Advancing Philanthropy

The Association of Fundraising Professionals, San Diego Chapter (AFPSD) is an association whose members work hard to raise friends and funds for many of your favorite local charities. With more than 9,000 non-profits in the San Diego area, the business of philanthropy is important in our community and the local chapter supports this business of giving by enabling people and organizations to practice effective and ethical fundraising. Connecting donors of all socio-economic means in a variety of ways to worthy and life-changing non-profits is what motivates this group.


High standards, donor accountability and a commitment to the San Diego region is the platform on which this organization rests. Founded in 1960, for over 50 years The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has been the standard-bearer for professionalism in fundraising. The local chapter, established in 1970, boasts more than 300 members and provides many valuable resources to its members, the community and the profession of fundraising.

A Premiere Fundraising Event

AFPSD hosts the annual National Philanthropy Day San Diego celebration to honor the work of people dedicated to making a difference in our region through philanthropy and volunteerism. The luncheon celebrates the power of caring in our community and how it changes and saves lives, while continually expanding their vision of inclusion and honoring the rich diversity of the San Diego region. This event has grown steadily, with nearly 1,000 people attending in 2012. This year promises to fill the largest Hilton Bayfront meeting room to capacity on November 7, 2013. Funds raised from National Philanthropy Day San Diego expand our ability to provide continued education and professional development programs to its members.

The diversity of non-profits in the San Diego region is vast, from animal welfare to human services, from healthcare to the arts, from education to recreation – providing essential and valuable contributions to making this a vibrant and healthy community. AFPSD recognizes and cherishes the differences of the people and organizations where its members work and support, and strives to include fundraisers from non-profits large and small.

From scholarship recipient to Chair, Scholarship Committee – One Member’s Story

Mark Lagace, Individual Gifts Manager at the San Diego Rescue Mission, has been in fundraising for nearly ten years, but didn’t join AFP until August 2009 when he applied and received a Colette M. Murray Fellowship award, an outreach initiative of the AFPSD to encourage diversity within our profession. In his own words he “quickly dove in and took full advantage of the superb career development opportunities that our chapter provides”.

“The incredible educational resources, trainings, and professional relationships/friendships that AFPSD has provided me are beyond anything I could have hoped for. AFP has molded me and equipped me to become a better and more-skilled fundraiser. I continue to more effectively serve the donors I work with daily who in turn are increasingly helping the homeless men, women and children here at the Mission.”

Membership opened the door for him to apply to attend the Annual AFP International Conference on Fundraising in Vancouver, BC and fueled his desire to give back to the chapter. He volunteered with the Membership Committee, which led him to Chair the Audio Conference Education Program, to where he is today – Chair of the Scholarship Committee. A full circle and no one is a bigger cheerleader for the Chapter and the benefits of membership than Mark.

Learn more about AFP San Diego at