YWCA Board President to Receive Award

17 Nov

Each year, the Association of Professional Fundraisers (AFP) selects and honors an outstanding fundraiser, foundation, and volunteer who have made a real difference in the community and in the agency that they work or volunteer for.

Jennie Eblen

Jennie Eblen

This year, the YWCA of Asheville, Children First and the Mountain Area Child and  Center (MACFC) together nominated YWCA Board President Jennie Eblen as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year…and she won!

Come help us honor Jennie Eblen, Asheville’s Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser of 2008!

The National Philanthropy Day luncheon will be on November 18, 2008
at 12 Noon
at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel.

Here’s some of what we wrote about Jennie in the application we submitted:

The YWCA of Asheville, Children First, and Mountain Area Child and Family Center (MACFC) respectfully nominate Jennie Eblen for Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year.

Jennie is co-owner of Biltmore Oil/Eblen Short Stop Stores, and is a full-time volunteer. This year, she is chairing the boards of two important and complex organizations simultaneously (YWCA of Asheville and Children First). She is also deeply involved in Mountain Area Child and Family Center. Words are inadequate to describe Jennie’s role in all three organizations. Jennie is simply integral to all three agencies.

Her passion for the issues

If you are lucky enough to have Jennie involved in your organization, it means that first and foremost she is passionate about what your agency does. Jennie was a student at Asheville High School during integration, and is deeply passionate about race and justice issues. She lives the issues, not just speaks to them. She is just as deeply passionate about women and children’s issues. Her family and friends are representative of the diversity she so passionately believes in. Her business is representative of the beliefs that she puts into practice. She and her husband (and indeed their entire family) make sacrifices so that their employees can have benefits and a living wage. She believes in advocacy, and puts that belief into action to the benefit of the women and children she cares about.

Her level of expertise

While volunteers are wonderful people, they are usually limited in their abilities and in their knowledge of how non-profits work and what they need. The level of work that Jennie does for an organization is extraordinary. Her understanding of non-profits is extensive. Her business skills, combined with her clear, firm, consistent, and thorough style, make for an excellent non-profit leader. She is skilled in group leadership, policies and procedures, but most especially in fundraising.

Her fundraising skills

Jennie is well-known and beloved throughout the community. Her business and family are well-respected. When Jennie calls on someone, they respond out of respect and admiration. She is soft-spoken but passionate. She never equivocates, but always tells the truth. She returns the respect for the donor, and is firm, consistent, and hard to turn down.

While it would be great to list the dollars that Jennie has brought in, it would take more paper than we are allowed. She helped the YWCA raise more than $4 million for our capital campaign and for our corporate and annual fund every year since 1992. She has worked to benefit MACFC since its inception and for many, many years as well for Children First.

Her level of involvement

As this letter is being written, Jennie is hard at work in the closets of the YWCA, putting together an auction to raise money for the YWCA. She has spent nearly every day of the past three weeks at the YWCA helping staff and board get ready for our event. She has knocked on the doors of at least 20 corporations this year asking for support for her organizations. For the YWCA alone, she has signed probably 250 letters to supporters, and is preparing to sign at least that many more. She calls on corporate leaders, makes phone calls, attends events, recruits volunteers, brings friends into the circle, and leads groups into action for her organizations. She is doing this simultaneously for the YWCA, for Children First, and for MACFC.

In conclusion

It is difficult to put into words what Jennie means to our organizations and to us personally. She is one of those once-in-a-lifetime people. We all three consider ourselves extremely privileged to be “Jennie’s organizations”.

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