Recently, one of ONFE’s own was recognized with a Faces Ottawa Award. Ashley Richer, ONFE’s Advancement Manager, was voted Ottawa’s Fundraising/Philanthropic Professional of 2021! We’re so proud to have her on our team.
In this blog we’d like to give you a chance to get to know Ashley.
1) Tell us a bit about yourself. Many people involved with ONFE know you as a great fundraiser – tell us what you like to do outside of work!
Outside of my life at ONFE, I’m on a journey to be the best version of myself that I can be. I’m an Ambassador for a company called Transform by Chris and Heidi Powell and part of the Transform Elite Team. Transform is a program that empowers people to live their best life possible through nutrition, exercise and mental transformation, which in my opinion is the most important piece. I’m a goal setter, and chaser, and will forever describe myself as a work in progress.
I’m also a wife and a Mom to a beautiful, energetic, hilarious and vivacious 6-year-old. Clearly, she takes after me!
2) How did you first get involved in fundraising?
When I look at my journey into the fundraising profession, I can see a natural progression from high school. I was always the chair or one committee or another, spoke to my high school about causes such as organ donation, and helped raise money to make a difference in our community. The philanthropic community is very strong in Ottawa and when I moved to the City after completing my post-secondary education, joining the fundraising field was a natural fit for me.
3) What is your favourite part of your job?
My favourite part of being a fundraiser is working with truly incredibly donors. It brings me so much joy to learn about why they want to support a specific cause and provide them with meaningful opportunities to change our community together. Whether a donation of their time, talent or treasure, the work that we do wouldn’t be possible without their belief in our causes and that level of trust is something that I don’t take for granted.
4) What is your philosophy on life?
I have always lived my life in a way that hopefully will allow me to leave the world a little bit better than how I entered it. I’ve always been inspired by the quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world” and try my best to exemplify this in all aspects of my life.
5) What is your favorite hidden gem in Ottawa? (Can be a park, restaurant, store, etc.)
While 2020 was challenging for so many reasons, it did give our family an excuse to explore the east end of the city more. We’ve become big fans of the Mer Bleue bog, Petrie Island and the Bilberry Creek Ravine Trails. Spring has sprung and we’re already looking forward to upcoming visits.
6) What do you think is the greatest strength of the Ottawa community?
I’ve always loved that for a city with over 1 million people, Ottawa has found a way to also have small town charm in each of the burrows of the City and that we celebrate the diversity within each of these smaller communities. The diversity of the summer festivals is incredible and a wonderful opportunity to teach the next generation about different cultures.
7) What was the single greatest lesson you learned last year, and what did it teach you about yourself?
This past year has taught me so many things! I’ve learned that I’m so much stronger that I thought, and I’ve already survived all my worst days. I’ve learned that it’s ok to slow down and to give myself grace when things don’t go according to plan.
Most importantly, I’ve learned that family and your health should be priorities above all else. Being beneficially selfish and taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, is necessary so that you can show up as the best version of yourself for your loved ones. My biggest goal for 2021 is to live in the moment and make as many memories as possible with my loved ones because tomorrow is never guaranteed.