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Board of Director President Intro

April 30, 2012

Each month we will focus on one AFP board director to help everyone learn about the AFP of Southeastern Wisconsin’s leaders.

This month Julie Whelan Capell, the AFP chapter President.

Julie is the Director of Planning and Development at The Planning Council for Health & Human Services, Inc. in Milwaukee.

What prompted you to delve into the development/fundraising field?  Like many people, I was exposed to fundraising as a child, raising money for school activities and as a Girl Scout.  But I never considered a career in fundraising until Jean Gurney pulled me into the development department at the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee and started to teach me what development was all about.  In those days, we had little file drawers—just like library card catalogs—filled with index cards on every YMCA donor, and part of my job was managing those files.  But the part that got me hooked was when I started writing grant proposals.  That feeling I get when a grant comes in is still as addictive today as it was back when I started out.

How has your job affected or changed your lifestyle?  I am so grateful that as a young adult I discovered the nonprofit sector.  Choosing a nonprofit fundraising career has allowed me to be involved in countless programs that have a positive impact on my community. I have met and worked closely with people who look different from me, living lives completely different from mine, but we are able to come together for the good of the community. The people I have met inspire me to get up every morning and keep doing what I can to support their work.

What were the keys to your career advancement?  One of the keys to my career advancement in the development field has definitely been my involvement in AFP.  The educational and networking opportunities offered by AFP are among the best available for a development professional.  I don’t know of anywhere else that I could have learned what I needed to know in the early years of my career.  Now that I’ve been around for a while, I am still learning new things from my AFP colleagues, and getting involved at the board level has offered me leadership opportunities that continue to help me grow, both professionally and personally.

Thank you Julie!

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