Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives

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  • Thursday, June 01, 2017 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to VAFRE’s 2017 Award Winners:

    • Samantha Wheeler Marrs, Nina Abady winner, and
    • Alex Wiles, Rising Star winner.

    Samantha Marrs (pictured at left) is the Senior Associate VP, Development and Alumni Relations, at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her career in philanthropic work spans nearly 25 years. Samantha joined VAFRE in 2000, when she relocated to Richmond and joined the development staff at VCU as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, after having served 8 years as a program manager at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She’s been involved with the local chapter of AFP since 2003 and involved with the Association of Advancement Services Professionals, a national membership group, since 2008. Samantha is also active in the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, an international association of educational institutions serving advancement professionals who work on their behalf.  At the core of the mission of all four organizations is the advancement of ethical fundraising practices.

    Since joining VCU, Samantha has overseen the growth of corporation and foundation funding from $5M to $23M annually; led a $10M capital campaign and managed a volunteer board of 30 for VCU Rice Center; directed staff through the 2004 launch of the University’s $330M campaign; obtained a $1.5M grant from Altria to sustain VCU’s daVinci Center for Innovation; obtained VCU’s first Howard Hughes Medical Institute funding ($2.5M over 2 grants); obtained $2.5M in grants to build the VCU Institute of Contemporary Art; developed and delivered training, in partnership with the Office of Sponsored Programs, to assist faculty in identifying and soliciting corporate and foundation funders, and; overseen the development and implementation of the University’s first moves management program and tracking system. Instrumental to the continued success of VCU’s development program has been Samantha’s investment in developing the talent and skills of current and future fundraisers and providing career growth opportunities for all development staff.

    The Nina Abady Award is the most prestigious award given by the Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives. It is presented to a fundraising professional who has demonstrated utmost excellence in the field of development. The award signifies to individuals, organizations, and the greater community that the recipient has garnered the respect and admiration of colleagues throughout the Commonwealth for professional and ethical service. 

    Alexandra (Alex) Wiles (pictured at right) joined the Community Idea Stations in 2014 as the second Major Gifts Officer on the current team of four. With her help, the major gifts program has grown by leaps and bounds, tripling in the last five years with a 92% retention rate. The annual fund program continued to grow while the station conducted a capital campaign for which Alex personally raised $38,000. Outside of work, Alex is a recognized talent in Richmond’s acting community, playing a lead role in Richmond Shakespeare’s recent production of Hamlet. Before joining Community Idea Stations, Alex worked for a year as the Development Coordinator at the Boys and Girls Club.

    The Rising Star Award is made annually to a VAFRE member who exhibits excellent potential and who has demonstrated remarkable talents at an early stage in their fund-raising career.

    Award winners are selected from a competitive field of finalists who are nominated by VAFRE members, area fund-raisers and board members. The selection committee convenes each year to review nominations and select the winner.

    For details and registration for the Awards Luncheon, click here. For Awards Sponsor information, click here.

  • Monday, January 16, 2017 10:49 AM | Anonymous

    The VAFRE Nominating Committee is seeking nominations to fill vacant positions for the Board of Directors for the 2017/2018 fiscal year. Now is the time to take your membership to the next level and make a commitment to VAFRE or to nominate someone else for the Board. Your nominations are needed by Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Each nominee will receive a Candidate Interest Form that must be completed to be considered for a position by the Nominating Committee. 

    Eligibility and Term of Office: To be a director, you must be a member, in good standing.  Each elected Director shall take office on July 1, 2017 for a two-year term and is responsible for, along with other Board members, determining VAFRE policies and supporting the mission of the organization. Time commitment includes board meeting the first Tuesday of every other month and the time needed to complete the tasks of your board role.

    Click here for more details on Board duties and responsibilities.

    Click here for the nomination form. 

  • Monday, November 14, 2016 2:54 PM | Anonymous

    As development professionals, we are all keenly aware of the high level of dedication and integrity that are so critical to the profession of fundraising. One of VAFRE’s goals--and privileges--is to recognize and celebrate the exemplary work of our colleagues. Now is the time to elevate those who inspire us daily, with a nomination for VAFRE’s Rising Star or Nina Abady Awards for fundraising excellence. Please help us honor our colleagues by nominating those among us who set the bar high and pave the way for us all.

    Nominations are open now through January 6. The process is quick and user-friendly. Learn more about these awards, their criteria, past winners, and the process by clicking here

    Thank you all for what you do each day to strengthen communities across the Commonwealth!

    Dan Stackhouse
    Board Liaison, Awards Selection Committee   

  • Friday, August 12, 2016 8:31 AM | Anonymous

    Now is your opportunity to register for the new year of VAFRE's Professional Partnership Program!

    Stimulating. Provocative. Eye-opening. Fun.  Encouraging. Levelling. Amazing.

    These are a few of the words used to describe VAFRE’s Professional Partnership Program (P3) by past participants. Now entering its fourth year, P3 continues to grow and evolve, with VAFRE’s Board incorporating many of the suggestions of participants and leaders to make the program even better. So, strap on your seatbelt and join us for this year’s ride! You can download the application, complete it and return it to Mary Kidd at admin@vafre.org (Applications are due by Wednesday, September 14th.) 

    What is P3?

    The purpose of P3 is to provide an annual opportunity for VAFRE members to develop more extensive professional skills.  A team of two or more highly seasoned and experienced volunteer Leaders will guide small groups of approximately five to seven people (the Participants).

    What makes P3 so unique?

    Participants will complete an application form that provides information about their professional goals.  In addition participants will be encouraged to identify specific areas of interest – such as the annual fund, working with the development committee, managing your boss for fundraising, building relationships with program staff etc.  From this information a preliminary identification of topics of most interest will be shared with Leaders.  From there, however, it is up to each individual group to determine those job-related topics of greatest interest.  Because of the informal nature of P3, it is not expected that participation will qualify for accreditation required by the CFRE certificate.    

    How does the program work?

    The goal is that each group will meet with their Leaders a minimum of six times between October 1 and May 31.  It is recommended that each session be two hours in length.  Leaders or participants may arrange additional sessions if they desire and of interest to the group.  Groups will decide when, where, and the time of day/evening that is most convenient for them.

    Leaders are responsible for all communications with their groups as well as for all materials needed for sessions.  Leaders will prepare to the fullest extent possible for each session as well as handle any follow-up that is needed.  Leaders will provide best practices and advice based on their experience.  However, Participants will be asked to sign a document which will hold Leaders harmless in the application of this advice/best practice. 

    What is the cost?

    The fee for each participant is $50.  Fees are paid to VAFRE and are intended to cover the out-of-pocket expenses of the sessions and do not benefit the Leaders.

    Who or what group is responsible for P3?

    Ultimately the VAFRE Board is responsible for the P3 program.  The P3 program is a subcommittee of the VAFRE Program committee.  This year’s program chair is Nick Sollog of The Sollog Group.  Corey Humphrey, VAFRE Board member and Director of Development at the Virginia Mentoring Partnership, is the chair of this year’s P3 Program.

    What are the qualifications of the Leaders?

    Most of all, Leaders must be passionate about the unique concept of P3 and willing to be flexible and responsive to the interests of their group.  Secondly, there is an emphasis in selecting leaders who have had extensive front-line (in the trenches) fundraising and management experience.  To be considered, a prospective Leader should have the following experience:

    • A minimum of ten years as a development professional
    • Demonstrated experience and management responsibilities in one or more areas of the following: annual fund, membership acquisition, major gifts, planned giving, corporate/foundation relationships, donor stewardship.
    • Held a supervisory position that was ultimately responsible for the direction and success of fundraising activities
    • Created, managed budgets
    • Held positions that reported to the organization’s most senior professional (president, executive director, board of trustees)
    • Worked closely with volunteer leadership including the board of trustees and/or the development committee.

    If you would be interested in serving as a team leader, click here for the informational form or e-mail Mary Kidd at admin@vafre.org.

    Questions?

     Contact P3 Chair Corey Humphrey.

    Sign Me Up!      

    Completed applications are due by Wednesday, September 14th. Download the application here. 

     

    Thanks to our exclusive P3 sponsor, West Avenue Associates, for their support of the program! 

  • Tuesday, May 17, 2016 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    On Tuesday, June 7th, VAFRE will hold its Annual Business Meeting, at which time the membership will be asked to elect the proposed 2016-2017 slate of Officers and Directors and approve the proposed 2016-2017 budget.

    Officers

    • President: Thomas Millisor, CFRE, ChildSavers
    • Immediate Past President: Dan Stackhouse, The New Community School 
    • Vice President: Lynne Berkness, Northstar Academy
    • Secretary/Treasurer: James Wasilewski, VCU Massry Cancer Center

    Other Directors

    • Stacie Birchett, Better Housing Coalition
    • Cristina Cruz, VCU School of Dentistry
    • Courtney Elliott, St. Joseph's Villa
    • Natalie Foster, Virginia Community College System
    • Lisa Freeman, E. L. Freeman Associates
    • (new Board member) Corey Humphrey, Virginia Mentoring Partnership
    • Anne Hurt, Trinity Episcopal School
    • (new Board memberKathy Laing, Institute on Philanthropy
    • Carol Anne Lajoie, VCU Institute for Contemporary Art
    • (new Board memberScott Lyons, Rich Gross Solutions
    • Alex Moore, YMCA of Greater Richmond
    • (new Board member) Jennifer O’Rourke, CFRE, Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity
    • Nick Sollog, The Sollog Group
    • Evelyn Terry, Union Presbyterian Seminary
    • (new Board member) Samantha Thurman, United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg
    • Harry Warner, West Avenue Associates
    • (new Board member) Roy Zeidman, Special Olympics Virginia

    For brief Board biographies, click here. For a copy of the proposed budget, click here.

    If you won't be able to join us, be sure to send in your proxy!

  • Thursday, February 04, 2016 10:10 AM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to VAFRE's 2016 Award Winners:

    • Elizabeth S. Littlefield, CFRE, Nina Abady winner, and
    • Allison Santos, Rising Star winner.

    Elizabeth (Bess) Littlefield is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College where she is responsible for fund raising, grants, legislative advocacy, communications and marketing. She also serves as the Executive Director of the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Educational Foundation. Since her appointment in 1996, Reynolds has obtained over $50 million in gifts and grants and the foundation’s endowment has grown from less than $1 million to over $10 million. Bess led the college through its first-ever major gifts campaign which raised over $15 million. Prior to coming to Reynolds, she worked in alumni relations at George Mason University, Medical College of Virginia Alumni Association of Virginia Commonwealth University, and the College of William and Mary. Her consulting work has included strategic planning, development assessments, feasibility studies and staff training in a variety of subject matters ranging from annual giving, major gifts, and stewardship to board development. She has earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive designation from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, received her B.A. in Government from the College of William and Mary, her M.ED. from the University of Virginia and an Institute in Philanthropy Certificate from the University of Richmond.

    The Nina Abady Award is the most prestigious award given by the Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives. It is presented to a fundraising professional who has demonstrated utmost excellence in the field of development. The award signifies to individuals, organizations, and the greater community that the recipient has garnered the respect and admiration of colleagues throughout the Commonwealth for professional and ethical service. 

    Allison Santos joined Ronald McDonald House Charities of Richmond in 2012 and is currently the Director of Development. Prior to working in development, she spent four years in admissions at two all-girls independent boarding schools. Allison served as a founding member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and as the Giving Chair for the James Madison University Richmond Alumni Chapter. She currently serves as a Class Agent for St. Margaret’s School and as a volunteer for the James Madison University Circle of Women. Allison is a graduate of St. Margaret’s School and James Madison University with a major in Marketing. She and her husband, Carter, were married in June of 2015 and live in Westover Hills with their Labrador Retriever, Conway.

    The Rising Star Award is made annually to a VAFRE member who exhibits excellent potential and who has demonstrated remarkable talents at an early stage in their fund-raising career.

    Award winners are selected from a competitive field of finalists who are nominated by VAFRE members, area fund-raisers and board members. The selection committee convenes each year to review nominations and select the winner.

    For details and registration for the Awards Luncheon, click here. For Awards Sponsor information, click here.

  • Monday, January 18, 2016 4:23 PM | Anonymous

    The VAFRE Nominating Committee is seeking nominations to fill vacant positions for the Board of Directors for the 2016/2017 fiscal year. Now is the time to take your membership to the next level and make a commitment to VAFRE or to nominate someone else for the Board. Your nominations are needed by Monday, February 29, 2016. Each nominee will receive a Candidate Interest Form that must be completed to be considered for a position by the Nominating Committee. 

    Eligibility and Term of Office: To be a director, you must be a member, in good standing.  Each elected Director shall take office on July 1, 2016 for a two-year term and is responsible for, along with other Board members, determining VAFRE policies and supporting the mission of the organization. Time commitment includes board meeting the first Tuesday of every other month and the time needed to complete the tasks of your board role.

    Click here for a copy of the nomination form.

  • Thursday, October 22, 2015 2:47 PM | Anonymous

    A special shout out to Elizabeth Kell of Elijah House Academy and James Wasilewski of Massey Cancer Center for making Style Weekly's Top 40 Under 40!

    We are proud to call you VAFRE members!

  • Tuesday, October 13, 2015 9:34 AM | Anonymous

    What goes bump in the night and during the day in Richmond will be exposed at VAFRE’s next social on Thursday, October 22. Join VAFRE for a Halloween themed social at the Poe Museum in Richmond starting at 5:30 pm.

    The evening will begin with a “Richmond’s Strange Stories” walking tour of the area presented by Richmond Discoveries. This tour will unearth interesting stories of the area with a slightly spooky twist. At the conclusion of the 1-hour tour we will end at the Poe Museum’s Enchanted Garden for their monthly Unhappy Hour. This Unhappy Hour is coined as the spookiest one of the season and will feature live music, light appetizers, performances, and a cash bar.  The theme for the evening is Poe’s story “The Cask of Amontillado”.  You are welcome to dress up if you wish.

    It is $10 per person for the walking tour and entrance into the Unhappy Hour. If you would like to join us for Unhappy Hour only, you can pay $5 at the door.

    Friends, family, and co-workers are welcome to attend.

    Click here for complete details and to register.

  • Monday, June 29, 2015 11:46 AM | Anonymous

    “Excellent conversations and insight of peers and leaders”.

    “…helped reinforce my commitment to best practices”.

    These are paraphrases of comments made by several 2014-2015 P3 participants.  And, with two years behind us, the VAFRE Board has incorporated many of the suggestions of participants and leaders to make the program even better.  So, strap on your seatbelt and join us for this year’s ride!  You can download the application on the VAFRE website, complete it and return it to Mary Kidd at admin@vafre.org

    What is P3?

    The purpose of P3 is to provide an annual opportunity for VAFRE members to develop more extensive professional skills.  A team of two or more highly seasoned and experienced volunteer Leaders will guide small groups of approximately five to seven people (the Participants).  

    What makes P3 so unique?

    Participants will complete an application form that provides information about their professional goals.  In addition participants will be encouraged to identify specific areas of interest – such as the annual fund, working with the development committee, managing your boss for fundraising, building relationships with program staff etc.  From this information a preliminary identification of topics of most interest will be shared with Leaders.  From there, however, it is up to each individual group to determine those job-related topics of greatest interest.  Because of the informal nature of P3, it is not expected that participation will qualify for accreditation required by the CFRE certificate.  

    How will the program work?

    The goal is that each group will meet with their Leaders a minimum of six times between October 1 and May 31.  It is recommended that each session be two hours in length.  Leaders or participants may arrange additional sessions if they desire and of interest to the group.  Groups will decide when, where, and the time of day/evening that is most convenient for them.

    Leaders are responsible for all communications with their groups as well as for all materials needed for sessions.  Leaders will prepare to the fullest extent possible for each session as well as handle any follow-up that is needed.  Leaders will provide best practices and advice based on their experience.  However, Participants will be asked to sign a document which will hold Leaders harmless in the application of this advice/best practice.

    What is the cost?

    The fee for each participant is $50.  Fees are paid to VAFRE and are intended to cover the out-of-pocket expenses of the sessions and do not benefit the Leaders.

    Who or what group is responsible for P3?

    Ultimately the VAFRE Board is responsible for the P3 program.  The P3 program is a subcommittee of the VAFRE Program committee.  This year’s program chair is James Wasilewski.  Nita Starr, VAFRE Board member and annual fund director at Greater Richmond ARC, is the chair of this year’s P3 Program.

    What are the qualifications of the Leaders?

    Most of all, Leaders must be passionate about the unique concept of P3 and willing to be flexible and responsive to the interests of their group.  Secondly, there is an emphasis in selecting leaders who have had extensive front-line (in the trenches) fundraising and management experience.  To be considered, a prospective Leader should have the following experience:

    • A minimum of ten years as a development professional
    • Demonstrated experience and management responsibilities in one or more areas of the following: annual fund, membership acquisition, major gifts, planned giving, corporate/foundation relationships, donor stewardship.
    • Held a supervisory position that was ultimately responsible for the direction and success of fundraising activities
    • Created, managed budgets
    • Held positions that reported to the organization’s most senior professional (president, executive director, board of trustees)
    • Worked closely with volunteer leadership including the board of trustees and/or the development committee.

    Evaluation

    The P3 program chair, working with the program committee will have responsibility to evaluate the P3 program’s effectiveness and viability of continuation.

    Questions?

    Contact P3 Chair Nita Starr

    Sign Me Up!

    Completed applications for 2015-2016 participants are due by Monday, August 17th. Download the application and apply now.

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