- Poste occupé:
- Full-Time Fundraiser & Enthusiastic Volunteer
- McGill University
- Type de formation (1):
- Formation universitaire (Baccalauréat)
- Programme de formation (1):
- Undergraduate degree in psychology
- Types de professionnel-le:
- Professionnels-les dans les OBNL et OBE
- Secteurs d'organisation:
- Avancement de l’éducation
- Types d'organisation:
- Fondations privées
Can you present yourself?
I am a fundraising matchmaker! My passion is to connect philanthropically-minded people with the high-impact projects and ideas that will truly make a difference in the world.
I am a CFRE-accredited professional fundraiser with experience across many different areas and roles within the non- profit sector. I’m also involved as a volunteer with several wonderful not-for-profit organizations, where I leverage my professional expertise to help these charities to grow and thrive.
What brought you to work in the philanthropic sector?
My first job in fundraising happened completely by accident! I started doing writing and prospect research without any real sense of what I was getting into. But through continuing education, training, and peer mentorship, I found a community of fellow ‘agents for good’ and access to the opportunities I needed to learn and grow as a fundraising professional.
Can you define and explain what your activity and/or position consists of within your organization?
I work in a new unit at McGill University Advancement called ‘Primary Gifts’. My colleagues and I are responsible for identifying, cultivating and soliciting transformational donations for the University’s top priorities. And like any job, I have about a million other responsibilities, which means I’m doing my part to help ensure that our team and department stays best-in-class.
What is your professional education? Is it relevant in the context of your philanthropic involvement?
I started in fundraising fresh out of university, where I received an undergraduate degree in psychology. Knowing about what motivates human behaviour through my schooling probably gave me a leg up when it came to approaching potential donors and volunteers! On top of that, the training I received in research and writing from my BA comes in handy every day – the best fundraisers know their stuff!
Talk to us briefly about your professional background?
Since starting my career in fundraising 10 years ago, I have moved through just about every job role there is! Prospect research, annual giving, stewardship, events, and now – major gifts. Since finding my niche in front-line fundraising, I’ve gradually taken on roles with more and more responsibility. I encourage those new to the field to try a bit of everything to find out what type of work they most enjoy within this diverse field.
What are the challenges and issues related to your position in philanthropy?
Keeping a healthy work-life balance! For us this is business but for our donors, philanthropy is deeply personal. No matter what type of fundraising you do, it can be hard to set limits and ‘turn off’ when you’re outside the office. I’m grateful for my friends and family who remind me to look up from my phone on the weekends.
How would you define philanthropy today? How does this definition influence your working methods?
Philanthropy is going through a major revolution! People’s attitudes about giving, the ways they give and the types of causes they support are continually evolving. As a fundraising professional, I need to stay at the top of my game – make sure I am informed and adaptable in order to meet our donors “where they’re going” and not “where they were”.
What advice would you give to someone who wishes to pursue a career in your profession/activity?
Find a mentor; someone you connect with, are inspired by, and who you pledge a mutually beneficial relationship with. Mentorship is important in every field, but in philanthropy – where the profession is newer and the field so full of need – I have often relied on my mentors to help guide me.
Anything to add?
As a fundraiser, don’t ever work for any cause you wouldn’t personally support. Your donors will know it