AFP Golden Gate: 50th Anniversary Testimonial -
A Tribute to Our Chapter and its Leadership Over the Years

By Patricia L. Stirling

2021 is the 50th Anniversary of the AFP Golden Gate Chapter. This article is part of a series of testimonials from current and former members, Board members, and other development professionals in the Greater Bay Area Community on the impact that the Chapter has made on advancing philanthropy.

When I was invited to write a few words in tribute and celebration of AFP Golden Gate’s 50th anniversary I was both flattered and a bit confounded about how best to convey the many ways that our Chapter has been a national and regional leader in philanthropy these past fifty years. Eventually I decided that I would use the solicitation training technique I have long preached to volunteers:  when preparing to solicit a gift, first share with the prospect the need the organization is meeting in the community – and then - why you personally support it.

So here is my personal view on the ongoing needs in our professional community and the critical ways that AFP-GGC responds…thus ensuring a satisfied dues paying Chapter member (me) for the last three decades! AFP-GGC does a tremendous job of:

• Articulating and ensuring standards of professionalism, ethics, and best practices in the fundraising field
• Disseminating and continually developing the “body of knowledge” around all aspects of philanthropy 
• Providing a national and regionally recognized and respected “voice” for philanthropy and our profession

Why do I personally continue to be a dues paying member year in and year out?
• Involvement and connection with a committed, generous, and smart learning community  
• Continual professional development
• Gratitude for the friendships I have made and the mentors that I have been privileged to know and work with

People participate in organizations that advance their beliefs. AFP Golden Gate has been at the forefront of tackling emerging and often thorny topics and issues that must be addressed if our field is to continue to evolve and grow. The Golden Gate Chapter has played an essential role in my career, and I am proud and grateful to be a member of such a vibrant and visionary organization.

Happy 50th Anniversary,  Golden Gate Chapter!

Patricia L. Stirling is the founder of Stirling Associates. Patricia and her firm provide strategic fundraising counsel to aspiring nonprofits committed to advancing society. During her four-decade career, she has earned a reputation as a highly regarded campaign strategist, teacher, and lecturer on creating campaign plans and infrastructures that help ensure an institution’s success. In 2013, Patricia was named the Hank Rosso Outstanding Fundraising Executive by the Golden Gate Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Prior to establishing Stirling Associates, Patricia served in positions of increasing responsibility at major institutions of education and health care, including serving as Director of Development at UCSF Medical Center and School of Medicine, Associate Director of Development at Stanford University, and Director of Foundation and Corporate Giving at Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles.

She has served on numerous boards, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals -Golden Gate (AFP-GGC), the Association of Philanthropic Counsel (APC) and helped found Caridad Partners, a woman’s giving circle that has provided significant financial support to international programs assisting women and children.