Reach for the Stars: The 2014 Fundraising Professionals of the Year Awards Winners
Last year, according to Elizabeth Coit, chief development officer at CFED, Kight initiated several activities to help the organization launch an individual donor program. She designed a chart to track and analyze individual donor giving history and patterns over a five-year period, and drafted an individual fundraising plan.
"Without much time to develop her professional interest in working with individual donors, Niya nonetheless took the initiative to cultivate a relationship with several, sending them CFED materials that they would find interesting," Coit says. "She also sent them periodic CFED-logoed items, and as a result of her efforts, one became a multiple-gift donor in 2013 with increased giving."
When two people left the development department, Kight showed her dedication by expanding her tasks to include building relationships with organizational, as well as individual, funders. She is also an avid learner, always looking for ways to grow in her field.
"She is respected and appreciated and has gained more visibility for her quiet but cheerful productivity and collaborative spirit," Coit says. "She performs her tasks and takes on new ones with flexibility, grace, forbearance and a keen interest in constantly learning."
Jody Lang Bender,
board director - special events chair
Our last-but-not-least winner in the Rising Stars category gets kudos for being an innovative risk-taker — a mindset that helped her breathe life into a ho-hum event and turn it into a major fundraising vehicle for the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters.
Lang Bender was the special events chair for the PLWV's annual Civic Leadership Reception in November 2013, which historically was a low-key event that cost about $250 to put on. But with Lang Bender at the helm, the event moved from a donated conference room to The Union League of Philadelphia and attracted Philadelphia Eagles legend Vince Papale as master of ceremonies, actor Tony Lo Bianco, outstanding musicians and even a Mummers string band.