Joe Hackman recently joined the VMRC Foundation as Foundation Manager. Let’s get to know him:
What was your interest in working at VMRC?
I knew that the Foundation’s main purpose was to raise support for people who had outlived their means. When I was a pastor in Pennsylvania, we worked with a LifePlan Community that supported many of our members with benevolent care, so I saw firsthand the impact these funds can have for individuals. When I learned VMRC valued benevolent care, I knew this was an organization that aligned with my values.
Tell us about your role as Foundation Manager.
As the Foundation Manager, I handle a variety of tasks such as organizing appeals and events, building relationships with local businesses to solicit sponsorships and meeting with individuals to learn about their philanthropic goals.
How did you get into fundraising?
I’ve always been passionate about listening to the stories of others, encouraging people to invest in their values and promoting causes that I believe can foster good in the world. This is largely what I did in congregational ministry. When my family moved to Harrisonburg during the pandemic, a unique opportunity emerged for me to work in development with the publisher for my denomination. In that role I found that I truly loved the work of fundraising.
Why is philanthropy important in today’s society?
We live in a time when traditional institutions and societal frameworks are being challenged, which is producing increasing polarization. Philanthropy helps us look beyond ourselves and encourages us to dream of what could be. It prompts us to turn toward each other and realize, as St. Francis of Assisi once said, that it is in giving that we receive.
What do you enjoy doing on the weekends?
Spending time with my kids! My wife and I have two children, Ila, age 12, and Jude, age 8. Between their school activities, sports, and activities with friends, we stay very busy. I also enjoy working in our yard and watching almost any sport.
What was your favorite food in your childhood?
As a kid I loved my mom’s mashed potatoes. I grew up with a lot of Pennsylvania Dutch food which does not involve a whole lot of spices. Now, as an adult, the spicier the better.