Staff Q&A: Annual Giving and Special Projects Manager Peggy Mandel

How long have you worked at JFCS?

I have had the pleasure of working at JFCS since early March 2020. My job is terrific and I love what I do. I feel very fortunate to be able to work with a dedicated, kind, helpful and hard-working group of folks.

Tell us about the Annual Benefit and how you interact with volunteers through your role.

Since the Annual Benefit had to transition to a virtual event, we set to create a completely re-envisioned experience. An “SNL”-themed evening with mission-driven, engaging, funny and tender segments, all clocking in under 45 minutes, was born. Therefore, current Benefit volunteer roles needed to evolve. Since interacting with volunteers is not only an integral part of my job, but inherent to the success of the Benefit, my challenge was to ensure volunteers still felt engaged, connected and reassured in their revised roles.

While I absolutely prefer and savor in-person connection, this year all of my interaction with the volunteers was completely virtual due to COVID-19 and the absolute necessity to keep everyone safe. Zoom, email, and phone calls were certainly effective in relating with our volunteers, but I am looking so forward to working side by side with volunteers in person when it is safe to do so.

Volunteers are crucial in performing and executing roles that not only lead up to the Benefit, but ensure the day-of tasks are accurate, complete and successful. Although the typical Benefit roles had to change into revised tasks, what did not change was their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty and work tirelessly, efficiently and enthusiastically to ensure the Benefit was a huge success, which it was! We are so fortunate to have volunteers that are kind, flexible, patient, devoted and eager to always help in any way possible.

What is your favorite part about your job and working with volunteers?

Ensuring anyone reaching out to me receives an enthusiastic, effective and timely response. It could be related to how to be involved with JFCS, a question about the Benefit, or to donate! My goal is to be certain my volunteers are fulfilled, happy and engaged with JFCS.

What are some things you have heard from volunteers who help with the Annual Benefit about their experiences with the fundraiser?

That the Benefit was completely unexpected, entertaining, exciting, fun, shorter, fluid and memorable. 

Anything else you want to add?

I’m looking forward to doing good work in a new year with my colleagues and JFCS’ volunteers!

For more information on the JFCS Annual Benefit, click here!