Julie Kirchhoff is the Annual Giving Officer for the Masonic Home of Missouri, which is a local non-profit that provides statewide assistance to Missouri Masons, their wives/widows, ladies of the Order of the Eastern Star and their children. Julie has been with them for 5.5 years now, and she helps them raise money and is responsible for planning two annual fundraising events, which consist of a golf tournament and the Truman Club Dinner. She also manages all the direct mail campaigns, maintains their donor database, and administers two of their donor societies, The Truman Club and the Vincil Society.
Julie learned a lot about the non-profit world while working for the American Red Cross for eight years. From the boss who showed her what NOT to do to the boss who gave her free reign to use her talents, to the co-workers who supported and challenged her, she learned what she was capable of and learned more about herself. Those opportunities have gotten her where she is today.
Julie was born in Mexico, MO, and raised in Centralia where she graduated in 1995. She went on to attend Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. She was active on the Campus Activities Board, and Student Senate and a member of Zeta Tau Alpha. After two years and many trips back and forth, she decided to transfer to Columbia College and finish her degree there. She worked full time as a receptionist for a local manufacturing company while she completed her degree in the evening program. In May 200, she graduated with her B.S. in Business Management.
Julie’s desire to help others around her started at a young age, and she clearly remembers a high school friend who was part of the foster care system and how he struggled with that. She wanted to help him, and was heartbroken about his and other kids’ stories who were going through similar situations. She decided then she wanted to aim for a profession that allowed her to use her unique skill set to help others. She began volunteering in college for Habitat for Humanity and Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation as well as Partners in Education. After she graduated she landed her first post-college job as an administrative assistant for a local non-profit. That helped her see, that even if she wasn’t directly working with the clients, she was still an integral part of their daily care and she loved knowing she was making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
What keeps Julie going each day? Her son, Brayden. She was a single mom for over 6 years before she married her husband in 2013. Before she had Brayden, she lacked self-confidence and thought the tough times she had gone through made her a lesser person. She transferred this negativity into her job, and just went through the motions each day of getting up and going into work. When her son was born, she realized that the Bob Marley lyric, “You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” When you have a child who is 100% dependent on you, you have to be strong and move forward, otherwise you and your child suffer for not making the choice to do and be better. Brayden is the reason she became braver, stronger, and more outspoken so she could really begin living up to her potential.
Working for a non-profit causes burnout quickly because they are often underfunded and so few people do a lot of tasks to keep the doors open. Their employees and their volunteers feel the strain all the time. She has learned to take care of herself and her colleagues. She limits the number of evening and weekends she is willing to work. She takes time for her family and when she is with them, she is concentrating on them, instead of thinking about work. She puts the cell phone down and doesn’t check every ping she hears.
Even though she works for a non-profit, Julie still volunteers by serving on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Central Missouri Chapter as their Marketing Chair, and next year will take the role of VP of Membership. She also serves her son’s Cub Scout Pack, Pack 12 in Hallsville by chairing their fundraising committee.
Julie is obviously full of energy and a go-getter, so look for her at the next WN luncheon, and welcome her to our group!