Outstanding Professional Fundraiser Award Honors Richard Reiss
Teaneck, NJ (March 30, 2007) — The New Jersey Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has chosen Richard Reiss, senior vice president for university advancement at Fairleigh Dickinson University, to receive the Robert J. Smythe Award for Outstanding Professional Fundraiser. The award will be presented at the Association’s 2007 Excellence in Philanthropy Award Dinner on April 18, 2007.
For more than 40 years, AFP has been the standard-bearer for professionalism in fundraising. AFP represents more than 27,000 members in 180 chapters throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education, and certification programs.
Reiss joined FDU in 2003. As the University’s chief development officer, Reiss provides direction and leadership to the University’s philanthropic and alumni relations programs. Reporting to the President, he is a member of the President’s Cabinet and the liaison to the Board of Trustees’ Advancement Committee.
University President J. Michael Adams said, "Rick Reiss consistently demonstrates the ability to organize and manage an effective, contemporary advancement organization, and has a strong record of fundraising success. He builds winning teams of professionals and volunteers. We are happy to have Rick at Fairleigh Dickinson University and congratulate him on this award."
Reiss has worked in the field of fundraising since 1980 with the Boys Scouts of America, the Middlesex County College Foundation, as the executive director of the capital campaign at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, the vice president for institutional advancement at William Paterson University and currently the senior vice president for university advancement at Fairleigh Dickinson University. In each situation giving has increased dramatically under his leadership.
Evidence of this is the growth of philanthropic support at both William Paterson and Fairleigh Dickinson Universities. During Reiss’ first year at William Paterson, giving to the University was $500,000. When he left six years later, it topped $9 million. Similarly, gifts to Fairleigh Dickinson were less than $2 million when Rick arrived in 2003. In 2006 gifts totaled more than $10 million with the University launching its largest capital campaign, FDU NOW.
At FDU, the number $25,000 plus donors has increased from five to thirty in the three years Rick has been senior vice president. Among those are four seven-figure gifts he identified and closed.
Reiss’ involvement with AFP-NJ includes being one of the first PIP counselors when that program was begun. He has been an AFP luncheon speaker, has led sessions at the conference on philanthropy, has been on the faculty of First Course, organized a panel for senior development officers and served on the AFP-NJ board of directors.
“If you work with Rick you notice one thing,” said Christopher Groff, director of corporate and foundation relations at FDU, “he loves his work and he loves to create joyful gifts. It is his commitment to philanthropy, his energy and his ability to work at all levels of the giving cycle that make him such an outstanding fundraising professional.”
Reiss is a graduate of Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, and a resident of East Brunswick, NJ.