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LAURA O’CONNOR—KEEPING THE RFP OPPORTUNITY TOP OF MIND

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RFP Spotlight February 2013
Some Associates are attracted to Viridian for its residual income possibilities. For others, it’s the sustainability focus that matters most.

But for Director Laura O’Connor, it was the Residual Fundraising Program (RFP) that grabbed her attention in June 2010.

O’Connor was introduced to Viridian by Partner Joel Brizzi and Director Joy Mariano Vogel, who sought out O’Connor because she was the special state project chair of the GFWC Woman’s Club of Rutherford (WCR), a nonprofit volunteer organization working toward helping the community of Rutherford, New Jersey. Every two years, O’Connor has a new project that requires fundraising efforts, and Joy Mariano Vogel offered up a new way for the Woman’s Club of Rutherford to raise money.

“She told me about the opportunity to raise funds with Viridian and right away I was excited about that,” O’Connor said. “Since I was going to be working so hard for the fundraiser, I signed myself up as an Associate and put the organization underneath me. That was my introduction to Viridian.”

She quickly realized that Viridian provided a great way to raise money for the organization that she was already a part of, and to help other nonprofits do the same. Since June 2010, O’Connor has significantly grown the RFP side of her business, with 118 customers out of her total 299 OCC coming from residual fundraising entities (RFEs).

For the New Jersey Associate, what works so well about the RFP opportunity is that it does not rely on asking the same group of supporters for money year after year. Conversely, it allows nonprofits to approach friends and families and ask them to do something positive for the environment, save money on their utility bills and help a great cause.

“It’s such a different fundraising opportunity as I am not asking someone to buy tickets or to donate a gift or a product,” O’Connor said. “Instead I am asking them to become a Viridian customer and enable a nonprofit to receive money month after month.”

While the RFP opportunity might not speak to all Associates initially, O’Connor encourages everyone to dabble in the nonprofit pool. The first step, according to O’Connor, is to find someone within the nonprofit organization who is passionate about Viridian and fully grasps the potential. Next, it’s imperative to find someone who would like to become an Associate and can sponsor the nonprofit organization.

“I don’t just stop at signing up the organization,” she explained. “I try to actually build a Viridian business for the organization.”

Her determination is paying off, as O’Connor hit the critical Director rank last May.

“It definitely took a while to get there, but I am persistent and I try to be consistent in my activities so I don’t mind that it took longer to get there,” she said. “My Viridian journey has meant so much to me. I am really happy that I have been able to support the organizations that I have. They are extremely happy with the money they have raised so far.”