Heroes: Fundraiser of the Year
senior campaign manager
Say you wanted to raise $10 million. Not an easy task—and even harder when a feasibility study deems that goal too aggressive. Harder still when you're the only fundraiser on staff.
That's the situation Beth Vaughn found herself in. As a consultant for fraternity and sorority fundraising firm OmegaFi, she was tasked with raising funds for the Chi Phi Educational Trust, a foundation that works to promote scholarship, improve educational facilities and support charitable causes on behalf of the Chi Phi fraternity. The trust had big goals—funding scholarships, expanding regional fraternity alliances, creating new education programs—and Vaughn would lead the effort to meet them. The target: $10 million by 2014.
So, in late 2009, Vaughn set about launching the Changing Lives Campaign, serving as senior director of development. She recruited a top-notch board of directors, cultivated major donors, built a consistent annual giving program and increased the giving avenues available to potential donors.
The campaign was a smash success. In four years, it tallied $11.25 million, besting the original goal by $1.25 million. Of those funds, 35 percent was raised in unrestricted dollars. The campaign included three of the largest gifts in Chi Phi trust history, and raised enough to finance and open the Greek Life Museum—the first museum of its kind—at Chi Phi's national headquarters in Suwanee, Ga. For her efforts, Vaughn was promoted to executive director by unanimous vote of the Chi Phi Trustees, and in 2015 earned her certified fundraising executive credential.
"Beth exemplifies the morality which should be expected of all fundraising professionals, and she serves as a mentor to her colleagues in many capacities," said Geoff McDonald, campaign manager for OmegaFi. "Beth has orchestrated the entire Changing Lives campaign and has been at the forefront of this unprecedented success. Because of Beth's efforts, the Chi Phi Educational Trust is able to provide more scholarships and programming than at any other point in its history."
Related story: Heroes: Announcing the Winners of the 2015 Nonprofit Professionals of the Year Awards