The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) awarded the Barbara Marion Award for Outstanding Leadership to AFP, the association’s highest volunteer and leadership recognition, to James (Jim) Allen of Toronto, Ontario.
Allen, currently philanthropy officer for The Living City Foundation, has been in fundraising since 1970 and a member of AFP since 1980, serving in a variety of leadership positions and remaining a staunch champion for continuing education, certification and research.
The award is named for Barbara Marion, ACFRE, the first woman to chair both AFP and the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy boards of directors. The Barbara Marion Award is given to a leader in the fundraising profession who has worked on the local, regional, national and international levels of AFP to help build, advance and promote the association and the fundraising profession.
Allen has been involved in the formation of two AFP chapters, serving as a founding board member of both the Greater Cleveland Chapter in 1980 (where he served as president from 1982-1984) and then the Greater Toronto Chapter in 1994 (where he served as secretary), now the largest AFP chapter in the world with more than 1,200 members. He served on the board of AFP, then known as the National Society of Fund Raising Executives, from 1980 to 1984, as well as in 2011.
Allen was one of the first fundraisers to receive the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential as part of the inaugural class in 1981. He was recognized in 2006 as just one of 22 fundraisers to maintain their certification for the first 25 years of the credential’s existence. He later earned his Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive (ACFRE) credential in 2004, just the fourth Canadian and one of 100 fundraisers around the world to possess that credential.
Allen served on the ACFRE Board from 2009 to 2012, including one year as chair in 2011. He currently leads the ACFRE Mentor Committee, and in an informal capacity continues to serve as a mentor to numerous aspiring ACFRE candidates.
“Barbara Marion was a professional colleague whom I greatly admired and respected,” said Allen. “She was a true pioneer in the history of NSFRE and AFP, and I am humbled and honored to receive this award in her memory.”
Allen was instrumental in the development of the Greater Toronto Chapter’s Fundraising Day and Fundraising Congress, having co-chaired the first two Fundraising Day Committees in the mid-1990s, and served on the Congress Committee for several years when it was first created.
Allen has always been committed to giving back to the profession, both through mentoring and through giving to the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada. He has been a Leadership Society member of the Foundation for several years. He has served on the AFP Canada Foundation Board and the Foundation’s Major Gifts Committee, as well as led the Greater Toronto’s Every Member Campaign in 2013 and 2014, increasing gifts by 25 percent.