FAMILY FUNDRAISING EXPERIENCE BOOSTS EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE’S RFP EFFORTS
RFP Spotlight August 2012
A charity golf tournament Tom Kelley started as a memorial to his late father and to provide scholarships for student athletes served as the perfect training ground for the Residual Fundraising Program (RFP) part of his Viridian business.
Kelley’s experience managing and running the John “Jack” Kelley Memorial Tournament showed him how the power of multiple people joining together can help any effort grow larger. So when he first heard about Viridian and its RFP program, he knew he already had a leg up.
Kelley’s journey with Viridian began with Director Ken Olson and Executive Associate Erik McKenzie, both of whom he knew from school in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Realizing Kelley had a background in network marketing, the duo invited him to an informational meeting in May 2011.
“I knew nothing about the energy industry, yet I liked the green aspect and the fact that there was an alreadyexisting market,” Kelley said. “But I needed more information, so I talked to Ken and did some homework; I was intrigued by the compensation package and the RFP aspect of the business.”
Training under his mentors and learning all he could, Kelley saw the opportunity the RFP provides to reach a large number of customers at once. He was also excited about the prospect of helping nonprofits raise muchneeded funds easily and efficiently, all while helping energy customers go green.
Kelley’s first RFP enrollment was the Massachusetts Association of Campground Owners, also
known as MACO. Kelley said it was a perfect fit, since campground owners are all about going green, and MACO has 77 campsites in its organization. During its first day of enrolling members, MACO raised about $2,500, including new customer bonuses and enrollment incentives.
Working in conjunction with Senior Associate Kevin Murphy, Kelley also enrolled Lifeworks in the RFP. LifeWorks is a branch of the Special Olympics that helps the mentally challenged participate in sports geared specifically to them.
“The group always needs money to buy uniforms and equipment, and having family and friends enroll in the RFP helps Lifeworks get what they need without having to hold fundraisers,” Kelley said.
Having enjoyed early success with his RFP customers, Kelley recently held meetings with six other nonprofits, and hopes to have most of them enrolled by summer’s end.
“The key to making the RFP work within an organization is to have what I call a ‘flag carrier’,” he said. “That’s someone on the inside who will champion the cause, and keep the idea in front of the membership so it continues to grow.”
Even though he’s only been with Viridian a little over a year, Kelley is on the fast track to growth and expansion.
“The company compensation plan is based on hard work, on believing in the concept of going green while saving money,” he said. And having come from both the real estate and construction trades, both traditionally shaky businesses in uncertain economic times, Kelley has another good reason for his optimism .
“This is pretty much a bulletproof business,” he said. “The concept is proven. If you work the system, it will work for you.”