United Way, Vanacore, DeBenedictus, DiGovanni, & Weddell Collaborate to Build Capacity of Local Non-Profits and Support Fundraising Professionals


February 21, 2014
United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region and Newburgh-based accounting firm Vanacore, DeBenedictus, DiGovanni & Weddell (VDDW) have teamed up to help build the capacity of fundraising professionals and non-profits in the Hudson Valley. The firm has granted $2,500 to United Way that will be used to sponsor 10 memberships in the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Mid-Hudson Chapter. The grant will provide for eight individual memberships and two young professional memberships. The sponsored members will have to meet certain eligibility criteria and will be selected through a competitive application process. 
The Mid-Hudson chapter of AFP, a national organization, provides a network of resources to fundraising professionals who serve approximately 4,500 public charities in the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, and Ulster. The Association works to build and support the efforts of the region's not-for-profits and fundraising professionals through a variety of educational and networking programs, including web and audio conferences, special events, guest speakers, and signature programs such as National Philanthropy Day. 
"We are grateful for the generous support from Vanacore, DeBenedictus, DiGovanni & Weddell," said Donald Hammond, President and CEO, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region. "As a community-minded business, they share United Way's core mission to strengthen the capacity of non-profits in our region so that they may build and enhance the programs and services they provide to area residents." 
"Giving back to the community is one way for us to say 'thank you' to our friends and neighbors who have supported us throughout the years," said Thomas Weddell, managing partner at Vanacore, DeBenedictus, DiGovanni & Weddell. "By collaborating with United Way and AFP we are able to provide opportunities to the workforce of our region's non-profits, help them stretch budgets a little further when times are tight, and give them access to the tools they need to develop high quality programs that will have a measurable and positive impact," added Weddell. "It's a win for all involved." 
Fundraising professionals interested in applying for one of the sponsored memberships may access the application on United Way’s website and by clicking on News.  Eligible applicants must be a first-time member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and employed by a registered non-profit or have the written endorsement from the development chair from the associated non-profit. (Documentation will be required). The accepted applicant will agree to attend 10 AFP events throughout the year, including National Philanthropy Day on November 15, 2014, join and actively participate on a standing AFP committee, and subscribe to the AFP code of Ethical Principals and Standards and agree to promote the Donor Bill of Rights. Applications are due by March 14 and notification to successful applicants is anticipated to be March 26, 2014.
"We are grateful for the support from United Way and VDDW," said Melissa McCoy, President of AFP, Mid-Hudson Chapter and Director of Corporate Initiatives at Elant, Inc. "It is this sort of creative collaboration that will strengthen our professionals and, in turn, our not-for-profit organizations, by fostering mentorship, offering guidance, encouraging best practices, and generally helping them to be successful in their careers."
Applications and questions related to this opportunity should be submitted in writing to April Gozza, VP, Resource Development, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region at agozza@uwdor.org. Additional information about AFP, Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter, can be found at http://afpmhv.afpnet.org