Fundraising Professionals of the Year Awards Winner Q-and-A: Margaux Pagán
In February, we here at FundRaising Success announced the winners of the 2011 Fundraising Professionals of the Year Awards. Throughout the year, FS will publish interviews with the winners in the Today in Fundraising e-newsletter. Up first, Fundraising Star Margaux Pagán, manager of phone and mobile marketing at the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
Fundraising Success: Describe your role at IFCJ.
Margaux Pagán: My previous role at the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews was executive assistant to the VP of development, where I oversaw all of IFCJ's outbound telemarketing campaigns. We ended 2010 with nearly $1.2 million raised and 22,000 donors reactivated — an increase of over 109 percent in revenue and 191 percent in donors reactivated over 2009.
I've since been promoted to manager of phone and mobile marketing (very exciting!). In my current role, I am restructuring our outbound telemarketing program to include more focus on current and lapsed donor reactivation, monthly sustainer, new donor conversion, and renewal campaigns. I am also focusing on mobile marketing where we have introduced QR codes on various outbound communications pieces such as our direct-mail newsletter and products. In the near future, plans include working with our Web team to build a mobile-friendly site, building a mobile list for SMS campaigns and the first launch of a text-to-give campaign.
FS: What is your philosophy toward fundraising?
MP: If you don't ask, you won't receive! This philosophy holds true for both internal and external communications. The main idea of fundraising, in my eyes, is no one will know there is a need until you tell them, and only then will you be able to bring them into your cause. We as people want to give — it makes us feel good and keeps the positive energy flowing.
FS: How do you see yourself growing professionally in the next few years?
MP: Do you mind extending your story a few pages? I'm kidding. I'm shooting for the moon. My career is very personal to me. I uprooted myself to Chicago from Florida so I could build a career in fundraising. In the next few years, when I become eligible, I plan to obtain a CFRE to further build upon my fundraising experience and knowledge. I most definitely see mobile marketing taking off and becoming more of fundraising vehicle. Also, I hope to bring the spotlight back to outbound telemarketing as a surefire way to reactivate donors. All in all, I am very hopeful for my professional future in fundraising — there's never a dull moment!
FS: Do you have any heroes/role models (either personally or professionally)? Who are they, and why do you look up to them?
MP: Personally, my father is my hero. That sounds so cliché, but it's true. He came from a not-so-good area and fought hard to "make it." I admire his will to fight through any obstacles. He's taught me that no feat is too large and there is no such thing as barriers, just the ones you put there. He's pretty awesome!
Professionally, my current supervisor, Sue Woodward. Sometimes I simply am amazed at the amount of information on fundraising in her brain. She has taught me so many things and continues to without even knowing it. Sue has shown me that fundraising has to be in your every fiber.
FS: What is the best advice you've ever gotten (either personally or professionally)?
MP: I love the quote by Marianne Williamson: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
FS: How would your co-workers describe you?
MP: Resilient, ambitious, shows initiative and a Chatty Cathy.
FS: Describe yourself in three words.
MP: Determined, passionate and evolving.