Five Question Friday: Margie Nelson

You’re an annual giving officer at Children’s. What does that job involve? My title is annual giving officer, a position on the annual fund raising team working with donors who give gifts to the hospital for the first time or every year, usually in the $1-$1,000 range. Specifically, my job is to work as a patient family representative from the Foundation. Eighty percent of gifts to hospitals come from families who have had a patient experience. I visit families while they are at Children’s and thank them for their past support, report their stories for our giving blog and stewardship reports and connect families to events and hospital programs of interest. I am helping to build a culture of generosity throughout the hospital by assisting physicians and nurses when they encounter the families who want to give back to Children’s after a powerful experience.

Margie puts a tattoo on a child at the HeartBeat 5000.

Your position allows you to develop unique relationships with families. What do you love most about getting to work with families every day? My children don’t live at home anymore, so I love the opportunity to visit with children and families of all ages and learn about their lives, their schools, how they are feeling and what they love to do when they are not at Children’s. Parents who I see in and around the hospital are genuinely surprised to be thanked in person for past donations and support to Children’s. I think they feel a powerful relationship to the hospital when they are recognized, and it feels great to be the person bringing this to them at a time of great worry and stress.

What drew you to nonprofit work and, specifically, Children’s? I have volunteered at nonprofits since college, when I was an EMT for my home town fire department. Giving back to communities and causes is a family value shared and enjoyed among generations in my family. I feel privileged to be able to build a career in a non-profit or service organization like Children’s as it is easy to put your heart and soul into the mission and work. While working in an underserved children’s non-profit educational organization, I started as a volunteer on an Integrative Medicine Task Force at Children’s and was recommended for the Foundation job a few years later. It is a perfect fit!

What do you think makes Children’s, Children’s? The big things like the people (outstanding doctors and nurses) and the beautiful buildings and then the little things like the kids and the extras; music and pet therapy, hugs, art, games, understanding (child and family services.)

What has been your favorite memory to date working here? The families who have lost children often come back to give gifts so that other families have an easier time. I have learned from them and grown into a better person in the light of their healing generosity.

 

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