We are so excited to present you with the newest member of Nonprofit Network's staff—Sharon Castle! With a wealth of fundraising experience as a development director, executive director, and consultant, Sharon has a unique perspective to offer nonprofits seeking to build their capacity. We'll let Sharon introduce herself.
As the newest staff member of Nonprofit Network, I am delighted to be writing my first blog post (and first blog post—period) as a Capacity Building Consultant. I welcome the opportunity to share my background, experience and philosophy in working with and helping build the capacity of Nonprofit Network’s members.
First, a bit of background. I credit my in-depth fundraising knowledge to my work as Deputy Director of Development for the American Lung Association of Michigan (ALAM) where I oversaw the fundraising activities of 5 staff members and was responsible for all aspects of statewide fundraising including, special events, telemarketing, direct mail, major gifts and planned giving.
While I loved my work and colleagues at ALAM, I was fascinated by major gift fundraising and left to become Executive Director of Development for the Michigan Historical Center Foundation where I completed the fundraising for the Michigan Historical Museum’s 20th Century permanent galleries and planned and executed the grand opening gala.
During my tenure at ALAM, I was able to assist several organizations (with my ED’s blessing) in a consulting capacity. So, in 1995, when I discovered I was pregnant with my second child, I decided to try consulting full-time. Now, as an empty nester ( that second child is now 22) I still love consulting but want to be connected to an organization. Fate intervened and I met Regina when she presented at the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Capital Area Chapter’s annual conference. Fun fact: Regina’s session received the highest level of feedback!
I introduced myself and asked if we could set up a time to meet as my husband and I are looking at relocating to Chelsea to be closer to family and I was looking to make connections in “that part of the state.” We met for coffee a few weeks later and I learned about Regina’s vision for Nonprofit Network, its services, including the outstanding Bridges Out of Poverty framework, and her quest to hire a Capacity Building Consultant. A couple of weeks later I had the opportunity to interview for the position and meet Carrie, Jessica, Katena, and Tom and, as they say, the rest is history and here I am writing my first blog post!
Nonprofit Network is a perfect fit: the ability to consult while having a team of fellow consultants and outstanding support. The organization’s mission to strengthen nonprofit governance and management is spot-on. As a consultant, I worked with numerous nonprofits that simply didn’t have the basic building blocks to attain their goals. Nonprofit Network’s respectful approach to each organization fits with my philosophy of not taking a cookie cutter approach and instead looking at each organization’s unique strengths and challenges and dovetailing them with sound fundraising principles and practices
I am excited and honored to be part of this outstanding team and looking forward to working with our members!
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