Date: June 13, 2022
Sparrow Hall is home to Institutional Advancement (IA), two Dean’s Advisors (the Ven. Jennifer McKenzie ’04 for new initiatives and the Rev. David Beckmann for policy and economic justice); the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) headed by the Very Rev. Kim Coleman ’01; and Mary Kostel, Chancellor to the Presiding Bishop. IA is honored to share the building with such amazing colleagues! This week’s Dean’s Commentary will focus on IA, who we are, and what we do.
In a nutshell, IA’s responsibility is to increase gift and grant revenue for VTS. We do that through relationships with foundations, friends, alumni, and through congregational partnerships, which help strengthen the Seminary, the Episcopal Church, and Anglican Communion. The VTS Annual Fund is one of the critical pieces of our work. It is an annual measure of our work, and success or failure is immediately evident to the Dean, the Board, and beyond. Every Annual Report then, is an IA “report card” that is shared with about 10,000 people across the Communion.
Jennifer Greiner is the Director of Annual Giving, so she leads the Annual Fund. She is gracious in her manner, makes everyone feel comfortable, and says “thank you” in ways big and small. For example, Jennifer organizes VTS’ Giving Day in October as well as the May Thank You Day. These two initiatives combine snail mail with social media for the broadest reach possible to first “ask” for a gift and then to make sure we say “thank you” in a fun and meaningful way. Jennifer views our work as “building relationships, not just raising money.” She also says, “Everything we do is aimed at connecting with VTS’ vast network of alumni and friends. Of course, we want them to support VTS, but we also want them to feel enriched, appreciated, and connected to VTS’ ministry in the world. We love that our work in IA supports every aspect of VTS.”
Our responsibilities around giving are the first crack at the IA nutshell. Stay tuned to learn more about how we reach out, how we work with alumni, and what we do internally at VTS and externally for the broader community.
Linda L. Dienno
Vice President for Institutional Advancement