To that we say, 'Nuff said!
Jeff Sprinkle, chief philanthropy officer of the Y of Central Maryland, was a man on a mission to re-imagine the spirit and purpose of a 35-year-old annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that for many years generated less than $60,000 and struggled to break even after expenses.
Jeff led a group of volunteers and Y staff in honest, productive conversations about King, his legacy, the needs of the community and what the annual event should accomplish. The group eventually agreed to move away from a single breakfast event that gave attendees a "feel good" but did little to call them to put into action the values of service at the core of the Y and of King himself. Instead, a multipronged effort was planned that would engage thousands of community members and support the Y in providing high-quality programming to underserved families.
"With Jeff's passion, determination and dedication, longtime and new volunteers committed themselves to the effort, and in 2010 the fundraising record for the Dr. King tribute was blown away," says Heidi Paremske, grants manager at the Y.
The 35th annual tribute to King resulted in $150,000 cash contributions, $150,000 in-kind contributions and more than 500 documented volunteer hours committed to the project, but Jeff's success goes deeper than that. Fundraisers who are able to discern the need for change, and who have the courage to make the change and the vision to empower others to take part, are without a doubt stars in the industry.
At just 15 years old, the All Saints' Academy independent school in central Florida didn't have the broadest donor base when Kristin Tripoli took over as director of development. But according to school headmaster Tony Jordan, the "tireless, fearless and eternally positive" Kristin saw an opportunity to engage parents and teach them the value of giving. The result was "by far, the most effective annual fund in the school's history."