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AASPiration August 2013
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In this Issue:

- AASP New Members
- Upcoming Events & Educational Programs
- AASP Member Awards
- 2014 Board of Directors Ballots
- Member Spotlight
- Volunteer Opportunities


Please join us in welcoming the newest members of AASP. These individuals joined the organization during the second quarter of 2013. We’re happy to have them as part of our robust community of Advancement Services professionals!


Jumpstart your 2013 professional development by participating in an educational program offered by AASP or one of our partners. Our next program is Shades of Gray Matters on August 15, 2013, at 2:00 pm ET. Register for this Webinar! Advancement services professionals frequently encounter gray ethical areas in their day-to-day operations. Using real-world and practical examples, this webinar addresses historical and contemporary ethical gray areas and how to create clarity for yourself and your organization.


Registration for AASP’s 6th Annual Summit is officially open! This year’s conference in Chicago, October 14-16, 2013, is shaping up to be an excellent event centering on the theme of "Command. Control. Deliver." In addition to an impactful educational program, attendees will experience meaningful discussions with peers, enjoy world-class networking events, and much more. Register today!


Each year, AASP recognizes individuals for their contributions to the Advancement Services profession and service to the organization. The 2013 nomination period has now closed. Nominations were received for the following awards:

· AASP Volunteer of the Year: AASP membership in good standing; active involvement with a committee, event or other form of volunteer service to AASP; a significant contribution of volunteer time, talents, and service to AASP.

· AASP Emerging Leader: AASP member who has recently assumed a leadership role in AASP for the first time. This Award honors members who demonstrate leadership potential and encourages members’ active participation in AASP.

Award recipients will be announced at the Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon during the 2013 AASP Summit, October 14-16, in Chicago.


The Nominations Committee is pleased to present a slate of six (6) candidates for the three open seats. Voting ballots were emailed to the membership. If you have not voted for the AASP Board, please click here
. Votes will be tabulated and announced during the annual meeting at Summit 2013 in Chicago.


This month’s Member Spotlight shines on Kenneth Fonzi: Associate Director, Online Information Systems at Children's Hospital Foundation, in support of Children's National Medical Center. Tammy Armstrong, AASP Membership Committee Member, had the pleasure of chatting with him and learning about his fascinating journey from the stage to the world of advancement services – and about how those two worlds may have more in common than you think.

AASP: Please describe your current role.
Kenneth Fonzi: My role has transformed over time: initially, I was an application specialist for Convio Luminate Online (CLO), on both the data side and the HTML/CSS side. As we've grown more sophisticated in our engagement efforts, and as our staff has grown to include other power users for CLO, my role has become much more inclusive of various tools used by the Foundation (and our constituency). I now work collaboratively with our Web group to build excellent user experiences, make sure we are able to capture data we need, and import that data to ensure we can report on it meaningfully.

AASP: How long have you been in Advancement Services?
KF: Truly - this is my first Advancement Services role, officially.

AASP: How did you get into the industry? What was your personal/professional background prior to joining the industry?
KF: Completely unintentionally! I have worked almost exclusively in nonprofits since I was 16. My first few jobs were at a Theatre Company in Boston and at the Boston Harbor Island Alliance. I earned my BA from Suffolk University in Theatre. I found work after graduation in Suffolk University’s Office of Advancement. I became an in-house production manager for Advancement Communications. Around this time, I felt myself drawn back to Ireland (a place I had studied while in undergrad)—I applied to a Master’s program in Management Information & Managerial Accounting Systems on a bit of a whim, which changed my life in a huge way. My mentor at the time, Jim, helped me realize that the work I had been doing—setting up a business process for work requested through our department—was in fact an "information system”. I was now very excited not just to return to the Emerald Isle, but to pursue this area of study. The course was challenging, but I learned I had a natural talent for logic and coding (SQL, HTML,, VBA). I spent time in the European Operations Centre for Microsoft, and as an intern with Accenture. Eventually, with a heavy heart, I returned to Boston. I wound up in another Advancement Office at the Rhode Island School of Design, this time in an Annual Giving role. Initially, I was only responsible for producing our direct mail appeals, but quickly assumed all of our Direct Response solicitations. I enjoyed the key roles I played in our conversion to Datatel’s Colleague, our implementation of iModules, and the development of a standardized Campaign & Appeal Code structure which brought our reporting for this program to a new level. I realized around this time that I was not interested in furthering my career as a fundraiser—I don’t enjoy solicitations or cold calling. I decided to make the move to a more data-centric role, and at the same time, leave behind the harsh winters (and accents) of New England. Children’s National found my résumé, and the rest is history!

AASP: What is your favorite part of working in Advancement Services? What is most challenging?
KF: I love data, strategy, and systems integration. I credit hours upon hours of playing video games for both my interest in and propensity for problem solving, and I have been fortunate to parlay that into a career. The most challenging aspect is that so much of what we do is beneath the surface. At times, AS professionals can come across as unhelpful or reticent, when really we are providing support that our colleagues may not have yet realized that they are going to need. I suppose it’s like an artist who is only recognized for their talent posthumously!

AASP: Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
KF: Tough question! I really enjoy working with new technology, solving and addressing relevant issues, and expanding my knowledge of both the natural world and the many diverse peoples which inhabit it. I hope that I am in a role which will allow me to travel, make a difference, and continually push me. What kind of role that is, I can’t even begin to guess!

AASP: Is there an accomplishment in your current role (or in your career in general) that you're particularly proud of?
KF: Personally, my proudest accomplishment is my role in the launch of an awards ceremony and dinner event, which recognizes outstanding volunteerism in the LGBT community in Cork, Ireland. Much like in Advancement Services, the volunteers in this community made so much possible which no one ever knew about. The awards were a way to thank existing volunteers and recruit new ones. It is now under the leadership of a wonderful board of committed individuals, and is set to enter its fourth year!In my current position, I am most proud of our intranet, which I played a part in launching. I’ll never forget – on day one, I was told "We need an intranet. You’re going to build it. Any questions?”. This was both a fun project, and completely nerve-wracking; imagine being tossed into an ice-cold lake. I didn’t know the first thing about how to launch such an initiative, so I really had to start from scratch and see what tools were out there, what other organizations had done, and what the critical success factors were for Children’s National. Nearly a year later, we have a great intranet which serves as a focal point for many of our daily activities, and is quickly becoming our modus operandi for business as usual.

AASP: How long have you been a member of AASP and what do you enjoy about your membership?
KF: I just passed my one year anniversary as a full member in May, but have attended conferences as well as sessions at CASE. I truly value the access to like-minded professionals, and the wealth of information available to me. It’s also great to connect to, well, fellow ‘nerds’; it’s a very supportive and inclusive community.

Help AASP meet the ever-changing needs of its membership by volunteering your services. Now is the time to get involved and be active as we work together to serve the Advancement Services profession. We have openings on several committees and are looking for dedicated members willing to serve. If you’re interested in serving as a volunteer on one of our committees, please take a few minutes to complete the Volunteer Interest Form. Help us shape the future of AASP while serving the profession!