My first job in the nonprofit sector was on the corporate relations team at National Geographic. As a recent college graduate, I was thrilled to pieces, but also starting from zero learning the art and science of fundraising. I was lucky to support four incredibly skilled, and very different, directors. It was their love for the work, and their mentorship, that inspired my own desire to make fundraising my career.
Since that thrilling first job in the nonprofit sector, I’ve gone on to work with both large and small organizations. No matter the size of the organization, there are two parts of this job that I love most. First, I love getting to know a new organization, from the big vision, to the nitty gritty of databases and budget lines, and identifying the biggest opportunities. That exploration and discovery are so fun! Second, I love working with Executive Directors, especially helping them be brave, bold, authentic, transformative leaders. In practice, this can mean anything from walking through how to best lead a team meeting, or crafting a grant application, to thinking about how to incorporate diversity and equity work into donor cultivation and stewardship. It is most moving when we can dig deep into an ED’s dream and craft something that really answers their vision for the world.
I’ve worked in human services, education, the environment, advocacy – literally on missions from birth to death and everything in between. My projects have included interim development direction, development and organizational assessments, grant strategy and grant writing, and coaching.
Fun facts about Sarah:
- Two other jobs I’ve had and loved: leading multi-day whitewater rafting trips in Oregon and Idaho as a river guide, and selling haute couture wedding gowns.
- We don’t have a TV at home, so our family sits at the kitchen table and watches “Bird TV.” When she was three, my daughter wanted to be a black capped chickadee for Halloween.