Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives

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VAFRE E-news, April 2021

Member News

Members, do you have recent news you'd  like to share? Details on an upcoming charitable event for your organization? A book you've published? A recent promotion? Log in and post it on the Member News page of the website and let the rest of the VAFRE community know. The most recent posts will also show up on the Home page and the News page of the website.

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

Upcoming events


VAFRE has a Company page on LinkedIn: check it out to see what's happening with VAFRE

Also, members can join our LinkedIn group page and post items of interest to other members.

Welcome New Members!

  • Kaylie Bennett, Southside Virginia Community College
  • Bonita Kirk, Black Women Building Community
  • Susan Taylor, Black Pearl philanthropy, LLC
  • Meggan Thomas, Virginia Humanities
Log in to the Member Directory to access contact information for these and all members.


Not a VAFRE Member?

Join Now

Quarterly payment options and
scholarships available.


Virtual Member Social

Miss connecting with your friends and colleagues at our in-person events? Try out the next best thing with a VAFRE Virtual Networking Session on May 25th at noon! Attendees will enjoy round-robins in Zoom breakout rooms, and the event will feature a special guest speaker!

Members, login and register online now. “See” you on May 25th!


Don't Forget to Sign Up: VAFRE Affinity Groups

One of the greatest things about our Association is the opportunity to meet and network with fellow fundraisers in our region. VAFRE Affinity Groups are discussion forums and listservs targeted to specific interests within the fundraising field. Choose to join one or more groups that most interest you or relate to your career. You'll have the opportunity to ask questions from members, share new ideas and best practices, meet members in your field or connect to those you've already met, and create virtual meet-ups. 

Members, log in and select from groups dedicate to Annual Funds, Grant Writing & Reporting, Small Shop Fundraising and more.


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. To apply for a scholarship, follow the link in the member application or, for current members, follow the link on the Members Only page.

Message from the President 

April Showers bring May Flowers.  That means during this time we have had some rain.  The rain was sent to nourish our fundraising garden. So, look at all the changes you have been through as nourishments. Look forward to May to see the fruit of your labor as we start preparing to close out the fiscal year.

VAFRE is still here as a resource for you. If you have a vexing question, ask it in one of the affinity groups and get perspectives from your colleagues.

And of course, join us on Tuesday, May 4th for our virtual Awards Lunch-In.  Our honorees this year are the Nina Abady winner, Bobby Thalhimer of The Monument Group, and the Rising Star winner, Sarah Young of Peter Paul.

Fundraising Tip of the Month: Make Your Donation Button Shine

An organization's Donate Now button has a large impact on its ability to raise money effectively online. Tweaking your donate button can increase your online donations exponentially. Network for Good provides resources on their website that can help nonprofits get the most out of their Donate Now buttons.

See you at the Awards lunch-in.



Robinette Tiller
VAFRE President


2021 Award Winner Profiles


This year’s Nina Abady Award winner, Bobby Thalhimer (pictured above left) brings a broad range of experience to The Monument Group, which he joined in 2015. He served for 16 years as Senior Vice President for Philanthropic Services at the Community Foundation. During his tenure, the Community Foundation grew in asset size from approximately $250M to over $900M at its peak. Prior to joining The Community Foundation, Bobby served for six years as Executive Director of the Science Museum of Virginia Foundation and for one year as Deputy Director for Science Education of the Science Museum of Virginia. During that time, the museum completed a $36 million capital campaign in just three years and grew its endowment from $600,000 to $11 million. He orchestrated the initial capital campaign for the new Danville Science Center, raising $1 million in the local community, and served on the board of the Science Museum of Virginia Foundation, including a term as President. He was also appointed by Gov. Douglas Wilder to the Science Museum of Virginia’s Board of Trustees. He is presently a board member and Co-Chair of the Investment Committee of the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation. He also presently serves on The Richmond Forum Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and he co-chairs its Search Committee for the next Executive Director.

Our Rising Star Award winner is Sarah Young (pictured above right), who joined the Peter Paul team in October 2018 and currently serves as Director of Development. Her experience includes running annual giving campaigns, managing a prospect pipeline, developing communications and marketing plans, stewarding donor relationships, and evaluating and monitoring development strategies. Prior to joining Peter Paul, she was the Associate Director of Development at Esperanza Academy, a tuition-free, independent middle school for girls in Lawrence, Massachusetts. In her role, Sarah increased grant revenue 100% and broadened the base of support to the greater Boston region. Prior to that, she worked as a philanthropic consultant at The Boston Foundation, working directly with donors to increase the impact of their philanthropy.

    Click here for details on our winners, and make plans to join us as we celebrate their achievements at our Virtual Annual Awards Lunch-In on Tuesday, May 4th.

    Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, Mitchell Wiggins and Company, for their support of this event.


    Nominate an Outstanding Volunteer!

    Nominations are now being accepted for the 2021 Virginia Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Awards. The awards, presented by Governor Northam and the Governor's Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism, recognize the outstanding efforts of Virginia’s volunteers. The nomination period ends at 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, April 23, 2021.  Honors will be presented in the following categories: Adult, Young Adult, Youth, Senior, Family, Faith-Based Organization, Educational Organization, Community Organization, Small Business, and Corporation.

    This year’s winners will be honored in September.  For more information or to nominate a person or group, visit If you have questions about the Governor’s Volunteerism Awards, contact Nomination forms must be submitted online and require two letters of support. Information on last year’s winners can be found at


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