Fundraising and Outreach Committee

Sylvia Thomas Center / Fundraising and Outreach Committee

Event Planning Volunteers Needed

The Sylvia Thomas Center for Adoptive & Foster Families is seeking outgoing, detail-oriented volunteers to serve on its Fundraising & Outreach Committee. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in event planning, fundraising and community partnership building for a small but established nonprofit in Hillsborough County. If you are interested in volunteering or learning more, contact us at 813-651-3150.


Volunteers for the Fundraising & Outreach Committee assist with fundraising, donor stewardship and event planning activities. They report to the Committee Chairs, who are board members of the Sylvia Thomas Center. The current focus of the committee is planning and executing the center’s signature fundraising event, the Gems & Jeans Ball, held each November in honor of National Adoption Month. These volunteers directly contribute to increasing the Sylvia Thomas Center’s capacity to help adoptive and foster families who are in need of vital services via group therapy, case management, and respite services.

Duties and Responsibilities

Committee volunteers will:

  • Assist with leading the efforts of soliciting bids for/donations of venues, catering and entertainment for events
  • Help with the planning and management of fundraising events
  • Work with the committee chairs to prospect and solicit major donors
  • Identify and approach potential business partnerships
  • Help increase communications with supporters
  • Coordinate and follow up on email campaigns and phone campaigns
  • Assist with general fundraising activities as needed, such as soliciting in-kind donations and silent auction items


  • Fundraising and/or event planning experience
  • Ability to build strong relationships with new people and organizations
  • Experience working in an office environment
  • Detail-oriented with excellent time management skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Works well independently and as part of a team
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office suite of programs, including Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Familiarity with event database and website maintenance is a plus

Time Commitment

The center prefers that volunteers make a 9-month commitment with monthly meetings and 1-2 hours per week devoted to planning activities in between monthly meetings. The first planning meeting will be in May, with a date chosen soon depending on volunteer availability. There would be an expectation of participating in set up, during event and tear down of the Gems and Jeans Ball in November.

Benefits and Recognition

This position provides a chance for those with fundraising and event planning experience to use their talents to benefit adoptive and foster families in need. It also provides valuable experience for fundraising management and event planning students; individuals with an interest in gaining experience in the non-profit sector or in the human services field; and anyone with a passion for adoption and the associated processes.

Volunteers are highly valued members of the Sylvia Thomas Center team and contribute to making a significant difference in the lives of families who are pursuing adoption and permanency.

The Sylvia Thomas Center will provide reference letters for all volunteers who successfully complete their commitment to the committee. Center leadership will also recognize the hard work of the volunteers during the Gems & Jeans Ball in November.

About the Sylvia Thomas Center

We make an impact on the lives of adoptive families, working together to overcome obstacles and address behavioral challenges. We are committed to supporting families who are struggling in their adoption journey to identify and manage threats to permanency. This may include counseling and other supports to address the experiences the children have had with abuse, abandonment, neglect and other challenges to attachment.
Since its inception, the Sylvia Thomas Center for Adoptive and Foster Families and its volunteers have touched the lives of over 6,000 children and families. Over 300 children have received intensive case management services including family and individual therapy. Our ultimate goal is to help families remain intact, keeping the forever in Forever Families.