People have asked: what does a love of food and nutrition and a career in public relations have to do with fundraising? Well… just about everything.
Let’s back up a little. I started college (after carefully choosing the institution with a stellar reputation and top ranking in my chosen profession) with the idea of eventually running a large test kitchen. And then quickly realized that knowing if a particular nutrient is fat or water soluble was not going to sustain my interest for as long as I thought I might have to work. But my volunteer time on student publications was endlessly fascinating. I got to ask experts why solubility was important, and then explain it to others in an easily understandable way. I started to feel like I could make a small difference in the world.
It’s been said that luck is being at the right place at the right time with the right skills – and having the ability to recognize it as opportunity. If so, luck led me to newspaper reporting and editing, which led me to public relations, which led me to help some of the world’s largest companies make a difference by feeding the world, training amazing volunteers and marketing environmentally responsible products.
We reached those goals together by developing nonprofit partnerships with nonprofits, imagining programs and providing leadership training. In one case, I went so far as to ask a prospective client why I should believe that they wanted to make meaningful changes after environmental violations, becoming a respected community player. The company convinced me by showing plans to make operational changes as well as philosophical ones, and we worked together for several years. Today, they’re a respected member of the community with nonprofit partnerships that survive a dozen years later.
Making the connection
Fast forward, and Iuck has brought me through professional certification in fundraising and grant writing, plus an opportunity to help previous employers and new clients fund efforts to address child obesity, hunger and child health and wellness. It’s a great place to be, and proves the adage, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”