Pulse: ProFile: Ginny Creveling
Fundraising, at its best, is relationship building. The goal isn't just to get one-time gifts from faceless names. Though every dollar does help, the real goal is to establish long-lasting relationships with donors to cultivate an environment of giving that lasts a lifetime.
That's exactly the approach veteran fundraiser Ginny Creveling applies to her efforts. Recently named president and chief operating officer of the Folds of Honor Foundation, a nonprofit missioned to empower military families with educational support and opportunities, Creveling stresses that fundraisers should build two-way relationships with donors and lay out the benefits for both parties.
"I think relationship-raising is fundraising at its best," she says. "You can raise money, you can go and just ask people … but relationship building is different.
"[In] relationship building — [donors] care about you, and they care about your cause. And they want to be part of it, and they want to help. Relationship building on the practical side is also about knowing that your nonprofit, being associated with your nonprofit, is a plus for them. That's what comes out of relationship building."
Born in Manila, Philippines, Creveling was a military baby, moving from place to place. Her father served in the U.S. Army during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, so she certainly can relate to the mission at hand for Folds of Honor — which is why she left her job as executive director of the ONEOK Foundation, the charitable arm of ONEOK Inc., a Fortune 500 diversified energy company. There, Creveling managed a charitable budget that awarded more than $10 million in grants annually.
FundRaising Success spoke with Creveling about fundraising, relationship building and her passion for helping others.
FundRaising Success: How were you introduced to fundraising? What sparked your interest?
Ginny Creveling: As a volunteer. I'm lucky; I've been involved in some great causes that I've really believed in. And when you do believe and you see the need, I think you very willingly help raise the funding that's needed in order to meet those needs.