Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives

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November 2018

Thanks to Our E-news Sponsor


New Members

Ashley Burch, The Valentine

James Cook, (Student) University of Lynchburg

Michael DeCoursey, Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity

Veronica Fleming, Partnership for Families

Elizabeth Gilkey, Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank

Emily Lancucki, Northstar Academy

Shira Turner, American Red Cross

Log in to the Member Directory for complete details on these and other members.

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Upcoming Events
In the News

Have you checked out the new VAFRE News pages?

The main News page will feature a web version of the current e-news. Back issues are available by following the links .

The Industry & Business News page features live feeds from leading industry publications that are updated throughout the week. Bookmark this page in order to have a one-stop location to get the latest industry news. 

The Member News page is available for members to post items of interest to the community. If you'd send it out in a press release, you can post it here. Simply log in, click on Member News and follow the prompts to post news relevant to you and your organization.

VAFRE is proud to be a participating organization with CFRE International.

Message from the President

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope we take the time this holiday season to think about the things we are thankful for (yep, I ended that with a preposition - thankful for forgiveness!). Take the 30 days of gratitude challenge, and reflect with gratitude. 

    Thankful for learning - our November luncheon, Changes to the Tax Code and What They Mean for Charities, with Carman Faison (Mitchell Wiggins) and Amy Singleton (The Community Foundation) provided us insights and guidance to having important and knowledgeable conversations with our supporters.  

    Thankful for more opportunities to educate and network - during our December luncheon,  Loren Hatcher (Director of Development, University of Virginia Curry School of Education Foundation, 2007 Rising Star Award Winner) and guest Debbie Johnston (Founder, CareAdvantage, Inc., and Connecting Hearts) will lead us in a conversation about Stewarding Donors of Different Levels.  

    Thankful for our colleagues - recognize the successes of our peers.  Please consider submitting a nomination for the 2019 Nina Abady and Rising Star Awards (see details below).

    Improv Time: Gratitude

    Successful improv occurs when your scene partner openly accepts gifts (everything said and done) without judgement and gratitude first -- and then finds the usefulness of these gifts.  Together, you and your partner started with nothing -- now you have something. Take the pause for gratitude and reflection.  Experience the magic of gratitude first in every moment - good, bad and unexpected.  Find the usefulness of all provided gifts.  Establish your gratitude mindset.         

    I am grateful for each of you.  You help me be a better fundraiser, colleague, professional and person.  Thank you. 


    James Wasilewski,
    2018-2019 VAFRE President

    P.S. Mark your calendars for January 8 - our lunch and learn session Avoiding Burnout featuring Robyn Fehrman - director of programs, Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke University and founder, Mindful Type A, LLC.  

    Award Nominations Sought

    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 December 21st. The process is quick and user-friendly. Learn more about these awards, their criteria, past winners, and the process by visiting the Awards page

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

    Lynne Berkness
    Board Liaison, Awards Selection Committee  

    New Search and Placement Solution in RVA

    The near- and long-term success of a nonprofit relies upon thoughtfully and strategically designed positions and attracting and retaining the high-quality staff who fill them. Each hire represents an opportunity to assess the strengths and weakness of the organization.

    Managing the process internally, especially with no formal HR staff, consumes a tremendous amount of leadership, board time, and can be quite inefficient and costly when actual time and money spent are calculated.

    GuideStar® lists 3000+ nonprofit organizations in our area. ConnectVA, a service of the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, lists as many as 100 openings on a given day, and rarely a day goes by without a new VAFRE posting. The average tenure of nonprofit staff is estimated to be less than 18 months. Failed searches, unsuccessful hires, and talent lured away by better offers or titles are extraordinarily costly, including opportunity costs for not focusing 100% on the organization’s mission.

    While most organizations are always in hiring mode for talented professionals and support staff few take the opportunity to assess both the parameters of the position and its desired impact on the organization and its mission.

    To address this need, Blaisdell Consulting, LLC and Workforce, LLC have partnered in a new venture, Blaisdell & Hudson, to provide a comprehensive, cost-effective search and placement solution for organizations seeking talent, and individuals seeking positions. Years of relevant expertise, far-reaching personal networks, leading edge recruiting technology, and intelligent strategy, are our signature strengths. 

    Annual Sponsors

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    Exclusive Professional Partnership Program (P3) Sponsor

    Click here to learn more about the P3 Program.

    Would you like to be a VAFRE Sponsor? Click here for details on the available sponsorship options.

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