 1990 – OCFRE introduces the OCFRE Mentoring Program – the first professional fundraising association in the state to provide individualized and voluntary training and consultation to its members.

1991 – NSFRE Greater Cleveland joins United Way as co-sponsors of “Principles of Successful Fund-Raising” founded by Karen Owens, CFRE.

July 1991 –  First meeting of the consortium of members from the American Association of Fund Raising Council (AAFRC), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE) to create The Donor Bill of Rights.

1992 – NSFRE Greater Cleveland Chapter achieves Metro status as membership exceeds 150.

1993 – OCFRE membership reaches goal of 250; NSFRE membership grows to 173.

1993 – Prompted by recommendations from a funding community confused by duplicative programming, etc., former OCFRE President Tony Poderis hosts a meeting of OCFRE and NSFRE trustees to discuss the merger of the two organizations.  The group identifies challenges; most significant are (1) concern related to the loss of identity/history of OCFRE; (2) significantly higher dues for NSFRE members.  Dialog continues, but these and other obstacles impede progress.

1994 – OCFRE began the Roundtable program in October.

1995 – NSFRE Greater Cleveland Chapter receives the Five Star Award from the National office of NSFRE for exemplary programs and services provided in 1994.

September 1995 – NSFRE Greater Cleveland Chapter introduces The First Course in Fund Raising – a twelve hour curriculum developed by the National Society of Fund Raising Executives.

November 1997 – Over 350 attend National Philanthropy Day® – the first year that the Ohio Council of Fund Raising Executives (OCFRE), the National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE) and the Northern Ohio Planned Giving Council (NOPGC) joined together to sponsor the awards luncheon.

1998 – OCFRE reaches 300 members.

1999 – Executive Boards of OCFRE and NSFRE meet to openly discuss the ramifications to each organization of merging.  Plans emerge to implement such a partnership.

May 1999 – OCFRE presents “The Art of Raising Major Gifts” featuring David Dunlop, best known for  refinement of “moves management.”

November 1999 – over 600 attend National Philanthropy Day®.

March 3, 2000 –  Joint meeting of the boards of OCFRE and NSFRE to form a strategic alliance consolidating both organizations.

May 2000 – Paulette Maehara, President & CEO of NSFRE visits to gather input regarding the unregulated growth of fundraising over the internet and to discuss plans to make the merger of NSFRE and OCFRE more appealing.  She announces (1) NSFRE plans to change its name to the Association of Fund Raising Professionals (AFP)and (2) approval of limited time reductions of membership dues for members of seven local organizations across the country, including OCFRE.

May 2000 – OCFRE and NSFRE combine newsletters.

August 24, 2000 – First board meeting of Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Cleveland.

September 2000 – Merger announced in inaugural issue of the AFP Greater Cleveland newsletter.

January 1, 2001 – National organization officially changes name to the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).  NSFRE and OCFRE chapters officially merge under this name within the international organization.  Influx of OCFRE members, which out-number NSFRE members by almost 2 to 1, produces instant credibility and national standing for the newly constituted organization.  Incoming NSFRE President Daniel M. Ducoff and Incoming OCFRE President Diane M. Strachan serve as AFP Greater Cleveland Co-Presidents.

January 2003 – AFP Greater Cleveland Chapter officially changes to a calendar fiscal year to align with international organization.  All board members serve 18 month term of office (July 2002 – December 2003).

Spring 2004 – AFP enters into collaboration with Northern Ohio Live magazine to promote the chapter and its commitment to professional practices in philanthropy.  This represents the first time the chapter has formed a partnership with a media publication, and also one of the first in the country for an AFP chapter.

September 2004 – Chapter serves as one of five cities piloting The Essentials of Fundraising with AFP International (AFPI) – an educational series providing best practices and essential tactics of fundraising theory and practice.

November 2004 – over 700 attend National Philanthropy Day®.

2005 – Added the Youth in Philanthropy Award to the chapter’s National Philanthropy Day® celebration.

April 27, 2006 – AFPI President & CEO Paulette Maehara visits the chapter and makes a special presentation on Ethics in Philanthropy.

2005 & 2006 – AFP Greater Cleveland (AFPGC) collaborates with “Voices & Choices” – an unprecedented civic initiative undertaken by The Fund for Our Economic Future providing a platform for the 15-county region of Northeast Ohio to express their opinions and ideas to help develop an action plan to revitalize the region.  Throughout 2006, AFPGC coordinated the hosting of five community conversations at AFPGC member organizations.

Spring 2006 – AFPGC was amongst a select group of AFP chapters to be awarded AFP International’s prestigiousTen Star Award status for its work in 2005.  The Ten Star Award honors chapters who have accomplished key objectives outlined in AFPI’s strategic plan, designed to increase professionalism within fundraising and public awareness of the importance of philanthropy.  AFPGC continued to receive this award in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Spring 2007 – Chapter wins prestigious Abel Hanson Award for Communications in the largest-chapter size category from AFPI.  The AFPI Abel Hanson Award recognizes AFP chapters that provide outstanding regular and effective communications/promotion with members, foundations and other nonprofit organizations, corporations, legislators, and other constituents involved in the philanthropic process, as well as the general public.

2010 –  Cleveland hosted a founders event in honor of AFP’s 50th anniversary.  The event featured many of the original founders of our Chapter.

2011 – The first year our chapter received the Friends of Diversity Award.

2011 – The first AFP Community College Chapter is established at Lakeland Community College and sponsored by the Greater Cleveland Chapter.

2012 – Our Chapter has three individuals serving on AFPI boards and committees.

November 2012 –  Andrew Watt President and CEO of AFPI is the featured workshop presenter and keynote speaker at the annual National Philanthropy Day®.

2012 – New categories of membership are established by AFPI, that include; Young Professionals, Large Organizations and Small Organizations.  The Cleveland Chapter recruits members in all three categories and establishes a Mentoring program for Young Professionals.