Fundraising Maven Marge Terhar Receives Halo Award

Photo of Marge Terhar with Halo Award

Almost 470 proposals written.

More than $4 million in revenue generated.

These are the kind of numbers that any rising executive would love to put on her résumé. But for 83-year-old Marge Terhar, this achievement is not a matter of business, but of the heart.

Since 1999, the Northridge resident has been serving on MEND’s Fundraising Proposal Committee. Her impressive results have now been recognized by the Carl and Roberta Deutsch Foundation, which has bestowed on her the 2012 Halo Award for outstanding volunteer service.

The Halo Award recognizes volunteers who, like Marge, do exemplary work in their communities. The Foundation awarded $20,000 to MEND and $5,000 to Terhar, who gave her share to MEND. The recognition luncheon took place at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica last March.

Before she began volunteering for MEND, Marge had spent a dozen years writing a newsletter for her Northridge church, Our Lady of Lourdes—a task she still performs.  “A gentleman who was on the board of MEND had been reading it and ask me if I had ever thought of writing grants,” she recalls. “I said, ‘No, but I’m willing to try.’ I knew about MEND and was inspired by what they do, and I think that’s important. You really have to know the organization you’re writing about.”

Marge spends about 40 hours a month preparing proposals, researching new funding possibilities, tracking grant applications, and mentoring newer members of the Proposal Committee. Over the years, she helped develop systems and tracking forms that enabled a team of volunteer writers to write 130 grant requests with a success rate of 74% approvals. One of her key successes was a $500,000 Keck Foundation grant that helped build MEND’s Pacoima headquarters.

In the business world, results like Marge’s might be motivated by ambition. But her work comes from the heart. She knows that her efforts are helping MEND to continue its work of lifting its clients out of poverty and meeting each need with dignity.