Thursday, January 26, 2017

Meet Olivia Tuck!

by: Olivia Tuck
Development Assistant

Everyone keeps saying that 2016 was a terrible year. For me, it was the best year yet! 

My desire to pursue a career in nonprofit development brought me to Chicago in August 2016, following my graduation from the University of Notre Dame (Go Irish!). The apartment I found happened to be about four blocks away from the Elks National Memorial and Headquarters, and the first time that my parents and I drove by the gorgeous building my mom half-jokingly said, “Hey, that building is incredible—you should work there!” My mom’s suggestion became a reality, for which I am extraordinarily grateful. A little over two months ago, I began working as the Development Assistant at the Elks National Foundation.

Each day over the past two months has been incredibly exciting, as I continue to learn about the ENF’s role in communities across the country and the many facets my position includes. If you’re wondering just what the ENF Development Assistant does, stay tuned! 

Two of my primary responsibilities are managing the general and Fundraising Department’s phone lines and emails. If you’ve emailed the ENF or ENF Fundraising over the past two months, there is a good chance that I was the one you were communicating with. This is my favorite aspect of the position. I love being able to share with our volunteers how best to promote the mission of the ENF and learn about how different Lodges around the country demonstrate this mission. 

My second favorite part of my position was being a part of Jim’s choral ensemble on Elksmas, the most wonderful day of the year. You can catch a glimpse of the holiday magic on this episode of Midday with the ENF. 

Olivia spreading Elksmas Spirit!
I am also responsible for sending out birthday cards to our volunteers, fulfilling supply orders from the ENF website, and sending out Fidelity Club recognition each month. It’s been great that the process to pull all the new members of the Fidelity Club and prepare their recognition pieces took longer this month—that means more people are joining! Click here to learn more about recurring gifts and the Fidelity Club so you can join too! 

Since it is only January, I haven’t seen half of what my position will hold, as the coming months are the busiest time of the year for the ENF with the fiscal year end, MVS Leadership Weekend, Elks National Hoop Shoot National Finals, and Elks National Convention preparation. I love being busy and having multiple, challenging tasks to accomplish, so I truly can’t wait for the spring! 

Before the ENF, I interned back home in Detroit at the Michigan Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and then at VOCEL: Viewing our Children as Emerging Leaders and Facets Multimedia here in Chicago. Despite all three internships also being in development, they were quite different from what I’ve experienced here at the ENF. 


With the help of my amazing manager, Kate Keating Edsey, I’ve been able to pick most things up quickly. She and the rest of the ENF team have been unbelievably welcoming and supportive, and I still can’t believe that I am lucky enough to work here. Although I did not know too much about the Elks and the mission of the ENF prior to preparing for my interview, I have come to learn that the ENF staff clearly exemplify the values treasured by the Elks daily. 
  
When I’m not at the ENF, I can usually be found exploring Chicago or hiding from the cold by watching TV, painting, and reading my Irish books. I studied Irish language and literature at Notre Dame, and loved every second of it, so I still try to keep up with it as best I can.

As you can see, 2016 was a pretty good year for me as it held graduation with a degree in a language that I love, a big move to the Windy City and landing my dream job. I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Celebrating the New Year at the ENF


by: Katlyn Geldert
Donor Services Assistant

Fall 2016 was one for the record books for me. I got married, the Cubs won the World Series, and I was hired at the Elks National Foundation in the Donor Services Department! All three amazing and life changing events. 


The Wedding

As 2016 ended on such a high note, I am really excited for 2017. It’s going to be a great year! It’s already off to a fantastic start, as I am loving my role as a Donor Services Assistant. I enjoy processing donations as well as seeing the high level of fellowship and support throughout the Elks communities.

During my work week, I send out acknowledgement letters to thank those who have donated. I also spend time working on adjustments to donations to make sure that the correct donors are credited for their generous gifts. Most days, I process donation information that comes through our bank’s website and through online remittances. I update donation totals and per-member-giving standings weekly on the ENF website. I have many different tasks to get done, but it has been very engaging because I am constantly learning new aspects of working for a non-profit from my lovely coworkers.
Hannah (L) and Katlyn (R)

One of my favorite things about working for the ENF, in addition to my kind and hilarious coworkers, is the amazing architecture of the Elks National Memorial. Even after

working here for two months, walking through the rotunda is still a breathtaking experience. I feel exceptionally lucky to work in a building that is so aesthetically alluring.

I enjoy how different my job at the ENF is from my previous jobs. Before coming to work here, I was a teacher for five years. I am very thankful for the amazing and unexpected experiences teaching gave me. I have always loved to travel and teaching gave me the opportunity to do that! Right after graduating college, I traveled through Peru then I moved to Incheon, South Korea to teach kindergarten and elementary school for over a year. During that time, I met some of my best friends and was able to explore Korea, Thailand, and Japan.

When I returned home to Minnesota, I started substitute teaching and then I was offered a job here in Chicago to work at a Montessori school. For the past three years, most of my interactions at work have been with students aged three to six. Since joining the ENF, it has been a nice change of pace to interact with my current coworkers. No one has cried or spit on me when excitedly telling me a story, yet. 
Katlyn visiting Machu Picchu in Peru

Thank you for reading about all things Katlyn! I hope you are having a wonderful New Year. If you have any questions regarding your donations, please feel free to reach out to me at katlyng@elks.org or at 773/755-4862.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Year, Same Deadline

by Jocelyn Moya
Programs Assistant


Now that we’re in our second week of 2017 and some of the shiny new feelings have worn off—it’s time to turn our resolutions into actions. My work-based resolution is to continue to grow into the best resource and guide for all Lodges throughout the grant application process. This has different meanings depending on which part of the grant cycle we’re in, but with fast approaching deadlines, right now that primarily means encouraging more Lodges to apply for a Beacon Grant! 


My first step toward reaching my resolution was to send out a postcard promoting the Beacon Grant to Lodges that have never received one. Can you believe there are still Lodges leaving grant money on the table? Are you one of those Lodges? No worries—applying for a Beacon Grant is easy! But, hurry and apply today. The deadline to submit a Beacon Grant application is March 31, 2017!




Be sure to check out our Beacon Grant Breakdown presentation. Whether it's your Lodge's first time applying or you just need a quick refresher, it's sure to put you on the fast track to receiving a Beacon Grant.


Have you received a Beacon Grant before but are having trouble with this year’s application, need to adjust your project, or just want a new idea on how to serve community members in need? Check out our Beacon Grant webpage or contact me directly. I can be reached at jocelynm@elks.org or by phone at 773/755-4730. You’ll not only get the Beacon Grant guidance you’re looking for, but you’ll help me reach my resolution.


Here’s to a happy 2017, and another record year for Beacon Grants!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Where credit is due…


By Kate Keating Edsey, Development Manager 

Elks National Foundation
 
Do only donations given at the Lodge count toward my personal giving total and my Lodge’s per-member-giving total? What if I give a monthly gift through the Elks National Foundation Fidelity Club? How about if I mail a check in response to an appeal? Online gifts? Tribute donations?

I hear these questions all the time. When it comes to donating to the ENF, the answer is simple: no matter how you give, your donation will be credited to your personal giving totals and will be counted toward your Lodge’s per-member-giving total. 


Just use an ENF DonorCard to provide the pertinent donor details—full name, contact information, Lodge and member number, and ENF Donor ID* if possible—and we’ll take care of the rest!

Now that you know how simple the process is, think of all the ways you can give to ENF! Visit the Support ENF page on the ENF website to learn more about giving (and receiving credit). 


Kate (L) and Olivia (R)
*What’s an ENF Donor ID number? The ENF manages donor records through a sophisticated fundraising database, which assigns each donor a unique 10-digit identification number. This number stays with a donor, regardless of Lodge or address changes. You can locate your ENF Donor ID number on acknowledgment and recognition correspondence, or on your personal giving history