In his work as a benefits consultant with McGriff Insurance Services, Matt Davis is enthusiastic about helping his clients select the best policy to help them access the benefits they need. Similarly, he finds his volunteer work at SOAR365 rewarding because he sees how individuals with disabilities are connected with programs and services that help them enjoy more fulfilling lives.
As Chair of the sponsorship effort for the Ladybug Fund Wine Tasting & Silent Auction, he collaborates with other volunteers and the SOAR365 staff to secure funding which is the single largest source of income raised by this popular event – over $144,000.
“I’m learning as I go,” he says, “and the more I learn, the better I understand and appreciate the importance that fundraising plays in SOAR365’s ability to provide and maintain critical human services.”
Matt’s first experience as a volunteer was several years ago when he and colleagues from McGriff helped to set up for the Ladybug evening and he saw all the effort that was involved in hosting this major event. As he learned more about SOAR365’s mission and community outreach, his understanding, commitment and involvement grew.
“The more you peel back each layer of the onion, the more I saw what an amazing organization this is,” he said. “Beginning with this single volunteer event, I have seen how many clients receiving services and participate in programs that SOAR365 provides. It has been a great experience all the way around.”
Looking ahead, Matt sees great possibilities on the horizon. “As a well-run nonprofit, I believe even more benefits could be provided through expanding our outreach. We could touch more people by offering greater access to SOAR365 services and programs.”
He also has thoughts about fundraising opportunities. “As we identify prospective organizations that may participate in funding SOAR365, I think many will be happy to step up when they learn about the SOAR365 mission and how engaged we are with the metro Richmond community. We have a good story to tell. Employers just need to be asked, but the trick is to find them. If we are successful, we can expand are donor base and benefit additional clients and their families.”
Matt is aware of the need to balance the number and quality of SOAR365 programs with the availability of funds and budget limitations.
“As we continue our fundraising efforts, I think it would be wise to identify any overlaps between what we do and like-minded organizations,” he said. “We may be able to discover opportunities to coordinate efforts and collaborate on fundraising. Who knows? Such partnerships could achieve economies of scale that would benefit all participating organizations.”