Member Feature - Jeffrey Mielke, CSPG
Member FeatureJeffrey Mielke, CSPG, has been involved with CPGR since returning to Colorado in 2005. Originally drawn to the state as an undergraduate at the United States Air Force Academy, he travels frequently but insists nothing could compel him to move away from the area again.
Life in the Air Force might seem like an unlikely beginning for a development professional, but Jeff, like many in the field, insists he “kind of fell into” fundraising. After earning his degree from the Academy, he was stationed in Little Rock as a Missileer on the now-defunct Titan II system. He then moved from missiles into the Air Force career field of Public Affairs, working with the world-renown United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, Thunderbirds out of Las Vegas. Upon retiring from the Air Force, he remained in the area and worked at a fundraising development services company.
Jeff’s first nonprofit fundraising job was with the Association of Graduates at the Air Force, where he was hired as Director of Planned Giving, helping the Association set up their program and then moving into more general development duties. He also worked locally for RuffaloCODY before taking on his present position as Manager, Planned Giving for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs. Jeff’s favorite part about working in the nonprofit sector is “the opportunity to help—getting people to understand that having an estate plan can make a difference, that they don’t have to have a lot of money, that something as simple as a charitable remainder bequest can take care of both their family and the organization.” In his first nine months with the USOC, he has helped whittle a database of nearly 3 million into 600,000 prospects that he will work to refine and cultivate—quite a feat for a one-man planned giving office! He has also started a legacy society by identifying 20 previously-unknown legacy donors.
Jeff served on the CPGR Symposium Committee a few years ago, recently joined the Board of Directors for AFP Southern Colorado, and is one of the organizers of an all-day planned giving training in February co-presented by AFP-Southern Colorado and CPGR and sponsored by the Stelter Company and RuffaloCODY.
He and his wife, Hillary, enjoy travel and are both certified travel agents—check them out at www.ltdcruises.com. When they are not cruising the Panama Canal or getting ready for the 2012 Olympic Games, they can be found at their 5-acre spread outside Peyton, CO with their 8 cats.
Written by Cari Karns, Development Coordinator at Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum & 2011 CPGR Fellow