By Antica Spralja
Hello! My name is Antica and I hold a very unique position with Boston Cares. As the “Circle of Friends” Development Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA, I am responsible for making this year extra memorable. Perhaps you may have heard, but Boston Cares is currently celebrating its 25th year of operation!
What exactly does a “Circle of Friends” Development Coordinator do? The Development Coordinator normally takes care of the fundraising aspect of an organization. These efforts can range from coordinating stewardship events to the more humble, but no less important, task of updating the donor database. Seeing as this is the 25th anniversary year for Boston Cares, my development role has been adjusted to fit the need for a truly special year filled with meaningful events, great memories and a little bit of nostalgia that will hopefully translate into long term capacity building, and by this I mean the launch of the “Circle of Friends.”
Current Board Chair John Valpey, first Executive Director Julie Fingersh, former board members Phil Guidice and Mary Lesko, former Executive Director Mark Yerkes, and Associate Board Member and volunteer leader Jill Scalzo.
The “Circle of Friends” is a group where supporters of Boston Cares can be more closely engaged with the organization’s plethora of important work. It’s a special group but definitely not exclusive! With a donation, big or small, these “Friends” will help continue and expand Boston Cares’ positive impact that benefits various under-served populations in the Greater Boston area including the youth, young adults, and the homeless.
But much like anything ambitious and important, it takes time, effort, and due diligence. So, as the Executive Director and I are busy laying the foundations for a successful “Circle of Friends” launch we are also creating some amazing parties!
We all shared our visions and hopes for Boston Cares’ future!
My biggest accomplishment to date has been the “Leadership Mixer,” held on April 27th. This “Mixer” was a culmination of all my hard work as an AmeriCorps VISTA so far which brought together former board members, executive directors, and other past leaders along with current staff, supporters, and associate board prospects. In the months leading up to this event I had to immerse myself into the organization’s institutional history. This meant looking through the printed archives of Boston Cares and the organization’s database, both current and old. The goal was not only to find our past leadership but to also gain a sense of our founding and history. What resulted was an incredible turnout of 50+ supporters, past and present. It was a night complete with meaning, good memories, and a little bit of nostalgia- sound familiar?
Some of Boston Cares’ Leadership Alums with Patrice Keegan (current Executive Director), Victoria Bocash, Rick Wallwork, Rachel Ringel Rice, Westy Egmont, Mary Lesko, and Julie Fingersh.
So what’s next? I along with the Boston Cares staff are currently planning our next big event- the Annual Awards which will be held in October. I also plan to continue our outreach for other “Circle of Friends” prospects including our community and corporate partners and maintain the close relationships we have developed from the “Leadership Mixer.”
The next couple of months will be filled with so much excitement as we have great plans to honor our founders for the Annual Awards. So stay tuned and look out for our launch of the “Circle of Friends.”
Boston Cares is the largest volunteer agency in New England, an Innovation Hub within the national HandsOn Network, and an award winning leader in the volunteer engagement sector. Filling more than 20,000 volunteer spots annually in support of more than 165 Greater Boston schools and non-profit agencies, we offer a wide array of programs and opportunities that make it simple for you to volunteer no matter how busy your schedule. We believe volunteers transform communities through service and civic engagement.