IDEA Fellowships

AFP-MN’s (Association of Fundraising Professionals - MN Chapter) IDEA Fellowships are a one-year membership in AFP and free access to all AFP-MN’s trainings, events, and educational offerings available via AFP during the year. In a cohort environment, Fellows also receive four professional development trainings tailored to them, learning from local nonprofit, corporate, or public sector leaders and from one another. 

The 2021 cohort of AFP IDEA Fellows will be active from January through December 2021. Fellows should be able to commit to attending all cohort sessions to help ensure a fulfilling experience for themselves and their peers.

The mission of AFP-MN is to advance ethical and effective fundraising. As a key part of our current strategic plan, AFP-MN is focused on increasing inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) for fundraisers who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC) within the organization and the sector.

Fellowships are for current or aspiring fundraisers in the Twin Cities who identify as BIPOC. 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.

Applications for the 2021 AFP-MN IDEA Fellowship have closed.

Application Timeline

August 10, 2020 | Application Opens (Link will be on this page)
August 24, 2020 | Application Closes
September 14-18, 2020 | Phone interviews
September 24-25, 2020 | Acceptance notes sent out

2021 Cohort Commitments

January 21, 2021 at 11:30am - 1pm | Orientation
February 4, 2021 at 11:30am - 1pm | Cohort Session #1
May 6, 2021 at 11:30am - 1pm | Cohort Session #2
August 5, 2021 at 11:30am - 1pm | Cohort Session #3
November 4, 2021 at 11:30am - 1pm | Cohort Session #4
November 2021 | National Philanthropy Day
December 9, 2021 Time TBD | End of Year Celebration

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are AFP-MN IDEA Fellowships for?

AFP-MN IDEA Fellowships are available to applicants who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC). 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 BIPOC interested in learning more about fundraising, growing a professional career in fundraising, and building their networks within the fundraising/philanthropy community in the Twin Cities.

What exactly is an AFP-MN IDEA Fellowship?

The AFP-MN IDEA Fellowship is a one year cohort experience of tailored professional development sessions and an all-inclusive “Golden Ticket” to AFP-MN . The Fellowship includes full membership in both AFP-MN and in AFP International. In addition to membership, the Fellowship includes free access to all of AFP-MN’s education and social events, National Philanthropy Day, and more.

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.

What if I need special accommodations for my application?

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

How many IDEA Fellowships will be offered?

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

I applied last year but didn't get in. It looks like the current Fellows all have a lot of experience. Do I need more experience in fundraising?

Typically, with more experience comes more clarity around career goals, fundraising philosophy and community ambitions. Regardless of years of experience, a strong candidate has a clear vision for their personal and professional development and what skills or experiences they need to get there.

Can you describe some specific experiences Fellows have had?

In the Fellows sessions, fellows have discussed topics such as "Decolonizing Wealth", "Bringing Your Authentic Self to Work", and "Tactical Skill-Building". We've also been able to use AFP's relationships with community partners to offer discounted or complimentary professional development opportunities like conferences and training's outside of AFP.

What is expected in terms of preparing for Fellows sessions?

Fellows typically don't need to prepare for Fellows sessions or complete assignments in between. If a session does require prep work. such as reading a book, materials are provided to Fellows at no cost.

Whom can I contact with additional questions?

You may email your questions here:

About the Fellows

2021 Fellows

General Alumni