The American Red Cross (ARC), a community-based, volunteer-driven, humanitarian organization providing disaster services and high-quality blood products throughout the world, has long faced the challenge of generating continuous non-episodic funds for humanitarian aid in communities around the country. Americans are generous during times of disaster, but the Red Cross needed a plan to establish a major gift program to tackle the problem of donation decline between times of tragedy and publicized national need. While serving on the National Red Cross Board of Governors, Lyerly Agency President and CEO Elaine Lyerly was asked to Chair a task force to study the American Red Cross’ ability to tackle this challenge. A significant solution came in the form of Tiffany Circle, a society of women leaders, a program formed to bring together philanthropic women to support the work of the Red Cross with passion and ongoing generosity.
Elaine has been very active with the society since its beginning, overseeing branding, creative development, program strategies, key messaging, chapter rollout and annual summit planning in Washington, D.C. She proudly served as the National Tiffany Circle Chair for three years. Elaine currently chairs the International Council and is responsible for the program’s global growth. Since its founding in 2007, Tiffany Circle has risen to become the most successful major gifts program in the history of the American Red Cross. Vernon Rose, former Director of Major Gifts for ARC, said that Elaine’s help has been instrumental.
“Elaine has espoused a vision for this network of women philanthropists since its inception. It would be significant to note that the Tiffany Circle of the American Red Cross has been joined by other Red Cross Societies around the world in initiating their own Tiffany Circle programs,” she said. “This expansion has been the work and leadership of Elaine and the fruit of her labor is ripening quickly.”