Philanthropy Nods

AFP recognizes Kitty Yerkes for her work

Scene Kitty MainThe season of giving is in full swing, but the need for philanthropy is a year-round necessity.

November 15 was National Philanthropy Day, which highlights the significant impact those who donate their time to the greater good have on the world.

“This day gives chapters of Association of Fundraising Professionals across the country a chance to recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses who have a profound impact on their communities through philanthropy,” says LAUREN DALEY BRYANT, executive director at Domestic Violence Shelter and Services Inc. as well as the president for the Cape Fear Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). “Philanthropic deeds come in all different shapes and sizes: charitable giving, volunteering, etc. Cape Fear AFP board and committees are an all-volunteer group of professional fundraisers, executive directors, and other passionate individuals dedicated to the nonprofit community.”

The annual event also serves as a fundraiser for the local chapter to help provide scholarships for professional development opportunities such as state and national AFP conferences, special programs, and monthly meetings. William Buster, CEO and president of the New Hanover Community Endowment, was the keynote speaker at the recent event.

During this year’s National Philanthropy Day, the chapter introduced its Trailblazer Award, bestowing it on KITTY YERKES.

“The Trailblazer Award recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment, and leadership of fundraising professionals in the Cape Fear area who have paved the way for the advancement of other professionals in our community,” Bryant says. “Trailblazers have demonstrated vision, courage, and tenacity in their career as fundraising professionals.”

Yerkes is the donor relations manager with Cape Fear Museum.

“Kitty has made an impact in our nonprofit community through her work with the museum, Domestic Violence Shelter and Services Inc., and Habitat for Humanity but even more so with the time she takes to uplift, guide, and mentor other fundraising professionals,” Bryant says.

Yerkes says it was humbling to be recognized by her peers.

“I have been in the nonprofit arena for a long time and can say it is the best career anyone could have giving me much joy and gratitude,” she says. “It is such a privilege to help connect people with what is important to them, leave a legacy they are proud of, and positively impact the lives of others.”

Yerkes’ love for what she does encourages others to take part in philanthropy as well.

“The fundraising professionals in this community are amazing individuals with entrepreneurial drive and innovative spirit that have helped to make change possible in our community. While sharing the opportunity for societal improvement with each other, funders, and volunteers, we remain committed to each other’s flourishing and success,” Yerkes says. “We are all familiar with pay-it-forward sayings like, ‘As my parents planted for me, I plant for those who come after me.’ This is what is discussed at the dinner table, modeled for their children, and will probably be included in one’s obituary.

“I will put the Trailblazer award in mine,” Yerkes adds. “In the end, giving and sharing with others is important, no matter how you do it.”

To view more of photographer Terah Hoobler’s work, go to

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Categories: Features