VEJ's friends recently set several records for supporting VEJ's mission and organization.
Friends of VEJ gave a record 192 gifts in the fiscal year that started July 1, 2018, and ended June 30, 2019. That more than doubles the old record of 80 gifts (2017 - 2018).
Friends of VEJ also set a record for non-grant unrestricted gifts, meaning gifts that did not come from foundations and could be used to meet any financial need. Gifts of this kind added up to $33,657, beating the old record of $22,262 set in 2015 - 2016.
"Our donor friends deserve so many thanks for their accomplishment," said VEJ executive director BT Irwin. "Donors do as much heavy lifting as if they were doing VEJ's hands-on work themselves. They are a big, big part of the mission and when they give more, they accomplish a lot more."
In addition to "unrestricted" gifts that came to VEJ from businesses, houses of worship, and persons, major "restricted" gifts of $36,000 came to VEJ as well. Those funds are set aside to support programs like Community Dinners, Organic Sustainable Gardening, and Wonder Walks.
Irwin said that donors are one of the "vital signs" that help measure VEJ's health, strength, and sustainability as a mission organization.
"There's this line in 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' where Ebenezer Scrooge, after he changes his life, sings: 'If you want to know the value of a man, you simply count his friends,'" said Irwin. "That holds true for VEJ, too. If you want to know the value of VEJ's mission and work, simply look at who is making it their own by giving their energy, money, and time. These friends are just as much part of VEJ as any board or staff member."
Looking ahead, Irwin said the goal is not so much to raise more money, but to include and serve more people in the VEJ community.
"When you're doing good and meeting real needs, the money takes care of itself," said Irwin. "Of course we think about the funds we'll need to do everything we want to do over the next year. But our real focus is on who we're going to do it for and who is going to do it with us. This is how we know that next year is going to be even better than this year."
To join the VEJ community and partner in the mission as a donor, click here.