“People want to help and make an impact. Our job is to build relationships, understand the kind of impact someone is trying to make, listen really well and try to find those opportunities where the impact someone wants to make on the world can be accomplished through their philanthropic giving.”
For 20 years, Heidi Mucha has been a vital part of the American Red Cross. She has played an integral role in developing relationships between the community and the organization and facilitating charitable giving, which has made an impact on communities near and far as a result.
In her current role of regional development officer for the Illinois region, Heidi leads a team responsible for connecting people who desire to support the mission with the best possible way to do so. She helps others understand how the Red Cross operates and what the biggest needs are, deepening their knowledge of the organization and encouraging them to get involved in the most effective manner.
“Their investment deepens. They understand the challenges we’re facing and they really want to be a part of figuring out how to make that next investment that will make a difference.”
Heidi and her team often lead fundraising initiatives at the Red Cross through major events such as the Heroes Breakfast, which she started 20 years ago, and through thoughtful stewardship of hundreds of donors over the years.
Erin Craghead is the director of development for corporate giving in the Illinois region. She has worked with Heidi for more than 11 years and has seen the positive effect Heidi makes through her passion for what she does.
“She is the kind of leader that is living our critical work long after ‘regular business hours’. Witnessing her inspire our team to connect donors with our lifesaving mission in the most creative and impactful ways is one of my very favorite things. ”
Heidi defers the credit to her team members and to the people who choose to give selflessly to support the mission. She notes the importance of donors of all kinds – volunteer, blood and financial. When it comes to financial donors, Heidi has seen firsthand what this type of generosity can do for advancing our mission.
“Philanthropy is a critical part of the Red Cross. We can’t do what we do, would it not be for people who make a decision to help someone they don’t know and they’re not likely to ever meet. Imagine being helped by the Red Cross and realizing, ‘Someone who doesn’t even know me cared enough to give of their hard earned resources to make sure I have a safe place to go, food on my table, my kids are taken care of.’ That’s a really powerful thing.”
In addition to making a huge difference for other people through giving, Heidi says, the impact it has on the people who give is equally significant.
“It can be life-changing for people who have an opportunity to make a gift, because you get to step outside of yourself and do something that’s powerfully going to impact other people.”
Please click here if you would like to be a part of our mission by supporting the Red Cross.
Written by Illinois Region Communications Manager Brian Williamsen