Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives

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VAFRE news, November 2020

Award Nominations Opening Soon!

Each year, VAFRE is honored to recognize some of the best development talent in the area with our Nina Abady and Rising Star Awards. Beginning on December 1st, nominations will open for the 2021 awards.

Who are you going to nominate? Click here for a list of past honorees and watch for the nomination form right after Thanksgiving!


Not a VAFRE Member?

Join Now

Quarterly payment options and scholarships available.


Need Help with Your Dues?

The Susan Early Scholarship Fund is available to new and renewing VAFRE members to cover the cost of your dues – something that could be crucial to your ongoing professional development in these turbulent times. To apply for a scholarship, follow the link in the member application or, for current members, follow the link on the Members Only page


NPD Workshop and Celebration on November 19th

National Philanthropy Day is a celebration of Central Virginia’s philanthropic spirit. Since 1996, AFP has honored more than 100 philanthropists, businesses, and volunteers in the community, who make an extraordinary impact on the quality of life, cultural vibrancy, and fabric of our region. The Association of Fundraising Professionals will host National Philanthropy Day virtually this year! 

The virtual workshop, Embracing the Power of Your Legacy Pipelinewill show you how simple it is to implement a 3-step pipeline matrix to inspire donors to leave a legacy to your organization and how to design engaging and personalized supporter journeys that will both excite and reinforce relationships with your donors.

There is no fee to participate in these events, but advance registration is required. For complete details or to register, visit


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.

Message from the President 

Happy Thanksgiving! This is the time we prepare for that special dinner with family.  The dinner table will look a little different this year. All the chairs around the table may not be full, but it will have the love of your family’s soul.  Let us remember that the purpose of the season is to express gratitude.  You can show your gratitude in person, over the phone, send a card or our new norm, a zoom call.  No matter which direction you choose, just take time to make the connection.  During this time when so many people are cut off from family, this will truly make a difference.

As I also use this time to self-reflect on what I am grateful for.  I also take the time to thank my donors.  We in the nonprofit sector cannot do the important work that we do without our donors.  Use this time to say how thankful you are for all that they do.  Remember during these times, they too may be cut off from family and friends. 

I would like to invite each of you to our December 1st lunch-in.  It is titled Creating the Dynamic Fundraising Duo: The Executive Director and Director of Development. Our presenters are Greta Harris and Stacie Birchett of the Better Housing Coalition along with Nancy Foy and Dan Stackhouse of The New Community School. Program details and link to register are below.

Fundraising Tip of the Month: Categorize Your Donors
Now that you have the specifics on a group of donors, you need to start leveraging it for the benefit of your organization. Some simple analysis is sure to reveal some opportunities.  Utilize new technologies like Google Analytics, CRM systems, and Business Intelligence to gain even greater insight into your donors.

See you (virtually) on December 1st.



Robinette Tiller
VAFRE President


VAFRE Members - Claim Your IOP Discount!

The Institute on Philanthropy at UR has extended a special offer to VAFRE members – a $50 discount for upcoming virtual institutes:

  • Grant Writing (January 25-28) and 
  • Fund Development (March 15 – 17 and March 22-24). 
E-mail to get your discount code. If you have questions on the programs, contact Mary Catherine Raymond at To register online, visit


Dynamic Fundraising Duo: The Executive Director and Director of Development

Of all the relationships we will have with our colleagues during our nonprofit careers as development directors, the most rewarding- and one of the most challenging- will be with the Executive Directors we work with. In an ideal fundraising world, we aspire to create a united front between the development director and the executive director that will give us financial and organizational success.  

Our E.D.’s can become our best advocate, as well as the best advocate for healthy fundraising in our organizations.  The combined skills of ED and DOD will educate board members, build trust in their responsibility for raising money, and generate enthusiasm for the process that you will need to draw on again and again.

Join Ruth Modlin Ellett, CFRE, as she guides Better Housing Coalition President and CEO, Greta Harris and VP- External Affairs, Stacie Birchett, and The New Community School Head, Nancy Foy and Director of Development, Dan Stackhouse through a conversation on how they created their Dynamic Duos. Click here for complete details or to register.


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