December 1, 2011

by: Beth Lucas

The Members of Our Team

A few of the Team UCP members who along with countless others make up the “hidden” Development Team!

As we enter December and prepare for next year, I reflect upon the accomplishments we have had at UCP of Greater Cleveland over the past eleven months.  I am proud to lead and be a part of a team of individuals who are committed to raising funds and building awareness to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities.  Many of you know the members of the Development Department, Ruth Polomsky and Tammy Willet.  If you do, you have probably seen them going above and beyond working tirelessly at events, advocating with the community and with donors and speaking on behalf of the clients and the mission of UCP.  I feel fortunate to have a qualified and dedicated staff – but the Development Department is really only one small component of our marketing and fundraising efforts.  Our ‘UCP Development Team’ is much much larger.

Any nonprofit leader will tell you that an effective development model may appear to be centered on the efforts of the Development Department, but is truly executed with the support and efforts of countless others.  Always centered on the mission , we rely upon the Board of Directors, volunteers, employees at different levels, clients, families and other key stakeholders to successfully enact a program.  These are individuals who have unique stories and messages, they spread the word to new constituents and they illustrate to the community that the agency’s mission is valued beyond the walls of the headquarters.

UCP of Greater Cleveland has been fortunate for several decades to have strong members of the Board of Directors that have worked to increase corporate and foundation support, engage new philanthropists and enhance organizational effectiveness.  They have led successful capital campaign activities, major gift campaigns, corporate sponsor drives for events and annual fund efforts, and they have brought their associates in to assist with the processes.  We are the organization we are today because of the Board and all of the volunteers in the community who work on our behalf.

Our clients and families are an integral part of our marketing and development efforts as well.  They are always the first to talk about the agency to the community or potential new clients, to lend their stories to highlight the agency’s work and to raise dollars through campaigns and events.  In 2008, a core group of families created ‘Team UCP’ and kicked off our efforts as the ‘Official Charity of the Cleveland Triathlon.’  Their leadership has led to over a half million dollars raised to benefit programming at UCP of Greater Cleveland.

I cannot say enough about the members of our staff here at UCP.  We have over 250 dedicated employees who administer programs, provide agency support and work with clients on a daily basis to ensure that everyone receives quality care.  All the while, they are the face of UCP and make it easy for me and my team to showcase why this is an organization worthy of community support.

As we busily go about our efforts to have a strong year-end fundraising push at UCP of Greater Cleveland, I would like to stop for just a moment and thank all of the ‘silent members’ of the Development Department.  We are lucky to have all of you on board and we would not come even close to success without you.  Fundraising is a team sport, and we are grateful to have you on our side.

Beth A. Lucas
Director of Development

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