Mark Crossley 2016-06-29 04:40:26
In its nearly 30-year history, the ASABE Foundation has never had a dedicated staff development position. So, when approached by the leadership last year to consider taking this role, I was very interested in how I could leverage my 16-year tenure with ASABE to make a meaningful difference. My history with the Society has taught me a lot about the profession, and more importantly has allowed me to forge lasting relationships with our membership. After careful consideration, I accepted the challenge and became ASABE’s first director of advancement in mid-March. The “advancement” title is common in academia. Now I wear two hats—one for membership, and the other for fundraising. This new position will require reassignment of some of my current duties to others on staff, and executive director Darrin Drollinger and I are working closely to ensure a smooth transition. In my new role, I will strive to advance ASABE in its mission through the integration of membership, marketing and communications, and development programs. I plan to build a culture of philanthropy by raising financial support through the ASABE Foundation and ASABE activities in general. I’ll be responsible for initiating and cultivating relationships with ASABE members and donor prospects that lead to major gift solicitations, as well as annual giving. I’m grateful and excited for this opportunity, and I look forward to better understanding the development priorities as outlined by the ASABE leadership. The newly created E-06 ASABE Foundation Liaison Committee exists for this very reason—to identify needs for Society funding by reaching out to ASABE communities, groups, and units, and then communicating those fundraising needs and priorities to the Foundation. Since starting my new position, I hit the ground running by immediately joining the Association of Fundraising Professionals and attending their International Fundraising Conference in late March. The timing could not have been better. The conference offered nearly 100 fundraising-related sessions. Was I overwhelmed? Absolutely. But I got a glimpse of what lies before me, and it’s REALLY exciting! I walked away from that event with some great contacts and information that will serve me well as I settle into my new position. I’ve worked closely with the Foundation Development Committee to begin cultivating a culture of planned giving to meet the long-range goals (5+ years) of the Foundation and the Society. This process takes time if it’s to be done right, and I plan to rely heavily on the collective expertise of those who currently serve or have served on the Foundation Board of Trustees. Thoughtful steps now will establish a solid base for the future. With the help of the Foundation, you will see new marketing materials, including social media and advertising campaigns, as part of an overall public relations strategy that will help donors understand giving options that might not immediately come to mind, such as legacy giving and stock transfers. This is an exciting time for ASABE and its Foundation, and the potential to support and grow Society initiatives and activities through fundraising efforts is huge. I’m thrilled to be a part of it! I plan to engage members at each stage of their careers as we work toward our fundraising goals. I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming Orlando AIM and discussing how we can work together to make ASABE stronger. Mark Crossley, ASABE Director of Advancement, St. Joseph, Mich., USA, email@example.com.
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