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, we spoke with Erica More, the latest recipient of the Kevin Allen Scholarship for Student Excellence in Fundraising. Established in memory of passionate fundraiser Kevin Allen, this scholarship is awarded to one Humber College student who embodies his generous spirit and shows great promise in the field.
Erica, congratulations on received this scholarship! What brought you to Humber College for the Fundraising Management program?
I’ve always really enjoyed event planning. In my last year at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec, I had the opportunity to plan and coordinate a large event in support of a local residential life skills and development centre. Since it was a small charity, I worked closely with the clients and staff. Learning about the organization’s grassroots impact in the community and with the students at my university is what sparked my interest in fundraising, and I applied for the program.
Did you have any other chances work in the field before coming to Humber?
After I graduated, I took a summer student position on the philanthropy team at Children’s Health Foundation in my hometown of London, Ontario. In this role, I got to do a little bit of everything: working on the annual golf tournament, learning about donor relations, researching for grant proposals, and, of course, spending time with Raiser’s Edge. We often met clients and patients, and it felt good to know that, even though I was a summer student, I was part of a team working toward a purpose. We were making a difference in people’s lives.
That was my test. I thought, “If I love it here, the Humber program will be the right fit.” I had already applied for the program, but I waited to accept the offer until halfway through the summer. Working with the team at the Foundation convinced me it was the right choice.
The program requires that students complete an internship. Where will you be completing yours, and what do you hope to gain from the experience?
This summer I’m working as the Fundraising and Events Intern at Kalandra Roach Events, a small events firm that specializes in fundraising and corporate events. Two things caught my eye about Kalandra’s job posting – firstly, I’d get to continue to gain experience in event planning, and secondly, I’d get to help many organizations at once.
So far, I’ve had the chance to work on several event files. My jobs have included booking speakers’ travel and accommodations, coordinating with suppliers, and organizing social media advertising. Because it’s a very small team, Kalandra relies on me to get these things done. It’s never just a small task to keep the intern busy!
What’s next for you, Erica? How do you see the next steps of your career progressing?
I’d like to stay in Toronto, and, ideally, I’d love to work for a social justice or healthcare organization. At Bishop’s, I studied applied psychology and completed a minor in criminology. One of my professors manages a non-profit that seeks to advance more inclusive understandings and practices of justice, and I enjoyed helping her for a short time. That said, the Humber program opened so many doors to me. I don’t want to close any of them!
One last question: What are a few things you’ve learned at Humber that you’ll apply in your career?
Humber taught me that this sector is very giving. If established professionals have the ability to help you, chances are they will. During the program, we had one day off per week. Many of us made use of that day to volunteer and gain experience in the field.
I’m interested in the mandate of the Elizabeth Fry Society, which supports women who have been or are at risk of being in conflict with law. Early in her career, the criminology professor I mentioned actually worked for Elizabeth Fry herself! I reached out to the Development Coordinator, who kindly offered to meet with me and tell me more about her work. She was very helpful. I ended up volunteering with the Society and still help out from time to time. I really believe in the organization’s mission and feel strongly about the work they do in their communities.
Having access to a network of professionals that are willing to support the careers of up-and-comers is incredibly valuable, and I hope to give back the same support to students and young professionals as I grow my career.