Each year, the Association of Fundraising Professionals hosts an awards lunch in honor of National Philanthropy Day. The event is always held the week of Thanksgiving, which allows for reflections of gratitude.
This year, I am honored to be one of the award winners and wanted to use this column to thank my colleagues for their nomination, support, and vote for the Outstanding Professional Fundraiser award.
The past winners of this award includes a long list of highly accomplished leaders, many of whom I have had the pleasure of working with. It’s an honor to be among their company and to be recognized this year, especially with it being the 20th anniversary of Mollard Consulting.
I also want to recognize the other honorees at this year’s celebration.
- Charitable Gift Planners of Central Ohio (CGPCO) Leave a Legacy award is being presented to Shirley Brooks-Jones.
- The Columbus Foundation Outstanding Philanthropist award is being presented to Kara Trott.
- Outstanding Volunteer Fundraising award is being presented to Tom Feeney.
- Outstanding Volunteer Fundraising Group award is being presented to Kitchen Kapers.
- Outstanding Small Corporation award is being presented to The Pizzuti Companies.
- Outstanding Large Corporation award is being presented to Nationwide Foundation.
- Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award is being presented to Alea Ramsey.
When I think about this award, I must reflect on the joy of the work. Building relationships with donors, nonprofit chief executives, development professionals, and board members is meaningful to me. Learning their “why” for giving and leading is at the heart of how we work. Focusing on relationships, rather than transactions, keeps the work centered on people. As I think about my 28-year career in the nonprofit sector, it is just that.
It’s the people who have impacted my life, and mine theirs, that I am most proud of and grateful for, not the total dollars raised.
As you celebrate with your friends and family this Thanksgiving, I invite you to consider the nonprofit missions that you care most about. Make a donation in honor or in memory of someone who has advanced that mission. I promise that the moment of reflection on who you want to pay tribute to will be a meaningful addition to your philanthropic decisions.
Happy National Philanthropy Day to all my colleagues and Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers.