Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives

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VAFRE e-news, May 2019

In This Issue

New Members

Rebecca Blackwell, The Sophie House

Julia Bowling, Trinity Episcopal School

Lane Guillams,Wilton House Museum

Cheryl Ann Lee, Fairfax Library Foundation

Shivangi Perkins, The Doorways

Gail Peters, CFRE, Gail Peters Consulting

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


Not a VAFRE Member?

Join Now


Seeking Program Committee Members

VAFRE’s Program Committee is a WORKING committee. 

Qualifications – passionate about giving back to VAFRE and enjoys working with  fundraising colleagues to elevate the profession.

Duties  Max. 3 hours a month devoted to committee work of researching, contacting and organizing speakers for our monthly luncheon programs.  One year dedicated commitment of service. 

Requirements - attendance at once a month 75 minute committee meetings.  2-3 specific program related assignments over the 12 month commitment period.

If you are interested, e-mail


May Survey Question: Does your organization produce a newsletter?

Click here to participate in our one-question survey. See results of last month's survey below.


April Survey Results: Beyond an acknowledgement letter, how does your organization recognize major donors?

- Names featured in a print or electronic publication, 100%
- Special Event, 75%
- Gifts, 12.5%
- "Wall of Fame," 12.5%

Other responses included a phone call from the CEO or other key people, hand written thank you letters, and an invitation to a private lunch. How does your organization compare? 

Participate in this month's one-question survey (above) and look for the results next month.


New Policy Requires Salary Information for VAFRE Job Postings

Effective May 6, VAFRE requires that all job postings include information on the hiring salary range associated with the position to promote transparency and as an industry best-practice. The policy was adopted by the Board of Directors at their April 30th meeting. 

If you would like to post a position, e-mail


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Message from the President

May is here!  Pollen Watch 2019 is over - we hope.

During our previous educational session about Donor Advised Funds: Changing How Donors Give, we hosted an incredible and knowledgeable panel led by  Ellen Spong, Senior VP and Director of the Institutional Advisory Group, Union Bank.  A tremendous thank you to our panelists - Molly Dean Bittner, Senior VP, Philanthropic Services, The Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond; Brad Shiveley, Vice President, Capital Management Corp.; Lionel Bacon, Vice President of Philanthropy, Virginia Home for Boys and Girls; and Cheryl Guedri, Community Volunteer for sharing your experiences, insights and recommendations with our members and guests in attendance.  I hope everyone learned as much as I did during our conversations!       

Our upcoming session in June is a discussion led by Ruth Modlin Ellett, CFRE, Modlin Ellett Associates Fundraising Counsel about The Strategic Development Plan: Laying the Groundwork for Fundraising Success.  She will be joined by Lynne Berkness, Director of Advancement, Cristo Rey Richmond High School and David Thomason, Vice President, Advancement, Special Olympics, Virginia to share additional perspectives and thoughts on ways to be intentional and plan strategies and activities for fundraising goal achievement.  

The June session is also our our Annual Business Meeting, so please check out the details on the 2019-2020 Budget and Board Slate below and submit your proxy if you can't join us.

Improv Time: YOUR Stakes

In performance, each character has a stake, a desire or a want in the scene.  These stakes create greater consequences for those involved - let’s focus on the good.  What are your stakes?  How do you achieve them?  There are no bounds to where we can go with strong stakes, open willingness and unbridled imaginations. The choices we make will make things more interesting, provide gift of opportunity and other additional information to advance our missions and our goals.

Move forward with your stakes...well done.        


James Wasilewski, VAFRE President

P.S.   Come join VAFRE for our Spring Social on May 23rd from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at ChildSavers.  Network with colleagues and share some stories!

P.P.S.  Please review the information about the local AFP Inclusive Giving Fellowship below. The program is open to AFP members and non-AFP members.  Applications are due May 31. 


VAFRE Deeper Dive Goes Virtual 

Members, log in and join VAFRE for a virtual Deeper Dive into the topics we discuss during our monthly luncheons. Ask your questions, post resources, respond to other members and interact with our presenter(s). Members can subscribe to the entire forum or only to the specific program topics of interest. 


Win a Registration to VFRI, Compliments of VAFRE 

VAFRE members who complete the annual Membership Survey by May 31st will be entered in a drawing to win a complimentary registration to this year's Virginia Fund Raising Institute on July 24-25 at the Richmond Marriott Hotel (two available). The brief survey takes about 8 minutes to complete - a bargain for a chance to win two days of continuing education!

Members should check their e-mail for a link to the survey (subject line: VAFRE Needs to Hear from You) or e-mail VAFRE Administrator Mary Kidd for a link.


2019 - 2020 Annual Meeting 

At the Annual Meeting, which will be held as part of our June 4th program, members will be asked to vote on the slate of officers and directors as well as the 2019-2020 budget.


  • President: Jennifer O’Rourke, CFRE, Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity
  • Immediate Past President: James Wasilewski, VCU Wilder School
  • Vice President: Robinette Tiller, VCU Massey Cancer Center
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Harry Warner, Fahrenheit Advisors

Newly Nominated Board Members for Election

  • Samantha Marrs, VCU
  • Virginia McAndrew, The New Community School
  • Lindsay Robinson, Northstar Academy
  • Mary-Beth Yates, CMOR

For the complete Board slate and a copy of the Board member biographies and proposed budget, click here

Members who are unable to attend the meeting are asked to submit their proxy so their vote can be counted.


Inclusive Giving Fellowship offered by AFP Central Virginia

The AFP Inclusive Giving Fellowship offers inclusion-oriented education, training and networking activities, and one-on-one mentorship for Central Virginia-based mid-level and emerging non-profit professionals representing a wide range of diverse backgrounds and interests. The goal of this program is to build a pipeline of fundraising leaders that reflect the diversity of our communities and develop practices that make a more effective Richmond fundraising community. This program is being offered free to our community thanks to support by The Monument  Group and is open to AFP members and non-AFP members. 

Fellows will receive a complimentary one-year membership in AFP and VAFRE, complimentary registration to multiple AFP and VAFRE events, and more. For complete details, click here.

Applications are due by May 31st.


Link Up with VAFRE on LinkedIn

VAFRE has a Company page on LinkedInBe sure to "follow" the company and share news and items of interest to other members.


In The News

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

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