Note from the President

Is it me or has summer just flown by? Between the fun activities and the work responsibilities, I’m having a hard time reconciling with the fact that it’s already

mid-August, although that means football season is right around the corner…


As the summer winds down, that means fall programming amps up, both in our respective organizations as well as this chapter. The committees have been hard at work creating wonderful educational and social opportunities for everyone. If you want to be a part of the magic, I urge you to consider joining a committee  

I am pleased to spotlight Board of Directors member, Krystina Burow!


Title and Organization: Director of Development at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of WNY (RMHC of WNY)


What is your personal connection to Ronald McDonald House Charities of WNY? What other organizations are you involved in?

My son received their services in the hospital by visiting the Ronald McDonald Family Room and visits from the Hospitality Cart. I also belong to WNY & Finger Lakes Chapter of GPA (Grant Professionals Association) - great professional networking organization!


Fun fact about yourself: I’m a twin mom (that’s the best I got haha!)

I am grateful to work with such a dynamic Board of Directors. Their contributions to the field are truly inspiring. Do you feel that board service is for you? Look out for communications in the coming weeks about chapter Board of Directors nominations. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. 

Go Bills!

Laura Dawidowicz, CFRE

President, AFP WNY Chapter

The focus of the External Relations committee has recently changed and will emphasize on building relationships with groups so we can collectively further our missions together, along with the occasional government relations work (like Lobby Week).


Do you have knowledge of other professional organizations or young professional groups that our efforts might overlap with? Do you want to help build those connections for the betterment of the nonprofit sector? Then this committee is for you! Please email VP of External Relations, Bob Van Wicklin, to learn more!

You may have heard about the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter (AFP-GTC) and their recent leadership change due to allegations of systemic racism perpetuated by their Board of Directors.

If not, please take some time to read the lecture Us and Them, What it Really Means to Belongby Nneka Allen, as well as the response from AFP-GTC, and the response from AFP Global.


The AFP Western New York Board of Directors is committed to upholding the values of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA), and providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. Here are a few actions we have or are taking this year:


● Registered the Board of Directors and IDEA Committee for racial equity training, which will be completed in October.

● Invited AFP Global Chair, Birgit Smith-Burton, to provide our 2023 Annual Fundraising & Networking Conference’s keynote address, entitled “Diversity in Philanthropy: It’s No Longer One-Size-Fits-All.”

● Compiling a list of recommended event venues that provide an inclusive and accessible environment.

● A member from the IDEA Committee consults for the Professional Development Committee to ensure IDEA values are represented. 


I encourage you to reach out to me with any input you may have, or our IDEA Chair, Theresa DeLuca. 

Member Spotlight:

Brittany Zandi, CFRE

Title and Organization: Director of Development, Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc.


How long have you been a member? Since 2007


Describe your involvement with AFP WNY?

  • Mentor in the Mentor/Mentee Program, 2022 - Present
  • Chamberlain Scholar, 2018
  • Board Member, January 2013 - December 2016
  • Board Secretary, January 2014 - December 2016
  • Be the Cause Campaign Chair, 2014 - 2016
  • National Philanthropy Day Chair, 2012
  • National Philanthropy Day Vice Chair, 2011
  • National Philanthropy Day Committee Member, 2007 – 2018

Why do you continue to be a member? I was grateful to have a former boss as a mentor who pushed me to join AFP back in 2007. I have met so many wonderful people through AFP and have made some great connections and friendships. AFP WNY has really helped me in my career as a fundraiser and I achieved my CFRE certification in 2022. My favorite event has to be National Philanthropy Day!


Why become an AFP member? Here's why!


The chapter has been hard at work on a renewed and streamlined sponsorship model. Do you have a vendor or organization whose message might benefit from our reach? Please refer them to Megan Graves, VP of Advancement.

August 29 – Virtual Webinar with Foundant on Storytelling & Grant Writing

September 13 – Coffee & Conversation in Fredonia

September 27 – Virtual Webinar with Bonterra on Cultivating Mid-Size Donors

October 11 – Coffee & Conversation in Williamsville

October 17 – Virtual Webinar with Piper Hardin on Capital Campaigns

November 2 – In-Person Breakfast with Anna Schlia on Ethics

November 8 – Coffee & Conversation in Warsaw

November 15 – National Philanthropy Day at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens

December 7 – In-Person Annual Meeting with Cathy Lanzalaco on Career TransitionsText Link

Thank you for participating in our chapter and global programs!

Coffee & Conversations at Spot Coffee in Buffalo 

2023 Annual Fundraising and Networking Conference

2023 Annual Conference Board Dinner

Keep up with us

Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin