December 2014



The VAFRE e-news 



From the President                              

Leap and the net will appear.
--Zen proverb

Dear VAFRE Members,

Another year is coming to a close.  For some of us, it’s also the end of our fiscal year.  Let’s hope year-end giving is strong and we all not just meet, but exceed our goals! 

And very soon, we will be setting new goals in the form of New Year’s Resolutions, perhaps personally and professionally.  Sometimes the two become intertwined.  That’s the case for me this year.  I strive to make better use of my time and to challenge myself to grow intellectually and creatively.  And beginning December 15, I will be the interim executive director and the development director of my organization, the Partnership for Families.  My boss is leaving for another job and the Board asked me to fill in until a new executive director is hired, most likely within 5 or 6 months.  Honestly, at first I said no, but the more I thought about it over the Thanksgiving break, the more it seemed the right thing to do and I accepted. It is an opportunity to grow professionally and it will challenge me personally, too.

I recently heard a brief talk on the subject of accountability.  How it is important to set goals and to share those with someone who will hold you accountable.  And accountability isn’t about punishment – it’s about trust.  Trust in yourself, your teammates and the organization.  And this can be extended easily to family and friends.  This is the net I found while considering the decision of whether or not to be the interim ED.

So what leap do you want to make in 2015?  Will you trust the net to appear?

Best wishes to each of you and your families for the holidays!

Susan Early

Member Q&A:

Robinette Tiller,
Coordinator of Annual Giving, 
VCU Massey Cancer Center

Q: What is one skill you rely on to be successful in your fundraising role?

My ability to personally connect with different people.

Q: How has VAFRE contributed to your success?

VAFRE allows you to get training and knowledge from people actively working in the fundraising field. Read more...

Would you like to be featured in a Member Q&A? Contact Cristina Cruz at cmcruz@vcu.edu for more information.


Welcome New Members

  • Leighann Boland, VirginiaFIRST
  • John Carmichael, VCU School of Medicine
  • Tony Cox, BBB Serving Central Virginia
  • Nicole Riedel, Special Olympics Virginia
  • Debra Serena, Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Allison Smith, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Richmond
  • Leetah Stanley, VCU School of Medicine

Log in to the Member Directory for new member contact information. 




Want to keep up to date with everything VAFRE is doing? Do you have something you'd like to share with the VAFRE community?

Then make sure you like us on Facebook and connect on LinkedIn!


VAFRE offers many opportunities to promote your organization to our members, at our meetings, on our website and via our 850+ e-newsletter distribution list.  Learn more about the available opportunities here. Ready to sign up? Click here for  the sponsor form.. 

Questions?  Please contact David Thomason (804.467.6007), or Jennifer Gentry (804.819.4961).


Members Only

Upcoming Programs

Join us on Tuesday, January 6, 2014 for Copywriting Strategies for Fundraising Success with Andrea Goulet Ford, Founder and Chief Message Architect of BrandVox, who will walk us through her top strategies for creating compelling communications.

Copywriting is the art and science of using words to encourage action. As fundraisers, we use copywriting every day to connect volunteerism donors, clients and constituents to our cause.  Andrea has personally worked with many national nonprofits and government organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Nurses Association (ANA), the American Forest Foundation (AFF), among others. You’ll walk away with copywriting strategies that you can immediately implement in your organization.

Mark your calendar for an upcoming VAFRE luncheon February 3, 2015 when Deborah Williamson, JD MPA the Executive Director of the Southside Health Education Fund discusses the Ethics of Fundraising .  Fundraising is primarily about cultivating, developing and stewarding relationships – what do you we do when we encounter an ethical dilemma?  How do we handle it?  Deborah will address situations like this and other ethical situations for fundraisers in her luncheon chat.      

Click here for information and registration for all of VAFRE’s upcoming programs.


The P3 Program is exclusively sponsored by West Avenue Associates




Top Three Takeaways

…from our December 2nd meeting, The Power of the Positive No:

1) Every time you say yes to something, you're saying no to something else.

2) Saying no can be empowering!

3) Try to avoid using the words but and why. Instead, use and and what.


Submit Your Award Nominations!

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 December 19. The process is quick and user-friendly. Learn more about these awards, their criteria, past winners, and the process by clicking here

If you have any questions, please contact David Huffine or Shannon Hair, co-chairs of the Awards Selection Committee.


VAFRE Annual Sponsors!

We are pleased to recognize Allegra Print & Imaging, E.L. Freeman, LLC, the Institute on Philanthropy, Keiter and Wilkes Consulting as our Annual Sponsors.

Their support will help VAFRE continue to provide meaningful educational opportunities, as well as scholarship support for our members and guests.




VAFRE Mission

VAFRE is an inclusive membership organization devoted to providing educational programming, networking opportunities, and recognition for the nonprofit development professional.

© 2017 Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives (VAFRE). All rights reserved.

VAFRE • P.O. Box 6605 • Richmond, VA 23230
Office/Fax (804) 368-3398

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