As a fundraiser, the question I get asked most from those who aren’t familiar with Development is: “So, all you do is ask for money all day?”
The short answer: Yes. The long answer: Development is so much more than that!
Over the years I have worked for a few different non-profits and have learned more about my role through each one.
As an alumna, returning as a staff member to the University has been an absolute joy, and I have brought with me the mentality that fundraising is about connections. It’s building relationships with your community and getting them involved based on what they are passionate about. It’s making them feel good about creating positive change for the underserved and overlooked.
Yes, the conversation eventually turns to financial support and, for me, it should feel comfortable and easy. My own philanthropic interests have always been drawn to young adults and emergent needs. Being able to incorporate my love of fashion is the cherry on top of the sundae.
I recently had the amazing opportunity of helping one of our donors create a fund for the Fashion Design & Retailing Program. The reality for many of our students in this program is that they are barely scraping by to afford their classes so they often aren’t able to purchase the materials they need to create their portfolios (that are essential for employment opportunities post graduation). While the department receives donations of fabric from local companies, there isn’t enough to serve everyone and our students creativity is stifled as they can’t execute their vision fully with pre-selected fabrics.
After hearing about the need, this donor and I discussed the creation of a fund to allow students the financial resources to purchase the exact fabrics and notions they need to succeed in their program. With that mission in mind, the JG Fabric Fund was established.
As an alumna, staff member, and Board member, I am fully invested in the concept of “time, talents, and treasure”. I give my time through my work and my volunteer role on the Board, my talents through my knowledge of fundraising, and am thrilled to give my treasure to the JG Fabric Fund.
There is no better feeling than standing behind a cause that I a care deeply for and that aligns with my own interests!