(At today’s 2018 Philadelphia Chapter of AFP’s National Philanthropy Day Awards Ceremony, President L. Scott Schultz announced the establishment of the M. Jane Williams Professional Development Award as a tribute to our Principal’s leadership in the field and her mentorship of countless fundraisers across the nation. Here, we share Scott’s remarks from the event and announcement of the Award.)

Last December, the fundraising community lost an extraordinary leader and mentor—and I lost a valued partner—when Jane Williams passed away.

Jane’s career spanned more than five decades, and she achieved extraordinary success as a development leader for major institutions; as an acclaimed author in our field; and as a valued consultant to scores of nonprofit organizations. Twenty-five years ago, Jane was the first woman to be recognized as the Philadelphia AFP Chapter’s Fundraising Executive of the Year.

Let me share some thoughts about Jane from a few clients, colleagues and friends:

Jane deserves much of the credit for whatever success I’ve had in my 25-year career in fundraising and planned giving. She guided me in the beginning and was always available as we grew our program. (Chuck Sterne, Director of Principal Gifts and Planned Giving, Curtis Institute)

 Jane Williams: Curious, kind, thoughtful, astute observer, remarkable translator, broadly knowledgeable yet never delivered with guile or hubris. To Jane, every cause had an authentic dignity of purpose and deserved to succeed. She was a trusted colleague and friend. (Ginny Clark, Vice President of Development, National Constitution Center)

 It was always a pleasure to work with Jane. She consistently provided a steady hand, wise counsel and a positive path to successfully achieving our goals. (Gail Harrity, President, Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Of all the roles that Jane played, there is one that may have been most meaningful to her—that of a teacher and mentor to other fundraisers. It is in that spirit that I am honored to announce the establishment of the M. Jane Williams Professional Development Award .This new award—funded by friends and colleagues and managed by the Philadelphia Chapter of AFP, will support a mid-career development professional who seeks to advance his or her knowledge, leadership skills and service to the profession.

Thank you for joining me in paying tribute to our friend and colleague.