All of us on the AFN team are grateful and humbled by the continued engagement and support from our growing membership to exchange ideas, plan relevant innovations in communities, and help fashion approaches to impact economic inequity. More and more focus on imagining realizable systemic change that does not preserve privilege and racial or gender advantages is occurring. Our efforts to partner, raise up efforts, and inform the movement to fund opportunities that narrow wealth gaps and excise unjust barriers have continued to gain momentum. The framing to respectfully lift up the potential of our neighbors, to increase equity for all the children, and to rethink worthiness and risk in financial transactions also have traction. Like many of you, the continued economic impact of COVID-19 and the opportunities and challenges posed by the policy environment have only increased our resolve.

Part of that resolve has led AFN to focus on reinforcing our internal direction, messaging, and capacities. To get things started, AFN kicked off the year with a new and more focused mission:

The Asset Funders Network engages philanthropy to advance equitable wealth building and economic mobility.

AFN experienced record annual growth in membership across the country and is developing several new regions, most notably in Oregon and the Carolinas. New members continue to add ideas and energy to our efforts.

We also welcomed greater regional support to advance narrative change and policy/process advocacy, as well as collaborative funding efforts reflecting regional priorities to achieve AFN’s mission.

At the staff and Board level, AFN is engaging in internal processes to strengthen the organizational commitment to equity. We also continue to evolve our staff model to more explicitly be a high road and equitable employer (as are many other PSOs).

AFN’s content, led by the Realizing Economic Justice initiative, is moving forward with strong  grantmaker participation. Our 2022 programming will intentionally pivot to more calls for action or to explore needed changes in hidden or “neutral” aspects of systems that left unchanged will only perpetuate gaps.

And, AFN has done the work with an array of stakeholders to develop an updated brand identity to be released as we enter 2022. This brand refresh includes a new logo, colors, font, and caption that better aligns and communicates with the direction and mission of AFN. We believe it is a better representation by visually implying the strength of our point of view and voice. The new logo is cleaner, uses our acronym “AFN” as our mark reflecting the preference of our members to communicate directly, and changes our colors to reflect our PSO as anchored and trustworthy, yet bold and modern. The AFN represented by our new logo is the AFN that has been evolving for the past decade and especially in the last few years.

May your year-end celebrations or holidays be safe and bring you joy and peace to help you restore the resolve needed to champion change in 2022.

Don’t miss out – join AFN and be a part of our active, dynamic and bold membership of grantmakers advancing economic equity. The AFN National Conference, Accelerating Ideas into Action, will be held in Oakland, California, September 13-15, 2022. Mark your calendars!