Who I Am

Simone P. Joyaux – Pronounced: See-mun ZhaWHY-oh

Simone Joyaux

Photo credit: Jonathan Feist

Don’t worry about mispronouncing it. I’m not offended.

The “P” stands for Patricia. I’m not sure where that name came from. I asked my mom once and she responded with something like, “I guess your dad and I liked it.” My first name was my French grandmother’s name. My last name, Joyaux, is my family name. My father was French and moved to this country as an adult after World War II. We returned to France regularly to visit. Because of my upbringing, I consider myself more internationally inclined than American inclined.

My credential, ACFRE, means Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive. I received my initial certification, CFRE, in 1984. I was one of the first to achieve the credential of Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive (ACFRE) in 1994. I’m one of a small group worldwide holding advanced certification in the fundraising profession, accomplished through a rigorous peer review process that demonstrates an advanced level of fundraising knowledge and professional competency.

My credential Adv Dip refers to the International Advanced Diploma in Fundraising (IADF). Nowhere before had there been an international masters level qualification in fundraising. In 2013, I volunteered to participate in this new education program, developed through an alliance between AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals), the IoF (Institute of Fundraising, U.K.), and the European Fundraising Association. This new common curriculum is still taught in the U.K. Unfortunately, AFP Global discontinued this program after just 3 years.

In 2019, I received the honor of FAFP,  AFP Distinguished Fellow.

And in 2020, I participated in the first comprehensive education program in philanthropic psychology. With hard work, I received my certificate in phil psych. Check out this unique program…teaching us fundraisers how to understand our donors through psychology…and how to apply this new learning for our organizations.

Colleagues around the world describe me as one of the nonprofit sector’s most thoughtful, inspirational, and provocative leaders. I’m proud of that description. I see myself as a change agent, an agitator. Whether it’s asking essential cage-rattling questions . . . or proposing novel approaches . . . or advocating for change . . . that’s me.

In case that scares you, don’t worry. I take good care of my clients. I’m your trusted advisor, even in areas that have nothing to do with what you hired me for. And I do the same with students and audience members. I get calls and emails from people all over the world asking for my advice, explaining a problem and asking for help. And sometimes, people just contact me because they feel secure telling me things and sharing their anxieties.

For me, philanthropy is both an avocation and vocation. I volunteer an average of 10 hours per week while working full time. My life partner and I contribute at least 10% of our income to charity annually and have bequeathed our entire estate to charity.

Ethics
Ethics: I subscribe to the Code of Ethical Principles and Standards of Professional Practice of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the code of ethics of the Association of Philanthropic Council. I also support the Donor Bill of Rights.

Sector Experience
I began my career in the nonprofit sector in 1975, serving as the executive director of an arts center and arts council in Lansing, Michigan. I served as chief development officer for Trinity Repertory Company (RI) from 1981 – 1988. I became a fulltime consultant in January 1988.

As a volunteer, I’ve founded two organizations, the first iteration of a statewide arts advocacy organization in Rhode Island. And in 2000, I founded the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, a social justice organization.

I regularly serve on boards – often ending up as chair. From 1999 through 2001, I served as Chair of the Board of CFRE International – the baseline credentialing program for fundraisers. During my tenure, the program achieved its independence and established itself internationally.

I received my M.A. in English and my B.A. in English and French from Michigan State University. Weird, eh? How did I move away from my desire to teach French and English in middle school and high school? A decision that I made at 9 years old — and kept for decades… Ask me why and how. Just ask me.

Simone Joyaux, ACFRE, Adv Dip, FAFP, Certificate in Philanthropic Psychology is an internationally recognized expert in fund development, board and organizational development, strategic planning, and management.

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