Celebrating Black History-Makers: Interview with Niquole Esters

Interview by Brenda Asare, President & CEO and Thandi Cai, Marketing Associate

Black History-Makers transcend boundaries and redefine possibilities. Through resilience and innovative approaches, these trailblazers illuminate a path toward inclusivity, unity and a shared human experience, shaping a future that reflects the best of humanity. We spotlight Niquole Esters, Senior Director of Inclusive Philanthropy at Conservation International, a leader with profound contributions to advancing global conservation efforts.
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Celebrating Black History-Makers: Interview with Darrin Goss, Sr.

Interview by Brenda Asare, President & CEO and Thandi Cai, Marketing Associate

Black History-Makers illuminate a path toward inclusivity, unity and a shared human experience, shaping a future that reflects the best of who we are as humans. Darrin Goss, Sr., President and CEO of the Coastal Community Foundation, exemplifies exactly that. In this interview, we discuss his leadership of the organization in addressing systemic issues, showcasing the vital role foundations play in communities nationwide.
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Brenda B. Asare Appointed as Chair of The Giving Institute, Advancing Thought Leadership in Philanthropy


Chicago, IL | Summer 2023 –  The Giving Institute announces Brenda B. Asare, President and CEO of Alford Group as the newly appointed Chair of the Board of Directors for a two-year term.

The Giving Institute, a revered trade association renowned for its dedication to thought leadership in the world of philanthropy, proudly announces that Asare’s term begins in summer 2023 and will continue through July 2025.

“Brenda’s appointment as Chair of The Giving Institute marks a momentous occasion for the organization,” said Erin Berggren, CAE, Executive Director of The Giving Institute and The Giving USA Foundation. “Her extensive knowledge of the nonprofit community, along with her past and current contributions to The Giving Institute make her the ideal choice to lead and deepen the impact of our organization. We are confident that with her at the helm, The Giving Institute will continue to champion thought leadership and drive positive change.”

Alford Group is one of the longest-tenured members in The Giving Institute and the only consultancy with its three CEOs having served as Chair.

Asare has been an active Giving Institute board member for more than ten years, serving as Co-Chair of the Summer Symposium and DEIA Committee and a participating on the Strategic Planning and Membership Committees before moving to the organization’s top post.

“I am truly honored and excited to take on this role,” said Brenda B. Asare. “Together with our member organizations and partners, I am committed to fostering thought leadership that empowers others and creates a more dynamic, inclusive community that grows generosity on a global scale. I look forward to leading The Giving Institute at this unique moment to continue its legacy of empowering lasting change in the world.”

As the new Chair, Asare brings her expertise in nonprofit and organizational change management to the forefront. With a passion for diversity and inclusion, Asare has mentored numerous development professionals and has been a passionate advocate for disrupting narratives in the nonprofit world. This work has led to the advancement of women and people of color in philanthropy, more organizations centering equity and inclusivity in their work, and communities expanding the definition of who is seen as a philanthropist and what counts as philanthropy.

Earlier in her career, Asare served as the Chief Development Officer with the American Red Cross in Chicago, where she spearheaded various disaster fundraising efforts that raised over $100 million. Recognized as Crain’s Notable Minorities in Consulting in 2019 and Crain’s Notable Black Leaders and Executives in 2021, Asare’s remarkable work in the nonprofit sector has earned her widespread recognition.

About The Giving Institute

The Giving Institute, formerly known as the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel, was established in 1935 with a vision to champion thought leadership in philanthropy. The organization’s member firms uphold the highest ethical standards and are dedicated to empowering generosity and developing extraordinary leaders in the philanthropic sector. Additionally, as the parent organization of the Giving USA Foundation™, The Giving Institute advances philanthropy through research and education, culminating in the annual report on charitable giving in the United States, Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy.

About Alford Group

Alford Group is a national, full-service consultancy serving nonprofits in nearly every state in the country. Since our founding, we have partnered with over 3,000 nonprofits to accelerate their impact and advance social change. Together, we’re building a world where possibilities are endless and reflect the best of who we are as humans. Follow us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn

Read Brenda B. Asare’s full biography here.

Challenging the Narrative: Intersectionality in the Workplace

Group Interview by Anh Vo, Meg Schroeder and Thandi Cai (9 minute read)

Team members Anh Vo, Meg Schroeder and Thandi Cai share their experiences of navigating the intersectionality of their identities in the nonprofit space. They explore honest partnerships and equity-centered practices by discussing their personal experiences and envisioning what a truly inclusive work environment looks like.

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Celebrating AANHPI Women Leaders: Interview with Jennifer Li Dotson

By Anh Vo, Chief Culture Officer and Thandi Cai, Marketing Associate

In honor of AANHPI Heritage Month, Chief Culture Officer Anh Vo dives into what it means to be a woman leader of Asian descent in the nonprofit space with former Vice President of Philanthropy for the National Bureau of Asian Research and current AFP Global member, Jennifer Li Dotson. 

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Celebrating AANHPI Women Leaders: Interview with Alice Fong

By Anh Vo, Chief Culture Officer and Thandi Cai, Marketing Associate

In honor of AANHPI Heritage Month, Chief Culture Officer Anh Vo dives into what it means to be a woman leader of Asian descent in the nonprofit space with CEO of the Center for Ethical Leadership Alice Fong.

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6 Trends to Watch in Philanthropy and Fundraising in 2023

By Alexis Cooke, Greg Whitney, Jaron Bernstein, Lieve Hendren, Mariah Hickey and Shay Upadhyay

The world  is changing rapidly and it can be a challenge to stay informed and strategize around frequent shifts. We asked our consultants to tell us what they believe are the most pressing trends in philanthropy to keep on the radar and to share their advice on how to stay ahead of the curve.

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3 Ways to Activate Allyship in Black History Month

By Brenda Asare, President & CEO

Black History Month is an opportunity to evaluate your organization’s relationship to diversity, equity and inclusion through active allyship. Read about 3 major ways to center your allyship throughout the year. 

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The Case for Equity-Centered Philanthropy: How to Collect and Utilize Demographic Data

By Mary Hackett, Vice President

Fundraisers often don’t believe that they can have a significant impact on their organization’s journey toward diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Here’s the truth: development professionals play a critical role! You have a unique superpower that can play the role of disruptor: your donor data.

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Anh Vo Joins Alford Group as Chief Culture Officer

headshot of Anh Vo in purpe topChicago, IL January 4, 2023 – Alford Group welcomes Anh Vo as Chief Culture Officer effective January 2023.

“Alford Group is very pleased to bring Anh on board,” said Brenda B. Asare, President and CEO of Alford Group. “The position of Chief Culture Officer is more important than ever as Alford Group further advances our commitment to creating a world where possibilities are endless and reflect the best of who we are as humans.”

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Section 3: What Keeps You Up at Night?

Section 3: What Keeps You Up at Night?

Is there a more specific topic on your mind? These resources are categorized by a handful of topics you may find relevant to your company’s DEI work. Applying an equity lens to our work allows us to take a step back and examine our actions from another perspective, highlighting areas for improvement. That’s why it’s essential to observe the ways in which the following topics and more appear in our everyday work in the philanthropic sector.

Table of Contents

“I don’t know where to start”

 

From Alford Group: Culture of Equity Assessment

 

How to Begin Equity Work in Your Organization with Little or No Money – Resource Collection and Webinar Series

 

Communication Guidelines for a Brave Space

 

What if I say or do the wrong thing?

 

Learn How to Apologize

 

Afraid to Talk About Sensitive Topics at Work? Read this Guide First

 

You’ve Been Called Out for a Microaggression. What Do You Do?

 

How to Response with Compassion when Someone is Hurt by Racism

 

What If I Say the Wrong Thing? 10 Tips for Culturally Effective People

 

Embedding DEI into your strategic plan

From Alford Group: AFP ICON 2022: Integrating DEI into Your Strategic Plan

 

Addressing Diversity and Inclusion: Going Beyond the Benchmark

 

DEI Strategic Planning Toolkit

 

3 Keys to Building a 2024 DEI Strategic Plan

 

Getting your board “on board”

 

From Alford Group: Culture of Equity Assessment

 

From Alford Group: Board Toolkit

 

From Alford Group: Challenging the Narrative

 

Your boardroom sets the tone

 

5 Things Nonprofit Boards Can Do to Intentionally Lead on DEI

 

 

Engaging donors of color

Diversity and Donors. First Day Podcast from The Fund Raising School (Lilly Family School of Philanthropy)

 

Engaging Donors of Color. First Day Podcast from The Fund Raising School (Lilly Family School of Philanthropy)

 

The sgENGAGE Podcast Episode 201: Building Cultural Competency to Understand Your Donors

 

From Alford Group: Demographic Donor Scan

 

DEI in the workplace: For employers

 

From Alford Group: Find Your Path to a More Inclusive Workplace Culture

 

The Bias of ‘Professionalism’ Standards

 

Our Authentic Selves and Doing Diversity Right

 

19 Questions for Leaders Who Are Serious About Racial Equity

 

What Has — and Hasn’t — Changed Since “Dear White Boss…”

 

DEI in the workplace: For employees

4 Things Companies Can do to Make Real Progress on DEI

 

How to Start an Affinity Group at Work, According to Real People Who Did It

 

How to Hold Your Company Accountable to its Promise of Racial Justice

 

How Coworkers Can Help

 

Racial Equity in Philanthropy: Using White Privilege for Good

 

Holding yourself and others accountable

 

Accessible Fundraising Guide

 

Talk the Talk: Strengthening Your Organization’s Diversity Statement

 

A Guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

 

From Alford Group: Simple Commitment Slide

 


 

Section 1: What Everyone Needs to Know

 

 

Section 2: Common Pitfalls to Avoid