IDEA Fellowships

The mission of the Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP-MN) is to advance ethical and effective fundraising.

AFP-MN IDEA Fellowships are a one-year membership in AFP and a free pass – a “Golden Ticket” – to all trainings, events, and educational offerings available via AFP during the year. The 2020 cohort of AFP IDEA Fellows will be active from January through December 2020.

As a key part of its current strategic plan, AFP-MN is focused on increasing inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) for people of color within the organization and the sector.

Fellowships are intended for current or aspiring fundraisers of color in Minnesota. A broad definition of fundraising applies here. Applicants are eligible if they are doing work to increase resources for their organizations and/or communities — or if they would like to start doing more of this kind of work. While priority is given to those who are not already members of AFP-MN, a smaller number of Fellowships will be made available to AFP-MN current members and both members and non-members are encouraged to apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are AFP-MN IDEA Fellowships for?

AFP-MN IDEA Fellowships are available to applicants who identify as people of color/indigenous people (POCI). 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 POCI interested in learning more about fundraising, growing a professional career in fundraising, and building their networks within the fundraising/philanthropy community in Minnesota.

What exactly is an IDEA Fellowship?

The IDEA Fellowship is an all-inclusive “Golden Ticket” to AFP-MN that will be awarded to people of color/indigenous people (POCI) currently working in fundraising or wanting to explore the profession of fundraising. As such, the Fellowship includes full membership in both the Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP-MN) and in AFP International.  In addition to membership, the Fellowship includes free access to all of AFP-MN’s in-person educational and networking events (approx. 12 per year), the annual MCN-AFP Fundraising Conference (in July), National Philanthropy Day (in November), and in addition, Fellows will have access to fundraising mentorship opportunities if they want them.

In addition, 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, and support each other throughout the year.

Another special leadership opportunity wrapped within the Fellowship is that it will provide Fellows with a platform to assess AFP-MN, note its strengths, and point out its weaknesses, in its current efforts to serve and contribute to a robust and racially diverse fundraising profession. Fellows will have the ear of AFP-MN leadership, who will be eager to hear how the fundraising profession needs to change to invite, welcome, sustain, and promote fundraisers of color throughout the sector.

How do I apply for an IDEA Fellowship?

The application will be available via a link on this page every September.

What if I need special accommodations for my application?

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

What are key dates related to the IDEA Fellowships?

The IDEA Fellowship application opens on September 1st and the application closes on September 15th. Fellows will be selected by early October and announced publicly at the National Philanthropy Day luncheon in November.

How many IDEA Fellowships will be offered?

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

Whom can I contact with additional questions?

You may email your questions here: