Aileen Truax, the Development and Marketing Coordinator of ABC, is a shining example of the great value in our society of the tireless nonprofit manager. The nonprofit world is different from the commercial, for-profit sector of society in numerous ways. One of the main aspects that characterizes this difference is the fact that nonprofit organizations are essentially committed to enhancing the greater good in some measurable manner, without any real direct or financial benefit accruing to those who work for the nonprofit other than a modicum of remuneration. There are no stock options, big bonuses, or huge salaries involved in the nonprofit world. The primary benefit is that nice warm feeling one gets when he or she recognizes the personal and professional contribution that improves people's lives, the social order, the environment, etc.
What distinguishes Aileen Truax is her total commitment to the nonprofit culture. Aileen is no stranger to the nonprofit world. It's been part of her life's passion since high school in Houston, where she braved leading a fund raising campaign at her school for an Ethiopian relief effort, to the chagrin of the school administration. Aileen continued to volunteer with various nonprofit groups throughout college. After working in the for-profit sector for several years, she made a decision to seek a career with nonprofit organizations, using the experience she had gained as a volunteer. She later worked as the development director at the High Country News, a biweekly environmental newspaper in Colorado covering the environmental issues in the intermountain West, before becoming development director for over two years of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club in Austin, Texas—a legislation-oriented chapter focused on Texas-specific issues.
Since arriving at ABC late in 2004, she has dedicated herself to increasing benefits to ABC members, especially to ABC's "core" members, the individuals like the consumers, academics, health professionals, and others who comprise the vast majority of ABC's membership.
At ABC, Aileen shares responsibility for all aspects of donor and member cultivation, acquisition, retention, management, and communication. She not only supervises staff members who comprise the membership services team, but she also has taken charge of a major overhaul of ABC's Internet site to enhance the user-friendliness of the access to ABC's online presence. Her additional duties include helping to create development goals and implement strategies for achieving them; coordinating development, communication, and distribution of annual member benefits; overseeing member/donor communication including prospecting, soliciting, invoicing, recognition, acknowledgement, and renewal; developing and executing media/marketing activities for membership programs and initiatives; researching and writing grant proposals to fund ABC's educational projects; developing public relations activities; overseeing ABC's vast web-based educational content licensing program, including online content sales, set-up, and maintenance; budgeting of marketing and membership departments; and creating the donor management process.
ABC is obviously a much richer and well-functioning organization due to Aileen's tireless efforts, and ABC's members are also richer as she propels ABC's nonprofit mission to enhance everyone's health, naturally.