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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.


The NextGen Affinity Group consists of self-identified young development professionals. We meet for happy hours on a quarterly basis to network and engage with each other in an inclusive, fun environment.

Small Shops

The Small Shops Affinity group is kicking off the new year with a return to monthly luncheons, each focused on a specific area of development and featuring guest speakers who will lead group discussions and Q&A sessions. This 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. These luncheons are tentatively planned to alternate in-person and virtual. The next meeting is scheduled for September 8 from 12-1pm.


Natalie Dunn


This inter-faith group is for fundraisers who work in a variety of faith-based nonprofits, from Lutheran to Catholic to Jewish and others. Your faith guides your work – come and meet others who share your passion and share best-practices.  The Faith-based Affinity Group is going to have standing meetings from 8:30am – 9:30am, on the 4th Wednesday of each month in the Community Room at the Panera in Clintonville, 4519 North High Street.

Delaware County (DelCo)

One of the newer AFP Affinity Groups – it started in fall of 2016 with the goal of bringing together fundraisers that work and/or live in Delaware County.  These meetings have covered a wide range of topics including Giving Tuesday, Year End Giving, NextGen Giving, and building a culture of philanthropy.  We continue to bring a wide range of topics to our members and interested fundraisers in DelCo.

Our goal is to have four meetings this year. The subjects will be determined by the group and often times we have speakers. We will decide on a monthly basis whether each meeting will be in person or virtual.


Julie Zdanowicz


The Columbus Nonprofit Tech Club will be a volunteer-run group of nonprofit professionals passionate about using technology to fulfill their missions.  It will be an opportunity for professionals at all levels and of all types (you don’t have to be technical!) to learn about the latest tools and trends while meeting new people in a welcoming environment.


Steve Beshuk

Executive Leadership Peer Cohort

The Executive Leadership Peer Cohort is entering its second year and is looking for new members.  The cohort is designed for those who, in addition to fundraising duties, are members of senior leadership at their respective organizations.  The group focuses its time and confidential discussions on issues chosen by the group.  Last year, discussions were held on:  working with the board, “managing up”, acquiring and retaining good team members, etc.

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.

Anyone interested in learning more should contact Jodi Bopp, CFRE, at [email protected] by July 22.


Jodi Bopp, CFRE

Affinity Groups & Peer Cohorts Chair

Lauren Vermilion

Major Gifts Officer - Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio

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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