What’s the Big IDEA?!
AFP is committed to promoting an Inclusive, Diverse, Equitable and Accessible organization where every member, volunteer, staff and board member can realize their potential and where their contributions are valued.
This session will provide guidance to the chapter on how best to engage diverse members of the fundraising community to participate in the development of new ideas that can remove barriers and push the chapter forward.
Birgit Smith Burton
Executive Director of Foundation Relations
Georgia Institute of Technology
Birgit Smith Burton is a respected leader in the fundraising profession having raised over $500 million during her nearly 30-year career. As the Executive Director of Foundation Relations at Georgia Tech she has worked closely with some of the country’s most prominent private foundations including the Mellon Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, MacArthur Foundation, and Atlanta based Woodruff Foundation. Birgit led her team in raising $309 million towards the Institute’s successful $1.8 B capital campaign, which concluded in December 2015.
Birgit is a well-regarded speaker on the topics of fundraising and diversity and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) recognized her as a “Faculty Star.” She has authored articles on diversity in the fundraising profession and co-authored the book, The Philanthropic Covenant with Black America. Birgit served on the Design Team for the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s study of African American philanthropy in metropolitan Atlanta. Recently, leadership at Georgia Tech selected her to participate in the first cohort of Leading Women @ Tech, which identified the next community of leaders who will guide the institution in the 21st century.
Birgit serves on the boards of the Association of Fundraising Professionals International, which represents over 33,000 members around the world, the A.E. Lowe Grice Scholarship Fund, and Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless. She is a founding board member of the National Visionary Leadership Project in Washington D. C. an advisor for the Aspen Leadership Group, and founder and chair of the African American Development Officers Network which for 17 years has supported diversity in the fundraising profession by promoting professional development and facilitating interaction among its members.
Birgit earned a bachelor’s degree in Media Communications from Medaille College in Buffalo, New York.