March 2015



The VAFRE e-news 



From the President                              

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.”
Pat Riley

Excellence.  That is what we are celebrating this month with VAFRE’s upcoming Awards Luncheon.

Congratulations to Ruth Modlin Ellett, the Nina Abady Award recipient, and Erin O’Regan, this year’s Rising Star Award recipient. 

So what makes an excellent development professional?  This is my list of top 11 characteristics – I was going to make it 10, but I couldn’t help myself!

  1. Ethical
  2. Good listener
  3. Accountable
  4. Passionate
  5. Donor centric
  6. Organized
  7. Confident
  8. Empathetic
  9. Appreciative
  10. Persevering
  11. Team player

This certainly is not an exhaustive list – what would you add? 

I know Ruth and Erin embody these traits and more. Please join us at our annual Awards Luncheon on April 14 as we applaud their many accomplishments.  Details are at www.vafre.org.

Let’s all keep striving!

Susan Early

Member Q&A:

Will Glasco,
Director of Annual Fund, 
Preservation Virginia   

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

For me, it's to be empathetic and see things through the donor's perspective. I studied quite a bit of anthropology in college, and it's helped me to fit the donor's needs rather than approach with a "what can you do for us?" mentality. I love meeting new people, learning about their interests and getting to know their own history.

Q: How has VAFRE contributed to your success?

VAFRE has been invaluable in moving my own personal development forward while networking with other professionals in this field. Without VAFRE, I would have felt very much alone in my personal growth as a development professional in Richmond. Instead, I have a wonderful group of people that I can not only relate to, but learn from. 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

    Kate Chavez, Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Catholic School
  • Barbara Couto Sipe, Middle School Renaissance 2020
  • Samantha Thurman, United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg

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


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).



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

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Members Only

Upcoming Programs 

Join VAFRE on April 14th as we honor our 2015 Nina Abady and Rising Star Award winners at The Woman's Club at the Bolling Haxall House. Our special guest speaker will be Robby Robinson, Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University.

This year's honorees are:

  • Ruth Modlin Ellett, CFRE, Nina Abady winner, and

  • Erin O'Regan, Rising Star winner.

Click here if you would be interested in sponsorship information or table purchases. Click here for more details on our award winners.

David Quinn “Robby” Robinson was elevated to VCU’s Senior Associate Athletic Director of External Affairs on May 1, 2014 following a two-year stint as the Rams Associate AD for External Affairs. Robinson manages all corporate sponsorship sales within the athletic department, including signage within the basketball arena, radio advertising packages, game day program ads and internet sales.  He also oversees the Rams marketing, video production and radio broadcasting departments.  Since coming to VCU in September of 2008, the yearly corporate partnership dollars have increased over 300%.  Last year, their corporate sponsorships reached a record-high of $1.75 million.

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


Top Three Takeaways

…from our March 10th National Speaker's Forum, Purposeful Boards, Powerful Fundraising:

1) The Board's fundraising portfolio is composed of the top 10 to 20 percent of an organization's annual fund and major donors. This mandates a shared understanding of the level of a major gift in the organization.

2) Stewardship is the hallmark of fundraising. It takes six to 12 touches for a prospect to make his or her first gift. Donor retention is the sweet spot for increasing contributions.

3) Legacy giving is the future of philanthropy. Every communication should have an invitation to contact the organization about including the organization in one's estate plans.


Join VAFRE and AFP for Steal the Vessel Night at Strangeways!

As development professionals, we’re in the business of asking. Why not take for a change? Join VAFRE for Steal the Vessel Thursday, March 26th, at Strangeways Brewing. Purchase a to-go beer in a Growler, Grunt, Blue Ball, or CAN-ABLE, and receive the glass for free. Light snacks provided, and your drink tab is your business. Invite a colleague, then RSVP on the VAFRE website or through Facebook.

Thursday, March 26, 2015
5:30 – 7:00 PM
Strangeways Brewing
2277A Dabney Road
For directions or the current tap list, visit strangewaysbrewing.com

There is no fee to attend this meeting, but members are asked to register through the events page of the website or through Facebook. 



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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