Friday, September 18, 2009

Dallas Board of Directors Helps Break Records

2008-09 was a record-breaking year in Dallas for both events and fundraising. The city’s premiere event, Cotes du Coeur, raised a record-setting $1.5 million – the largest night of giving in the history of the American Heart Association. The Dallas Heart Walk, considered by many as a benchmark event for the entire Association, was number one in fiscal year revenue. From being instrumental in passing smoke-free legislation on a city and state-wide level to holding the kick-off event for the affiliate-wide “Fight of Our Life Health Tour” with Kirk Franklin during a Power Sunday celebration, the Dallas team has played host to an impressive series of events.

At the heart of these successes? A group of dedicated volunteers who comprise the Dallas Board of Directors.

Boards are the life-blood of any non-profit organization. The South Central Affiliate strives to maintain boards of influence and affluence. Powerful Boards are comprised of corporate decision makers and those who have influence over other decision makers. Together, they enable us to meet our goals, not only in revenue generation but also for advocacy, cultural health initiatives, Mission: Lifeline programs and youth outreach. Regardless of the size of the community, maintaining the balance of influence and affluence on a Board of Directors allows the American Heart Association to fulfill our promises to that community.

“It’s important to have individuals committed to the mission in all the work they do,” said Tanya Edwards, South Central Affiliate Senior Vice President of Major Metro Markets and Corporate Relations. “When building a board, we seek strong volunteer leadership with the willingness and capacity to help us implement our organizational goals, bring assets to the organization and act as the ambassadors of outreach.”
The Dallas Board of Directors is a great example of this balance, and the Cotes de Coeur success is a model of this board in action. Thanks to the work of existing board members, the chair was recruited on time and oriented effectively, and in turn, recruited an Executive Leadership Team that began their work almost immediately after last year’s event. This group of high-level volunteers was committed to the goal and to the success of Cotes de Coeur – and it showed through in the sponsorship dollars raised to the level of excitement exhibited in the crowd on the big night. From beginning to end, board members oversaw recruitment, donations, engagement, and follow-through.

While the Dallas AHA staff is busy singing the Dallas Board of Directors praises, Dallas Board Chairman Fred Florjancic, CEO and President of Safety-Kleen, turns the mirror back on the staff.
“The two greatest factors of the Dallas Board’s success are: 1), passion, commitment and energy expended by the volunteer board and 2), the support of an energetic, enthusiastic and dedicated professional staff,” said Florjancic.
Past Chairman W. Byron Dunn also credits the Dallas Board’s success to the enthusiastic supporters of the Dallas events. Dunn said, “We have grown rapidly through the tremendous support of several dedicated sponsors and directors. We must continue to grow the base of support in the community to meet our goals. We have a lot of fertile ground to plow. We just need to reach out to those who have yet to discover the amazing benefits we each receive through our support of the American Heart Association.”

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