The Association of Fundraising Professional's Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award is bestowed to a special volunteer who inspires others to give or volunteer, solicits donations effectively and provides strategies for the success of the organization.
In the 80's, when he was a trust officer with the Bank of California providing Trust and Asset Management services through the Portland office, Marc Grignon received a call from a client who was a board member and long-time supporter of the Oregon Humane Society. The OHS board asked Grignon's client to chair the Development Committee and asked Marc to help him organize the effort.
"This seemed like a fun proposition, so I said "yes," and became a member of the Development Committee. This committee had responsibility for raising money for OHS' annual operating fund. Later, this committee was charged with raising funds to build the new OHS shelter," Grignon said. "I continued to be involved as a capital campaign committee member and was a member of the building committee."
During this time, the shelter was in disrepair and had no space for fundraising work so Grignon arranged space within the Bank of California Building (now Union Bank) located in downtown Portland. Although Grignon wasn't a board member at this time, he quickly became engaged in the OHS mission.
"I was an "on and off" volunteer in the years that followed, and finally joined the board in 2003. Since that time, I have chaired several committees, including Development, and currently, I am Second Chair on the Capital Campaign Committee," Grignon said.
As a board member, Grignon has helped with the collaboration OHS has built with Oregon State University where veterinary students work on a three-week rotation which Grignon jokingly calls "OHS University." His contributions to the OSU partnership have helped launch the careers of more than 700 new veterinarians now practicing across the country. He has also been influential on numerous statewide projects like the OHS Second Chance program which brings pets from a network of more than 90 independent shelters across the West to find new homes through OHS.
No stranger to philanthropic fundraising, Grignon has made a positive impact for many organizations through board service. Those organizations include Providence Foundation, Meals on Wheels, the Oregon Symphony, William Temple House, PSU Foundation and the Parry Center. He recently completed 18 years on the board of Pacific Northwest College of Art and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Oregon Humane Society and as a member of the Providence Hospital Foundation Major Gift Committee. His role as Executive Director of the Firstenburg Foundation carries forward philanthropic objectives for future generations.
"With Marc, it's always a done deal. When it comes to taking care of fundraising business, whether the request is to make a thank you call, solicit major donors or lead the board, he gets things done," said Jennifer Baumann, Vice President of Development & Capital Campaign for OHS. "Marc leads by example, contributing generously, soliciting fearlessly, hosting donor events and providing the policy framework for financial success. He upholds sound financial policies and diligent oversight to ensure every donor dollar is well spent."
With more than 35 years of dedicated service Grignon is the single longest-serving volunteer at OHS.
"Marc's leadership has contributed significantly to the creation of stronger nonprofits, cost-effective governance and new facilities to serve our community," Baumann said. "Indeed, his efforts across sectors have provided connections that have strengthened our industry as a whole, transplanting the best ideas from business and strong nonprofits to ensure successful fundraising and sound financial management."
Grignon stresses that the organization's mission is vital to attracting volunteers and keeping them satisfied.
"If the mission resonates personally, then seeing the mission succeed is immensely satisfying. I'm not sure my work with OHS is any more remarkable than the thousands of OHS volunteers that make the organization successful, it's just that my personal experience happens to be raising the support dollars. The work done at OHS is an inspiration to all who are involved," Grignon said. "What could be more fun than being a part of a successful organization?"
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