Meet Our Award Winners: Gene Petrucci
In our February issue, Fundraising Success named the winners of our 2010 Fundraising Professionals of the Year Awards. In this recurring "Meet Our Award Winners" series in the Advisor, you will have an opportunity to learn more about these distinguished nonprofit professionals and their unique perspectives on fundraising. Here, meet Gene Petrucci, who was named one of this year's Fundraising Stars.
associate executive director
Twilight Wish Foundation (Doylestown, Pa.)
Organization's mission: To honor and enrich the lives of deserving seniors through wish-granting celebrations that connect generations. Our vision is “to make the world a nicer place to age, one wish at a time."
Annual operating budget: $370,000
How much raised annually: $289,613 in 2007 and $453,907 in 2008
Role models: The military commanders I have had as an officer in the United States Army, and my current boss, Cass Forkin, of Twilight Wish Foundation. They have shown me that dedication, loyalty, persistence and cooperation amongst diverse individuals, striving for a common good, can achieve unimaginable results.
Why did you choose fundraising as a career: I have always been good at connecting with people and, through my military experiences, I have extensive training in logistics and organization. Those two attributes together lend themselves perfectly to fundraising. I also have a love for the elderly, which is the whole reason for Twilight Wish Foundation, so what better way to use my talents than by fundraising for seniors?
Your greatest fundraising challenges: By far the greatest fundraising challenge I have ever faced is the current economic climate. Sponsorships have dried up substantially. Grants have been cut back dramatically, and even individual donations have dropped off. I have never seen it this bad.
Keys to success (in life): Number one: You MUST have hope and maintain a positive outlook on the broader picture. You cannot lose focus on the ultimate goals you have set by the setbacks you encounter along the way. Number two: Work the details of all those “sub-tasks” toward your goal as much as you possibly can. The detail you neglect early WILL come back to haunt you later.