April 2015



The VAFRE e-news 



From the President 

Dear VAFRE Members -

Spring seems to be here…finally!  I am enjoying the rush of blooming colors in my garden and elsewhere.  Richmond is beautiful in the springtime.

Springtime is also the time for renewal.  VAFRE’s Governance Committee recently met to put together a slate of officers and Board members to be presented to the Membership at our May meeting.  We hope during this time you will think about renewing your commitment to VAFRE as a member and, perhaps, deepening your commitment and becoming more involved.  Most of our Committees welcome member involvement beyond the Board and, I can tell you from experience, some of these committees have a fun time while they work.  Laughter is always good for the soul!

Enjoy the blooms!

Susan Early

Member Q&A:

Where are they now? Rising Stars  

Every April, we celebrate the successes of development professionals at the Annual VAFRE Awards Luncheon. So for this month’s Member Profile, let’s take a look at our former Rising Stars. We asked where they were when they became a Rising Star, where their careers have taken them and the one word that best describes their outlook on the field of development.

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

Shannon Hair (Rising Star, 2014)

1. Director of Development, Danville Community College
2. Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Danville Community College
3. Humbling

Jennie Romero (Rising Star, 2013)

1. Assistant Development Officer, Virginia Community College System and Virginia Foundation for Community College Education
2. Acting Director of Development, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
3. Unrestricted

Alex Moore (Rising Star, 2012)

1. Assistant Director of Development and Alumni Communications, VCU
2. Director of Stewardship and Annual Giving, YMCA of Greater Richmond
3. Impactful

Ashley Dow Burton (Rising Star, 2011)

1. Assistant Director of Special Events, VCU Massey Cancer Center
2. Events Manager, VCU School of the Arts in Qatar
3. Creative

Bethanie Constant (Rising Star, 2010)

1. UMFS Development Manager
2. VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, Interim Director of Development
3. Growing!

Aimee Koch (Rising Star, 2009)

1. ART 180 Development Manager
2. Principal, Polychrome Collective (polychromecollective.com, formerly a/project studio)
3. Multifaceted

Loren Hatcher (Rising Star, 2007)

1. Director of Development, Virginia Home for Boys and Girls
2. Senior Director of Development, VCU School of Social Work
3. Inspiring!

Carrie (Kozonasky) Bickford (Rising Star, 2006) 

1. Associate Director of Resource Development, VCU Massey Cancer Center
2. Director of Major Gifts and Stewardship, VCU Massey Cancer Center
3. Dynamic


Welcome New Members

  • Becky Boswell, Autism Society Central Virginia
  • Eleana Legree, VCU    
  • Lynn Meyer, The American Civil War Center
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).



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Members Only

Ellett and O'Regan  Honored as Virginia's Top Fundraising Executives

Ruth Modlin Ellett and Erin Raisor O’Regan received statewide recognition at the Virginia Association of Fund Raising Executive (VAFRE) Annual Awards Luncheon on April 14, 2015, at the historic Bolling Haxall House in Richmond, Va.

“Ruth and Erin exemplify what it means to be a successful development professional,” said Susan Early, VAFRE board president and director of development, Partnership for Families. “VAFRE is honored to celebrate these two women, nominated by their peer VAFRE members, while we celebrate the profession of development, which impacts and enriches the entire philanthropic community.”

Ellett, CFRE, principal of Modlin Ellett Associates, is the 2015 recipient of the Nina Abady Award. This award recognizes a VAFRE member who has demonstrated the utmost excellence in the field of development. In her 30 years as a development professional in the nonprofit sector, Ellett has been lauded for her professionalism, ethical standards, generosity and commitment.
O’Regan is the director of development and alumni relations at Sabot at Stony Point and the 2015 recipient of the Rising Star Award, which honors a VAFRE member who has demonstrated remarkable talents at an early stage in his or her fundraising career. O’Regan spent several years in advertising before joining the nonprofit world in 2009. Now she is proud to serve as an advocate for change in education at Sabot at Stony Point and in the larger community.

Robby Robinson, VCU senior associate athletic director of external affairs served as keynote speaker at the VAFRE Awards Luncheon. Robinson manages all corporate sponsorship sales within the VCU athletic department, including signage within the basketball arena, radio advertising packages, game day program ads and internet sales and oversees the Rams marketing. Last year, their corporate sponsorships reached a record-high of $1.75 million.


Upcoming Programs 

Join us on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 for The Missing Piece: Predictive Models Need Relationships Too with Jonathan Kuhn, Ph.D., the President and Co-Founder of Richmond Analytics, LLC. 

With the current focus on data driven fundraising, the claims of what “big data” and “analytics” can do are numerous and sometimes far-fetched.  This presentation will focus on the value of tools like predictive modeling and also how these methods can leverage your relationship expertise and observations.     
This program will also offer an opportunity to VAFRE organizations with memberships.  For those in attendance meeting the following criteria, Richmond Analytics will provide a complimentary review and evaluation of an organization’s donor database with recommendations moving forward.

Criteria to qualify for selection includes:
• Must be in attendance at luncheon
• Nonprofit organization with 10 or fewer development staff
• 20,000 to 40,000 records in the current database (10k-50k are required for a meaningful review)
• Minimum 3 years of quantitative and coded-qualitative relevant, reliable and current data

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


Better Business Bureau Secure Your Identity Day 2015

What: FREE document shredding and disposal
When: Saturday, April 18, 2015, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Where: Parking lot in front of BBB offices, 720 Moorefield Park Dr., Richmond, VA
Who Should Attend: Everyone!

Do you have bank statements, pay stubs, medical documents, and other forms containing personal in-formation just laying around? The first rule in protecting yourself from identity theft is that if you don’t need it… destroy it! Join us for FREE shredding services to get rid of documents with sensitive personal data and take the necessary steps to protect yourself from ID theft! Please restrict the amount of documents you bring to 7 boxes!


AFP April Celebration

Please join your colleagues in development for a lovely evening on the James as we celebrate philanthropy in our community and announce the outcome of our chapter's recent strategic planning process. We are very excited to share with our entire membership the future direction of our chapter, and honor the sponsors and friends who have contributed time, talent and treasure to help guide this process.

What:    A Celebration Event
When:   Thursday, April 30, 6 p.m. - Sunset
Where:  The Rice House overlooking the James River, 1000 Old Locke Lane

Event program details will be announced on the AFP website.



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.

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Office/Fax (804) 368-3398

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