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Member Highlights

Member Highlight – May, Constance S. Maguire, MA MGMT, CFRE

With Edward Lin, JD, CFRE

 Connie Maguire

Constance “Connie” Maguire, MA MGMT, CFRE has been an active member of AFP GLAC for more than 15 years, and has served on committees as well as twice on the board.  She is senior vice president with Netzel Grigsby Associates with more than 30 years experience in the non-profit sector, and is an instructor at UCLA Extension’s Fundraising Certificate Program. She will be serving as president of Rotary Club of Santa Monica beginning July 1, 2016 for a one-year term, an organization that she has been involved with for 15 years.


Q.  How did you get into fundraising?

A. I was a Physical Education major in college and I did an internship at my hometown YMCA; that turned into my first job after graduation, as a fitness consultant and program coordinator.  Part of my responsibilities was raising money for the Y: I sold pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, and then graduated to selling Christmas trees. That led to telemarketing to raise funds for annual support, and then eventually to personal solicitation of annual, major and capital gifts.  I hadn’t thought about it until just now, that my fundraising career began in a pumpkin patch!


Q.  What do you like most about the fundraising profession?

A.  I think it’s the fact that we give people the opportunity to invest in something they believe in, that they want to be part of and help strengthen and improve.  That is very rewarding for me.


Q.  What do you find most challenging about the profession?

A.  Well, sometimes I encounter people who have had a negative or unfortunate experience with a charitable organization that they care about and trust. That can be heartbreaking, to see those relationships disrupted or damaged.  It happens, and perfection in our business isn’t possible – but we should always strive to build healthy, trusting relationships that enable organizations to fulfill their mission, and donors to fulfill their philanthropic objectives.   


Q. How did you first get involved with AFP GLAC?

A. When I joined Netzel Grigsby in 2000 – it was Netzel Associates, at the time -- the firm had a long history of supporting and being involved with AFP.  Paul Netzel had been a past president of AFP, and he and his wife and partner, Diane, and all our staff were active in their local chapters.  So, it was natural that I would join. I wanted to become more involved with the broader non-profit field, and AFP helped me to do that. 


Q. How has AFP membership been helpful to you?

A. AFP has enabled me to network with professionals across multiple sectors in the non-profit industry. I have benefitted from the wonderful educational opportunities that are offered regularly, as well as from leadership development opportunities.  I am particularly grateful to AFP for the opportunity to give back through mentoring, volunteering and sharing my experience to the profession that has given me so much and enriched my life and professional career. 


Q. What advice do you have for folks new to fundraising?

A.  I’d say, invest time in education and networking through organizations like AFP that allow you to interact with peers and mentors, and provide opportunities for collaboration and cultivating professional – and personal -- relationships that may last through your career.


Q. How about for those who have been fundraising for a long time?

A.  Stay involved, and take advantage of opportunities to continue to grow and give back. As fundraising professionals, we are only as strong as our shared commitment to one another and to building our profession.   Our jobs depend on our promoting ethical and honorable fundraising everyday and in every way.


Q.  Thank you for your time, Connie. Any parting words for our members?

A.  Thank you, Ed.  I am really grateful to those who provide leadership to AFP through their work on the board, on committees and on events. It’s really important to growing AFP's impact on the nonprofit sector – get involved!






Member Highlight – February, Peggy Smith, CFRE

With Edward Lin, JD, CFRE

Peggy Smith



Peggy Smith, CFRE has been a member of AFP GLAC for 24 years, has served on the board and several committees, and is one of the nicest, most vivacious people you will ever meet.  She was with Goodwill Southern California from 1992 - 2014, where she was Sr. Director, Gift Planning, and currently volunteers at the Cancer Support Community Pasadena in development.


Q. How did you first get involved with AFP GLAC?

A. I joined in 1992 at the suggestion of a friend who thought it would help me with my career transition, and I met so many great people: I thought to myself, “These are the folks I want to connect with – they want to share their knowledge, their experience and their contacts – so giving.”  I have made so many friends, and we have stayed in contact over the years.


Q. How has AFP membership been helpful to you?

A. I have learned so much attending AFP meetings and conferences – the educational programming in major gifts, planned gifts, and all aspects of fund development and nonprofit management has been fantastic.  The networking opportunities have been tremendous; I have people I can call to bounce ideas off of, to say, “I’ve got this problem with a donor, what would you do?”  That is so helpful.  And my CFRE certification has been important in advancing my career, too. 


Q. What advice do you have for folks new to fundraising?

A.  Three things: 1. Join AFP. It has helped me to master my craft, and we owe that to the organizations we work for, to ourselves, and most of all, to our donors. 2. Network as much as you can.  You don’t have to know it all if you know who to ask, where to find the answer.  And 3. Know that you chose the right field.  My parents taught me the importance of paying it forward, and my mentor, Doug Barr, would always talk about the “second paycheck” you get in fundraising, the satisfaction of working to benefit others.  It’s so true!