I’ve had an absolutely amazing 20-year career in nonprofit fundraising & philanthropy. I have significant experience securing five, six, seven and eight-figure gifts from individual donors and corporations.
To date, I’ve raised nearly $400 million dollars for nonprofits across the nation. Below I’m sharing just a few of the many projects that I’ve had the pleasure of leading over the years.”
In 2007, while working at Hope Through Divine Intervention I wrote and secured a $1.7 million dollar capital grant from the Atlanta Development Authority (now Invest Atlanta), with which we purchased an abandoned, blighted, 36-unit apartment complex in the Simpson Road community of Atlanta. I leveraged the $1.7M grant and secured an additional $2 million dollars in private funding to completely renovate the complex, as well as over $550K a year in Project-based vouchers from the Atlanta Housing Authority. With nearly $3 million dollars in resources we created the “Villas of Hope” permanent supportive housing program.
In 2006, while working at Hope Through Divine Intervention, I identified a growing sub-population of homeless Trans women throughout the city of Atlanta. At that time Trans women were being turned away from emergency shelters, who dubbed them a nuisance. As a result, we were fielding calls from homeless Trans women living with HIV/AIDS, desperately vying for our permanent supportive housing beds. To respond to the sheer demand for services, I established collaborative partnerships with a consortium of HIV/AIDS service providers to create a resource and support network for this fast-growing community. I then wrote a successful $200K proposal to the United Way Atlanta to create the “Open Arms” permanent supportive housing program, which provided a safe space for 9 homeless, Trans women living with HIV/AIDS. Open Arms made history as Atlanta’s first permanent housing program for Trans women. I leveraged the $200K gift from the United Way Atlanta and secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in Housing Opportunities for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS (HOPWA) funding. You can read more about this project in this.
Hope Through Divine Intervention’s supporting housing programs have a demonstrated track record of helping chronically homeless men (living with mental illness and other comorbidities) achieve stability and return to the workforce.
In 2008 I orchestrated a partnership with Chik-fil-A to create the Café of Hope, a social enterprise (a quick-service Chik-fil-A restaurant) that employed our program beneficiaries and program alumni. I leveraged support from Chik-fil-A and secured workforce development funding from Fulton County Government, the City of Atlanta and private donors.
In 2009 I returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and worked as a fund development consultant for Youth Uprising (YU) —a youth development agency that served over 5,000 transition-aged youth annually in my hometown, East Oakland. I secured over $3 million in funding from institutional donors and corporations including the California Wellness Foundation, the City of Oakland, the California Wellness Foundation, Cisco, The Gap Foundation and more.
One of my fondest memories, was securing more than $150K in funding to launch the YU Corner’s Café, an on-site, quick-service restaurant and catering social enterprise run and operated by YU program beneficiaries.
In 2010 I accepted the role as Development Director at the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP), a homeless shelter and “soup kitchen” providing meals, emergency shelter and transitional housing to homeless families in Richmond California and the West Contra Costa. GRIP also provided a safe haven and essential services for the homeless including showers, mail service and case management. Annually, GRIP’s services benefitted over 15,000 homeless men, women and children annually.
Richmond (CA) is a very special community to me. It’s a community where my mother, my sister and I experienced homelessness during my sophomore year of high school. I remember the shame and trauma we experienced while living at the local Civic Center Motel. I also remember the joy we experienced when we got back on our feet and rented a local one-bedroom apartment. Even though we didn’t have much space, we were grateful to have a place of our own.
Given my lived experience with poverty and homelessness, I was honored to lead GRIP’s fundraising efforts to ensure families experiencing homelessness had a safe, clean and supportive place to live while they regained their footing. It was my pleasure and a super rewarding opportunity to serve.
During my six-year tenure at GRIP, I secured over $12 million in public grants, charitable gifts and corporate partnerships. One of my fondest memories was securing nearly $500K from First 5 of the Bay Area and other private donors to create an on-site daycare center, which provided high-quality, childcare for shelter residents at no cost to them.
Read more about my work at the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program.
In 2018 my career brought me to the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), where I’ve spent the last few years working as the Director of Strategic Partnerships—a role that was created to galvanize corporate partnership revenue.
To date I’ve raised over $3 million. In 2020, I structured a corporate strategic partnership between CDF and the Boeing Company, which resulted in a $1 million grant to CDF.
Boeing’s $1 million investment enabled CDF to integrate culturally-responsive STEM education into the CDF Freedom Schools® program—through a new initiative entitled “CDF Freedom to STEM.”
CDF Freedom to STEM is proven to catalyze racially and ethnically under-served students’ interest and curiosity in STEM, while increasing their proficiency in math and science.
CDF Freedom to STEM debuted in summer 2020 in communities of color across the nation and realized significant gains in students’ conceptual knowledge of math and science, as well as their interest in STEM fields.