Parley: June 2019 - Future Fundraiser Lauren DaSilva
The Goldie Company is proud to support the careers of up-and-coming fundraisers through two scholarships for students enrolled in Humber College’s Fundraising Management program.
This month, Parley spoke with Lauren DaSilva, the 2019 recipient of the Gordon L. Goldie Memorial Scholarship. Established in memory of The Goldie Company’s founder, this scholarship honours Gordon’s legacy and supports Humber College students who are on their way to creating meaningful change as fundraising professionals.
Lauren, congratulations on receiving the Gordon L. Goldie Scholarship. What brought you to Humber College for the Fundraising Management program?
While completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph, I was very involved in an initiative called the Student Support Network (SSN), which offers peer-to-peer counselling services. In my fourth year, the university’s development department ran a campus-wide campaign on mental health. A staff member from the department interviewed a few of the SSN volunteers and they ended up featuring my photo and words in their email campaign.
I had been an active volunteer for several years, but this experience helped me gain a better understanding of the importance of fundraising. Non-profits and charities need funds in order to operate and deliver support! Fundraising can also help elevate a cause or issue.
While I was interested in sociology and child and youth studies, I still wasn’t sure how I could best apply my chosen majors in a career. As I learned more about fundraising, I started looking at educational opportunities, found the Humber program, and decided to apply.
What were you doing before you arrived at the college?
After graduating last spring, I decided to get some hands-on experience in fundraising before starting the program. This past summer I completed an internship with Frontier College’s development team and worked for the Canadian Cancer Society as a fundraising assistant. Both opportunities gave me some experience and helped me build connections in the sector.
The Humber program requires students to complete an internship. Where will you be completing yours, and what do you hope to gain from the experience?
At one point in the year, we had a school assignment to interview a fundraising professional. I connected with Kim Decker, Executive Director at the YWCA in Cambridge. During our conversation, I asked if they ever hired interns. At the time, they didn’t. I followed up in the spring and learned they were hiring for a new position, a Director of Philanthropy. Kim told me that this person would need assistance. Based on our prior conversation, they were thinking about hiring an intern. Long story short, I started my internship at YWCA Cambridge this week!
This YWCA chapter is a small organization, so I’m excited to learn from the close team and help make an impact. This summer I’ll be working with the Director of Philanthropy to determine organization-wide needs for a new CRM database. We’re also working on creating a stewardship plan to ensure regular communication with donors. By the end of the summer we hope to have the full year planned.
What’s next for you, Lauren? Where do you see yourself five years from now? What’s your dream job?
Most importantly, I want to be sure that I’m with an organization that is making an impact. I’d like to continue working on mental health awareness, as well as lifting up women and girls. Being at YWCA is a dream come true; here, I’m part of an empowering, female-led team that is advocating for women and girls in my community.
Over next five years I’d like to gain experience in several aspects of fundraising. Eventually, I see myself in a leadership position.
One last question, Lauren: What are a few things you’ve learned at Humber that you’ll apply in your career?
My instructors taught me that it’s important to be connected to your cause. Fundraising is a truly amazing sector, but it’s hard work and will only be more challenging if you’re not passionate about your organization’s work. They also encouraged us to be curious, connect with other fundraisers, and ask the questions that need to be asked.