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Ops & Asks

The Musings Of A Houston Fundraiser

  • Writer's pictureJuliana M. Weissbein CFRE

2020 Year In Review: The Year of Perseverance

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

The coronavirus, a racial justice reckoning, wildfires and one of the most contentious elections in American history. Tumultuous, terrifying, wearisome. Resilient, heroic, hopeful. 2020 was an unprecedented and chaotic year. But in the midst of the tragedies there was courage, there was grace, there was sacrifice, there was hope—there were people faced with the very worst rising up to be their very best. At the drop of a dime our nation was transformed and no sector was spared. Somehow we made it through, and, in many ways, we are better for it.

Without sounding too self-aggrandizing, and in spite of it all, I'd like to share some of the highlights of my year.

Elected to Industry Specific Leadership Positions

Having nothing but time on my hands, it has been an honor and joy to serve the profession in three new exciting positions.

  • AFP-NYC Board Member: After serving the chapter's Emerging Leaders Committee for 3+ years, I was honored to be elected to serve on the board of directors in 2020. Through this position I am pleased to have chaired our chapter's Mentorship Program. I, along with the rest of our Mentorship Committee, took time to transform our Mentorship Program and host various career coaching events. Our 2021 cohort was just announced and I can't wait to see the fruits of our labor. So far so good!

  • Fundraising Day In New York Track Chair:

Fundraising Day In New York, in a typical year, is our nation's largest single day conference on philanthropy. FRDNY is AFP-NYC's signature event. The event traditionally draws nearly 3,000 people annually, consists of more than 40 educational sessions across 12 fundraising disciplines, including direct response, major gifts, planned giving, small shops, prospect research, technology and more.

When Covid hit, the host committee had to transform the event with very little notice. Without hesitation, we got to work and reimagined what could be. Thankfully, I was able to host two sessions, Artificial

to learn more or watch these sessions, click here!

Publication in Advancing Philanthropy

In January 2020 I had the privilege of writing for Advancing Philanthropy (check it out here). I was asked to reflect upon the last decade of my career and share the top lessons I have learned along the way. From the importance of mentorship, to combatting imposter syndrome, I was delighted to be able to focus on how promoting a culture of collaboration, independent thinking, equity, and innovation is my utmost concern, because with the right training we can teach, encourage, and inspire others to surpass our goals and truly revolutionize the field.

My CFRE Ambassador Work Continues

My work with the CFRE Ambassador Program is eternally gratifying. Through this program, I am routinely connected with those who are interested in attaining their CFRE. If you are interested in learning more about attaining your credential, I available to speak one-on-one on topics such as study tools, study tips, how to ask your employer and the benefits of certifying. Though I wasn't able to represent CFRE in person, I am looking forward to resuming traditional duties in 2021.

Headed For Greener Pastures: I Moved To Texas!

If you'd told me in 2019 that I'd be writing my 2020 wrap-up post reflecting on my move out of New York City, I wouldn't have believed you. I've loved New York for as long as I can remember and have spent nearly half my life living within her borders. This city has shown me respect, kept me safe, helped me realize I was strong and taught me patience and perseverance. NYC gifted me with a rewarding career and a community of friends whom I consider family. I never thought the day would come, but, after nearly fifteen years, it was time for me to say goodbye.

In early December, I moved to Austin, TX. While I was saddened to leave, I am looking forward to all that is on the horizon. More to come and more to do! With love and perseverance, from Austin.


Juliana M. Weissbein, CFRE is a respected leader and decision influencer in regard to fundraising operations best practices. With over a decade of experience, Juliana thrives on professional growth, team success, measurable results, and inspiring fundraisers to utilize data-based strategies. Juliana currently serves as the Associate Director of Development Operations at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She is an AFP Global Board Member, AFP Global's 2019 Outstanding Young Professional Fundraiser and is a member of the AFP Global Women's Impact Initiative. Juliana is immediate past chair of the AFP New York City chapter’s Emerging Leaders Committee and currently serves on the chapter’s board chairing their mentorship program. She resides in Houston, TX and never turns down a good kombucha.


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