Lynn Croneberger, chief executive officer of SOS Children’s Villages-USA, the U.S. headquarters of SOS Children’s Villages International, was selected as the 2018 Outstanding Fundraising Professional by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
The Outstanding Fundraising Professional award is the highest honor that AFP bestows upon its members, recognizing effective, creative and stimulating leadership, as well as the practice and promotion of ethical fundraising.
Since Croneberger joined SOS Children’s Villages-USA in 2012, the organization has almost tripled its annual fundraising revenue for the organization. In 2014, she secured a $3 million capacity-building grant to build a fundraising team and increase brand awareness of the organization. Under her leadership, the team drove significant growth of its child sponsorship program and secured transformational gifts from philanthropists and corporate partners. She has also assembled an impressive and engaged board of directors that has increased its annual minimum gifts and ultimately contributed $250,000 in multi-year pledges.
Croneberger’s work at SOS Children’s Villages-USA is emblematic of her more than 20-year career. She has helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars for organizations such as The Wilderness Society, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation and Memorial Foundation, the American Heart Association of South Florida, and United Way of Broward County, Florida in a variety of executive-level positions. She is known as a strategic leader who has a history of building strong fundraising teams, developing boards and diversifying revenue to achieve maximum impact for organizations.
Throughout her career, Croneberger has shown the innate ability to turn around organizations that are struggling or in transition. When she was hired at RIF, the organization was relying heavily on a single grant from the U.S. Department of Education that accounted for more than half of its voluntary contributions. Under her leadership, RIF diversified and substantially increased its fundraising, including growth in corporate revenue by more than 400 percent.
“Driving change is not easy. It requires patience, perseverance and people,” said Croneberger. “I have had the privilege to assemble and lead talented teams to share and shape a vision for what is possible. Over the course of my career, I have been fortunate to draw together committed partners — donors, board members, volunteers and employees — that are inspired to build a better world for future generations.