Special Reports

MA Top 30 Professional: Achia Floyd

December 5, 2023 | By John Fleming

Director of Foundation Relations and Community
Sphinx Organization

Achia Floyd’s fundraising philosophy is reflected in her title, with the focus on “relations,” for the Sphinx Organization. “Relationships are everything in life, and definitely in fundraising,” says Floyd. “My job is more person-to-person than just writing proposals. It’s through building relationships with foundation officers that I get funding.”

A flutist with a master’s degree in arts administration from Florida State University, Floyd joined the Sphinx executive staff in 2022. She has been successful in raising nearly $4 million thus far. In 2021 both Sphinx and Floyd’s then-employer, the Atlanta Music Project, were recipients of transformative gifts from the foundation of MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos. Since 2020, she has donated at least $14 billion of her fortune to more than 1,600 nonprofits. Scott has given $1 million-plus to Sphinx.

“It is unheard of for someone to call and say they’re going to give you a lot of money, and then actually give you the money within a month with no stipulations, no reports required, nothing,” Floyd says. “It put the spotlight on Sphinx and AMP, and that has led to funding from other organizations.”

According to Floyd, foundations are moving toward artist-centered philanthropy, spurred by the loss of income many artists experienced in the pandemic. As part of that trend, Sphinx’s regranting program has become central to helping the Black and Latinx musicians enrolled in its programs, especially when it comes to covering travel costs for orchestra auditions. “Foundations want to give money directly to artists, but artists may not know how to get the money, so having an intermediary like Sphinx do the regranting meets everyone’s needs,” she says.




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