The Chapter’s Affinity Groups serve a dual purpose to advance the mission of the Central Ohio Chapter by:

  1. Enhancing members’ experience by providing benefits tailored to their specific interests and needs; and
  2. Supporting diversity and inclusion goals to attract, engage, and retain a diverse membership base.

Affinity Groups provide AFP members and non-member fundraising professionals with focused networking and professional development opportunities for groups of individuals who identify with one another by their ethnicity, age, job responsibility, nonprofit sector, sexual orientation, number of years in the profession, etc.

AFP members are encouraged to participate in any Affinity Groups that are of interest as a way to enhance their membership.  Non-members who participate in Affinity Groups will benefit from the opportunity to learn more about AFP and how it can be an important part of their career development.

Peer Cohorts are a subset of the Chapter’s Affinity Groups. Affinity groups are open to anyone with an interest or affinity for the topic of the group. Peer Cohorts are open to members who meet a set of specific criteria. The Central Ohio Chapter of AFP is excited to offer both Affinity Groups and Peer Cohorts free of charge as an additional benefit to our members.

Interested in starting an affinity group? Contact Michael Goldman at

Small Shops

The Small Shops affinity group is open to anyone who considers themselves a “small Shop” – whether that means you’re a small development team (many of us are on teams of one!) or just someone who finds themselves in a “does it all” development role. The group meets monthly at various locations around Columbus, on the second Thursday of the month at noon. Reach out to the chair, Lizzie Howald, for information on the next luncheon or to be added to the email list.


Lizzie Howald ([email protected])

Executive Leadership Peer Cohort

The Executive Leadership Peer Cohort began in 2022 as a way for leaders to gather in a confidential and supportive group and discuss challenges and opportunities. The cohort is designed for those who, in addition to fundraising duties, are members of senior leadership at their respective organizations.  The group meets six times a year and focuses its time and confidential discussions on issues chosen by the group. 

Membership is open to those who:

·       Have primary fundraising responsibilities for their organization (either working directly as a fundraiser or supervising fundraisers)

·       Serve their organization as either the chief executive of an organization or in a position that reports directly to the chief executive (President/CEO/Executive Director, etc.)

·       Have responsibility for creating and managing a budget for their department and have access and perhaps input for the entire organizational budget

·       Supervise at least one other position

·       Have access to Board members – likely through management of at least one committee (example: staffing the philanthropy committee) or through assistance with board development

All members of the cohort agree to these Rules of Engagement:

1.      Be respectful of all members at all times, even in disagreement

2.     Everything shared during our meetings is extremely confidential and will not be shared with anyone outside the group without express permission from the group

3.     Be an active participant.  Make group meeting attendance a high priority on your calendar and when you attend meetings, actively participate in the conversation.

4.     The group is focused on providing solutions to challenges, not just shoulders to cry on.  When you bring a situation to the group, plan to receive ideas and opportunities to overcome challenges in addition to sympathy and support.

Group members participate for one year. Each year in spring/early summer, the group re-forms and invites anyone who qualifies to join for the coming year. The group is currently facilitated by Jodi Bopp, Vice President, Advancement, the Boundless family of companies ([email protected]). For further information about the group, please contact Jodi.


Jodi Bopp, CFRE ([email protected])

Affinity Groups & Peer Cohorts Chair

Michael Goldman (he/him/his)

Director, Young JewishColumbus - JewishColumbus

Contact Me


Position Title: Affinity Groups & Peer Cohorts Chair

Capacity: Board Member

Reports to: Vice President of Professional Development

Key Responsibilities:

  • Organizes and chairs committee meetings
  • Recruits and enlists committee members; monitors the work of volunteers to ensure timely completion of assignments
  • Become familiar with AFP Central Ohio’s Vision & Guidelines for Affinity groups and Fundraising Fellow Peer Cohort groups
  • Maintain relationship with Affinity Group Chairs and Peer CoHort Leaders to have a general understanding of how their group is faring (member satisfaction, level of engagement, upcoming activities)
  • Ensure Affinity Groups and Peer CoHorts have the resources they need to be successful
  • Attends at least one activity of each group per year
  • Ensure Affinity Groups and Peer Cohort Leaders have succession plans to cultivate new leaders to take his/her place as needed
  • Develops and submits a budget to the Treasurer by designated deadline; monitors committee income and expenditures
  • Provides timely and up-to-date content to Chapter Administrator and Marketing Chair for website and digital publications
  • Works to successfully achieve goals outlined in Chapter Strategic Plan
  • Identifies successor to chair position
  • Celebrates success; ensures that celebration includes expressions of gratitude to volunteers
  • Adheres to policies and Board responsibilities as adopted by the Board of Directors
  • Upon leaving office, transfers all records to successor