And the Winners Are … the 2014 FundRaising Success Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence
It was another “wow” year for the Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence — and for those of us who got to judge them. It’s never an easy task, but it’s always a rewarding one.
Round one started with veteran judges Joe Boland, FundRaising Success’ managing editor, and Paul Bobnak, research director at DirectMarketingIQ.com, holing up in our Philadelphia office to choose finalists from among the 123 entries (submitted by 35 nonprofit organizations and agencies).
After a full day of vetting, the finalists were sent here to me in Texas. I hunkered down for a day at the offices of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, along with this year’s other judges:
- Angela Ballantyne, senior development officer, Houston Ballet;
- Robyn Mendez, senior development director, MD Anderson;
- Heather Icenogle, director of annual giving and events, Houston Food Bank; and
- Debbie Campbell, head of the annual fund, MD Anderson.
Judging the Gold Awards is always exciting for a number of reasons. Mainly, it’s because we get a bird’s-eye view of some of the most creative and successful fundraising efforts of the previous year. But also, we get to be involved in terrific discussions around those efforts. It’s fascinating to see the reactions that some of these campaigns elicit in the judges, who have been intimately involved in their own organizations’ campaigns (and those of numerous others’ at their previous positions). It’s inspiring to see how moved they are and how passionate they can be when singing the praises of their top choices.
Anyone who has been following the awards over the years (this is our ninth annual) knows that we here at FS, as well as our outside judges, wish we could name all of our entries winners. We never fail to be amazed at the level of effort, passion and creativity that is so obvious in so many of them — not to mention the results!