This morning, it was my honor to present an award for Excellence in Fundraising Management to our good friend and fundraising colleague Ann Marie Surovy. This recognition came as part of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Eastern PA Chapter National Philanthropy Day celebration.
During the event, several people talked about change. There’s no denying that change is our only constant. Indeed, change has been underway for some time in the world of philanthropy and fundraising. Our job as nonprofit professionals is to respond to that change with fundraising leadership.
A generation of philanthropists on whom our nonprofit communities have long depended are passing the torch to a new generation. That new generation comes with new ideas, new expectations, new technologies and new ways of communicating. The fundraising manager focuses on operations, processes, actions and activities. Leaders focus on people, vision, mission and strategy. They seek to bring their organizations in line with the realities of their environments.
Ann Marie Surovy is a fundraising leader. Joining the DaVinci Science Center in 2015, Ann Marie wasted no time before launching new programs to build new relationships and expand the Science Center’s base of support. She developed the Center’s fledgling Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Network into a vibrant organization dedicated to inspiring girls to take an interest in STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – and career opportunities in these fields. Through WISE, the DaVinci Science Center has engaged women who are passionate about the Center’s mission, help to build the Center’s membership and support the Center with their gifts of time talent and treasure. These are resources that will only grow over time.
We can all learn something from the way Ann Marie and the DaVinci Science Center have focused relationship building efforts through the WISE network. Directly connecting to the organization’s mission, the network and its programs provide opportunities to engage new volunteers, cultivate donors, and increase the visibility of the organization and its mission in the community.
Join me in congratulating Ann Marie on her award for excellence in fundraising. Her work can be an inspiration to others in our professional community.