Southern Minnesota fundraising professionals celebrate National Philanthropy Day

National Philanthropy Day

Tuesday is National Philanthropy Day and the Association of Fundraising Professionals Southern Minnesota Chapter is celebrating all day long. Hosting an awards ceremony and workshop sessions to help further ethical fundraising.

(ABC 6 News) – On Tuesday at the Mayo Hilton in downtown Rochester, dozens from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Southern Minnesota Chapter will come together to celebrate National Philanthropy Day.

Over 100 members are gathering for the 20th-anniversary celebration. Recognizing the philanthropic work throughout the region and, learning how to take that work even further. The National Philanthropy Day awards were given to six southern Minnesota organizations, or people making an impact in the area.

Outstanding Philanthropists: Dr. Kathryn and Philip Lombardo who have had long careers and generously supported Olmsted Medical Center and Mayo Clinic.

2023 Outstanding Philanthropic Organization: The Kid’s Cup, a charity golf tournament that has generated more than $1.7 million in the past 25 years for programs at Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center. Programs that help improve in-patient hospital experiences for children and their families.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Tiffany Olson, a dedicated volunteer fundraiser who most notably has assisted with the Elder Network where she chaired their charity auction for several years, and the Network’s Annual Gala.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award: Tyler and Aiden Engler have been highly involved in their school’s “Jump Rope for Heart” program since 2019 to help support the research and outreach efforts of the American Heart Association.

Outstanding Fundraising Professional: Laurie Kellagher who has served as the chief fundraising officer for Ability Building Community. She was a staff member within the first 15 years of the organization while helping to secure $6 million.

President’s Award: Paul Harkess is a career professional who has worked at Mayo Clinic and served the Rochester Area Foundation. He has been the AFP Southern Minnesota Chapter President since 2011 and helped form the early mentorship program.

The annual event is open to the public and if you can’t make it, there are still ways to get involved.

“Just ask what it is they need. Cause they’ll be very forward in telling you in how it is that people can support the work they’re doing. And the people they’re trying to help. So quite frankly, make one phone call, do a little bit of research and you’ll find it very easy to get yourself involved,” said Rebecca Snap, an AFP member for five years and the Director of Community Engagement at the Salvation Army in Rochester.

Some of the names on a long list of organizations involved with AFP include The Landing, The Jeremiah Program, The Hormel Institute, and Spark Children’s Museum.