The Hub
February 2019 Volume 17 Issue 2

In This Issue...

Upcoming Webinars

Developing a Culture of Philanthropy by Sacrificing the Annual Fund
Thursday, March 14

View all 2019 Webinars

2019 Regional Events

Ninth Annual NYC Regional Conference
Friday, March 22
New York City, NY

Help us plan a regional event!
Contact the ADRP Office if you'd like to help plan a Regional Event in your area in 2019 or to learn more.

What We're Reading

This Year, Make Your Annual Report Worth Reading
Tina Cincotti, Funding Change

When it comes to your annual report, good storytelling is incredibly important. In this article, Tina Cincotti of Funding Change consulting offers practical and fun solutions for spicing up your annual report to ensure it effectively communicates impact and gratitude.

Have you read an article or blog recently that might interest ADRP members? Submit the link and a description of the piece and it may be featured in an issue of The Hub.

ADRP Resources

Connect with ADRP Online


In Service: The Column of the ADRP President

Jen McGrath
Senior Director, Donor Relations & Stewardship
MIT Resource Development

I'm just back from Los Angeles for the winter in-person meeting with the ADRP Board of Directors. Although we formally connect monthly via video conference call, we have found that our time together in the same room (even those with wild wallpaper) is by far the most productive in terms of being able to begin or advance substantive and significant business related to ADRP's ongoing health and continuing growth.

We now meet in-person three times a year. One of those times always coincides with the International Conference. (Join us next year September 25–27, 2019, at the 16th Annual Conference in Miami, Florida!) In recent years, we've been holding the other two meetings in locations where we have large concentrations of ADRP members.

Among our goals is to connect directly with members to get feedback on how ADRP is helping us all do our jobs better, advance our careers, and enjoy our work – and what more ADRP can be doing to make those things true. We also hope that we help to bring local members together and perhaps ignite a desire for repeated and regular regional gatherings. (I'm looking at you New England, which, following the board meeting in May, has since gone on to have a happy hour and breakfast panel thanks to the dedication and vision of some awesome volunteers.)

And so it was that we were in Los Angeles. It was great to have breakfast with some of LA's finest donor relations professionals and not only do the things I outlined above, but also, as it turns out, to simply swap stories. We had a fun 'round the room telling our ADRP origin stories and then quickly moved to some of our favorite "fails" (we're pretty sure there's a conference session in the making there).

Storytelling, whether it's our own or someone else's, is a powerful connector. A good story (and a good storyteller) links people to each other and to places and time. Stories engage through emotions ­­– passion, joy, humor, heartbreak, and more – and are at the heart of what we do best for our donors, encouraging them to visualize themselves in the classroom, patient room, recital hall, gallery, summer camp, etc. Stories help us all – whether we're in healthcare, higher-ed, humanities and arts organizations, or any other type of non-profit – find our common ground and build solidarity in shared experience.

This month, The Hub is loosely tied together by stories: the story of ADRP (live on the new website!), how to guide the stories board members and volunteers tell about your organization, and why each donor’s superhero story is so important.

Have ideas or reflections of your own to share? As always, I'd love to hear from you directly on LinkedIn or Twitter @JenNesbit. Please also engage with ADRP on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @ADRPtweets.

Our Story: We've Come a Long Way

Ashleigh Manktelow
Associate Director, Volunteer Partnerships and Regional Strategy
McGill University

Twelve people sitting around a table. That’s how it all began.

In 1990, in an environment where there were relatively few positions dedicated to donor relations and stewardship, a group of likeminded colleagues identified a need and got to work. Together, they laid the foundation for a network of peers who would support and share with one another. This entrepreneurial spirit and collegiality has stayed with the organization from the early days of the New England Stewardship Conference to ADRP’s incorporation in 2004, from a 500-member association in 2006 to reaching 1,500 less than 10 years later.

ADRP continues to thrive thanks to those founding members who gathered together in 1990, the leaders who have come since and pushed the association to new heights, and the members who make up the diversity of experience and perspectives that define ADRP as the rich and welcoming place it is today.

As ADRP members, we should all feel proud of our history, our milestones and our achievements. We have all played a part in the association’s amazing evolution. I encourage you to read more about this on the Our Story page of the ADRP website. Special thanks to Betty Meehan for penning the story and to Nancy Lubich McKinney, Roberta O’Hara, and Daphne Powell for their contributions.

What's Your Donor's Superhero Story?

Shannon Morris
Manager, Donor Communications
Cincinnati Museum Center

I’m pretty lucky. I wake up every day and go to work at the Hall of Justice—well, the inspiration for it anyway. And while Wonder Woman and Superman don’t regularly walk the halls of Cincinnati Union Terminal, I’m constantly inspired by the real superheroes.

Many nonprofits excel at highlighting their super powers. They paint colorful pictures about how they save the day. Unfortunately, they often forget the real superhero isn’t the organization. The real superheroes are donors.

Read More

Helping Your Volunteers Craft Their Own Stories

Krystina Wales
Director, Donor Relations & Stewardship
GMBC Healthcare

As stewardship professionals, we understand the importance of messaging. We spend a lot of our time crafting the perfect prose to convey impact to our donors, which means it's easy for us to forget that our volunteers might need a little coaching when it comes to storytelling.

Volunteers, whether they be front-line or board members, have a personal connection to your organization. They wouldn’t be present, giving their time and talent, if that wasn't the case. When it comes to fundraising, that compulsion to be a part of your organization is the most powerful tool they have.

Read More

Member Spotlight

Name: Kara Johnson

Institution: Wichita State University

Position: Director of Donor Relations

ADRP member for one year

What do you like most about being a member of ADRP?

I like knowing there are others who have been through what we are going through, or will someday experience. There are so many ways to accomplish the goals of donor relations work, and ADRP helps summarize and support each of them. I know when I first learned of the organization and, shortly thereafter, attended the conference in St. Louis this past October, I celebrated meeting like-minded professionals, who also “wear many hats” and speak the same language.

It can be hard to showcase the “value” of donor relations, but with ADRP, there are people, places and tools designed to help us, and others, see the value and possibilities. ADRP is confirmation of donor relations professionals’ possibilities, outcomes, goals, and dreams.

Read More

Write for The Hub: We Want to Hear from You!

The Hub is seeking article proposals for new monthly issues!

Do you have a success story you would like to share? How did you handle a particular problem or project that seemed insurmountable? Have you discovered effective tactics that help gain a seat at the table? What are your thoughts on best practices or new, emerging ideas that take a donor relations/stewardship program to the next level?

We want to encourage our members—new and experienced—to share their insights, best practices, and what works (or doesn’t work!) when planning their shop’s programming and responsibilities.

We welcome all submissions related to donor relations and stewardship, but we especially encourage ADRP members to step forward and share their expertise and experiences in the profession.

The submission form is available any time you have an article proposal to submit. We have included the webinar topics for each month, in case you would like to tie your article to a specific webinar topic.

Please submit your article proposal today! We can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

Submit an Article

The Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP) is a nonprofit business league organized under the laws of the State of New Hampshire. Its goals are to offer professional development opportunities, to promote the donor relations and stewardship professions, and to foster networking. ADRP is an international organization with members from all sectors of the non-profit world: education, health care, arts, and community organizations.

Our core organizational values are:
Visionary leadership • Absolute integrity • Member empowerment and connection
Service and program excellence • Responsible philanthropy

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