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Dear AVAP Members,
Happy Back to School! If your campus is anything like ours, one day you wake up, getting to work is much harder, and the parking lots fill up faster. Then it dawns on you that “the kids” are back and you have to be more on top of things in the morning. As I stated at our business meeting, I am thrilled to be leading this organization over the next year and hope that the executive team and myself build a conference for you in 2019 that will prove beneficial. I apologize up front for the length of this post, but have several things to share with you.
Partnership with AAVMC: I recently signed the MOU for AVAP to become a component organization to the AAVMC. By the end of this calendar year, we will turn over all of our finances to the AAVMC for them to manage. We will have a call with Lynne, our treasurer; Ali, our conference chair; and the necessary support staff at the AAVMC to ensure a smooth transition and discuss next year’s conference.
Discussion Forum: For those of you who are newer to the organization, I encourage you to visit the Discussion Forum section of our website, under “AVAP Resource Center” on the navigation menu. You may see a topic being addressed that will answer a question you currently have. We recently posted an inquiry from the University of Florida about how scholarships are awarded. We ask for your feedback. Please let us know if you would have questions you would like to have posted.
2019 Conference Planning: We greatly appreciate everyone completing the survey from our conference. As we start to plan next year, we have another short survey we would ask you to complete. I know it is asking some of the same information, but we appreciate your input.
#HashTagYourDonkeyAndElephant: The conference coordinators at Virginia/Maryland remind everyone to take your Donkeys and Elephants with you to events and travels. If you do so, please take pictures and share them on social media sites with the hashtag #AVAP2019. Everyone who posts a picture with this hashtag will be entered into a raffle to get his or her conference registration paid for.
Executive Committee: If you are curious to learn more about our plans for the upcoming conference or have some spare time on your hands, you can see the notes/meeting minutes from all of our monthly calls on our website. We welcome anyone’s feedback or suggestions at any time. After all, this organization is designed to benefit everyone.
Please feel free to contact me directly. Have a great year and be sure to check back here often!
Danielle Johnson, President
We are currently looking for fellow AVAP’ers to step-up into leadership positions within AVAP. During the annual business meeting, we will open the floor for nominations for a one-year term at-large member, two-year term at-large member, and Vice-President. To learn more about the positions, click here. Click here to see our current leadership team.
Just wanted to send along a reminder that the nomination period for the AAVMC’s 2018 Communications Excellence Award is drawing to a close. Nominations and applications must be received by Friday, March 30, 2018. Please see the following link for additional information:
A true story from a colleague…
During a recent university advancement meeting we broke out into roundtable discussions about tips and techniques for getting donor visits and engagement. I shared a tip that I’ve found useful, coined the “drive by” visit. Drive by visits are great when you’ve had a tough time connecting with busy people. They involve a brief stop to drop off a little something- a card, tchotchke, note, treat (I make persimmon bread during the holidays) etc. The individual doesn’t have to be there- it’s simply a chance to drop off something that says- I’ve made an effort to see you because you are important. I went on to share that in most cases, the prospect has responded with a call, email or invitation to meet. Even better, some resulted in contributions.
Fast forward two months. A young colleague and I were making a joint visit to a donor. In route she said, “Say, that “drive-by” tactic works”. Tell me more, I invited her. She went on to say that she made two “drive by” visits that resulted not only in positive communication with the prospects but two end-of-the-year gifts – one that was $10,000.
Keep up the good work everyone! Happy New Year! Let’s make it a great 2018.
IMPACT. Verb. “To have a strong effect on someone or something.”
Are you tired of this word yet? It seems to be one of the big buzzwords in advancement right now. We must show impact of the gift, have impact statements, etc. You all probably know enough about me by now to know how I feel about impact-not only in my job, but in living my life.
In this season of warm fuzzy feelings, holidays, food and fellowship, I have a great year-end story about impact I’d like to share (I’m just full of stories). I know this was the subject of one of my earlier emails, but I wanted to send a reminder (LOL!). This isn’t about money, but about kindness and connection and IMPACT.
A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from one of our alums from the class of 1988. I wasn’t working at LSU at the time, but knew people at the school, and I had a farm. This young alum had a very sick horse when she graduated that she was concerned would not make the trip to the new home/new job. I offered to keep the horse in comfort until she passed away, and I did so. Fast forward almost 30 years and I get an email from this alum (with whom I have not communicated since the call about having to put her horse down) wishing me a merry Christmas, and telling me how grateful she has been for all these years for what I did for her-that she often thinks about it. WOW! Made my day. And reminded me of why I am still around the vet school after all these years.
So, as we roll into this frenetic holiday season, finishing our cards, frantically shopping and honking our horns at crazy drivers (must be them, certainly can’t be ME), let’s stop and take a deep breath and take a moment to consider the impact we have on others, for good and for bad. Let’s stop and thank people, let them know what their presence in our lives has meant; let us be kind and giving, not just taking. Let US, not just our donors, live our lives in an impactful way.
The happiest of holidays to all!!
Dear AVAP members,
I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to be at the helm of such a great organization! I have been a member for over 10 years now, and have watched it grow in numbers and strength, and I hope to help continue that progress.
For our over 30 new members, welcome! I believe that I-that WE-have the second best job in the world. There can be nothing finer and more satisfying than supporting people and programs that are making a difference in the lives of people and animals all over the world. Whether in education, service or teaching, people in our veterinary colleges and schools are impacting lives on a daily basis. And we are able to help them.
For those of you who weren’t able to make the conference, it was an incredible one. Chad Rohlfs and his crew at Purdue deserve a resounding round of applause for all the work they put in. From the speakers, to the food, to the social activities, it was a stellar event! These conferences help remind me of the importance of the work that we do. They also help me recharge when I am there-I get new ideas, affirmation of our work and friendship! If you were there, please don’t forget to fill out the post-conference survey, as we will soon begin planning our next one. Pam Jones and her staff at CSU have agreed to host another conference in conjunction with the AVMA conference in Denver, CO next summer (thanks you guys!!) and will use your input. Here’s the link: http://www.avaponline.org/2017-conference/2017-post-conference-survey/
At the conference, we installed our officers for the year, and here they are:
Vice President Danielle Johnson
Treasurer Lynne Haley
Treasurer elect Karen Johnson
Member at Large Joe Montgomery
Member at Large Bill Venne
The secretary position was left open, as Jo Ann Winn is retiring from it after 5 years, but Kelley Marchbanks has volunteered. As we will be migrating our listserv to our website, and she does extensive work with that, this is greatly appreciated. Also greatly appreciated is Jo Ann’s service and friendship over the years!
A point of business that we forgot was to approve the 2016 business meeting minutes. Jo Ann has uploaded them to the website, so if conference attendees would please take a few minutes to review them and advise of any corrections necessary that would be great. Deadline for approval is Friday, August 11. If we don’t get any corrections, we will accept the minutes as written. Here’s the link for that: AVAP 2016 Meeting Minutes final
In closing, I would like to say that this organization and this board is here for YOU! Use it…throw ideas and questions out on the listserv, reach out to members for ideas, contact the board if you need them. We will be having our first meeting soon to discuss goals for the coming year, so now is a great time for your input to help guide the future of AVAP.
Gretchen K. Morgan, AVAP President
Director of Alumni and Donor Relations
School of Veterinary Medicine
Louisiana State University
The communications program at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, led by Public Relations Director Sarah Carey, APR, has been recognized with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges’ (AAVMC) 2017 Communications Excellence Award.
Florida’s communication program was reviewed and enhanced as part of a major institutional strategic planning program completed in 2014. The revamped program was tethered to the college’s 40th anniversary celebration and configured to support a major new college branding campaign themed “Challenge Accepted.”
“Communications excellence and institutional advancement go hand in hand,” said AAVMC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “We congratulate our colleagues at the University of Florida for earning this honor, and appreciate the role their work is playing in advancing the interests of all of us in academic veterinary medicine.”
The award includes a $1,000 honorarium, a commemorative and public recognition. It will be formally presented during the annual meeting of the Association of Veterinary Advancement Professionals (AVAP) on Thursday, July 20 at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Center Hotel in Indianapolis.
See rest of announcement.
Dear AVAP Colleagues,
“Only by binding together as a single force will we remain strong and unconquerable.” – Chris Bradford
The executive committee met last month and formulated its goals for the coming year.
Our goals include:
- Strengthening communications with AVAP members
- Developing “best practices” resources on various topics such as grateful clients
- Expanding the website to become a regularly utilized resource for its members
- Continued collaboration with AAVMC and explore new collaborations with other veterinary organizations to raise AVAP visibility and leverage member expertise
- Organizing a vibrant conference that incorporates 2016 survey feedback
- Finalize the 501(c)(3) process and consolidate finances
During a recent conversation with Jeff Douglas (AAVMC) we discussed an article in the “Vet Med Educator,” a monthly electronic publication produced by AAVMC. The publication offers a succinct summary of the issues that impact veterinary medicine and can help you get onto the same page as the deans. If you are not already receiving the publication, I encourage you to subscribe at http://www.aavmc.org/Electronic-Communications/The-VetMed-Educator.aspx so you are in the know.
IMPORTANT DATE CHANGE!
AVMA has moved the 2017 Alumni Receptions from Monday night to Friday night, July 21. Reason. As a result, the AVAP conference will be held BEFORE the start of AVMA. The conference planning committee are looking at dates and locations at this time. Further details will be available on the AVAP website in December.
Speaking of the conference, one final shout out to the Texas A&M team for planning this year’s conference! We also want to thank everyone who completed the 2016 San Antonio conference survey. We gleaned valuable suggestions and feedback for next year’s conference. If you have suggestions for the 2017 conference please send them to Chad Rohlfs at CMRohlfs@prf.org.
Have an idea for AVAP?
I invite you to contact any of the executive committee members to share your idea — our phone numbers and emails can be found at http://www.avaponline.org/contact/.
As Henry David Thoreau said, “I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
Best to you in this season of thanksgiving,
Cheryl Cobbs, MA, CFRE