Sandy Rees, Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer
In 1998, I took a job at the local rescue mission and it became clear what my calling was.
I’ve always felt deep in my soul that I’m here to help lots of people. I have a sensitive heart and can’t stand to see anyone suffer.
I BECAME A PROFESSIONAL DO-GOODER AND I HAVEN’T LOOKED BACK.
I started down this road when I was 12. My dad was in the Jaycees, a civic organization that trains community leaders. Through their Christmas activities, I got to help a little boy spend $50 at the local Kmart and pick out anything he wanted. I learned that it would be the only gifts he got for Christmas. It broke my heart. I kept questioning how that was possible and kept trying to wrap my head around it. No answer satisfied me.
After that, I jumped on any chance I had to help someone. Especially someone in need.
A few years later, my church youth group adopted a family for Thanksgiving. I was SO excited to help gather the necessary items for the giant food box we prepared. Then Dad said something that pissed me off so bad I never forgot it. He said, “What are these people supposed to do the rest of the year?” I was furious! We were doing something wonderful and this family was grateful (they told us so!). After I calmed down, I realized he was right.
I later attended Tennessee Tech on an engineering scholarship and graduated with a degree in business (which is actually fairly common for Tech!). During those years, I continued to be active in various do-gooder activities.
While I was passionate about the missions of the nonprofits I worked for, I began to grow restless and longed to have a much bigger impact. I wanted to help many more nonprofits be successful.
It was frustrating to me that organizations could have executive directors who lacked leadership skills and didn’t seem to care how many people they served. Values like integrity and ethics didn’t always seem to matter. For a nonprofit those should be a given! I began to realize that I could help TONS more nonprofits through coaching and training than I ever could as a staff member of just one.
I’M A TEACHER AT HEART.
My gift is breaking down concepts into understandable pieces. Learning how to fund your nonprofit doesn’t have to be a drag. There’s no need to fear or dread fundraising. In fact, I use my skills, flair, toys, and even my jokes to make it FUN and productive. I feel strongly that I have something special to share. That’s what motivated me to start my own business as a coach and consultant to nonprofits.
Since 2005, the team at Get Fully Funded and I have been helping others achieve the same success with their passions as I have with mine.
As a former director of development, I understand what it’s like to face big challenges and juggle lots of activities. I’ve raised millions through grants, events, direct mail, and all the other strategies you’re probably using. I know what it’s like to wrangle your volunteer board, trying to get them involved, and juggle dozens of projects and fundraising activities. It wasn’t easy for me and I often felt like the Lone Ranger.
I got my CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) certification in 2003, fulfilling a personal/professional goal to show my commitment to the profession.
As a coach/consultant, I love seeing my clients “get it” – those moments when the light bulb comes on and I can tell they see how to make their success a reality. We’ve done it over and over again with dozens of nonprofits at Get Fully Funded and it’s the best feeling in the world!
Your success is my success
I’m a prolific writer and you may find my stuff in past issues of Fundraising Success Magazine, at www.ezinearticles.com where I’m a Platinum Author, on the Get Fully Funded blog, or as a guest blogger on dozens of sites on the net.
My favorite place to be is in the front of the room leading a workshop. Whether the topic is fundraising, marketing, board development or something else, I love finding great analogies, games, and videos to help students easily understand concepts and see how to implement them. My students often tell me “wow, this was great!”, “The time flew by” and “Thanks so much! I really think I can do this now!” which are high compliments in my book.
I live on a small farm in East Tennessee with my husband and various critters (my two grown daughters pop in occasionally to hang out with us). Part of being a country girl means I’m the one people call late at night when their basement is flooded and they need an extra hand. Friends, family and neighbors can always count on me – I love being there for them whether it means supporting someone through their tears or having fun celebrating an accomplishment.
WHILE I’VE HELPED OUR CLIENTS AT GET FULLY FUNDED COLLECTIVELY RAISE MILLIONS, ONE OF MY MOST MEANINGFUL ACCOMPLISHMENTS WAS WHEN A SMALL NONPROFIT IN A RURAL AREA GOT THEIR FIRST MILLION DOLLAR GIFT.
SO MANY SMALL OR RURAL GROUPS THINK THEY CAN’T DO THAT, AND WE PROVED IT COULD BE DONE.
My business values directly reflect my personality: simple and direct, practical, and down-to-earth. I’m a quilter and a gardener and I enjoy time with my horses around the farm.
You should feel as comfortable with me as your favorite quilt – I’m here for you, too.
My team and I love showing organizations the path to long-term sustainability. Let’s work together to fulfill your vision!
Sandy in the community
The only problem I have with volunteering is that there just aren’t enough hours in the day! I’ve spent time with Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR), Lost Sheep Ministries, Habitat for Humanity, Loudon High School Band Boosters, and the Girl Scouts. I’m currently on the Board of Directors for Horse Haven of Tennessee. And I’m a regular contributor of kid-sized quilts to Project Linus.
Meet the rest of the Get Fully Funded team.