Thank you for finding your way here and taking a minute to read more about my vision: a vision for philanthropy in the future, a vision for community growth, and a vision for women-led leadership. Please make this conversation reciprocal by reaching out to me and sharing your story.
For years I had a clear vision – I wanted to gain the skills and knowledge needed to get that dream gig, CEO of a Hospital Foundation. Then, something happened, I had my first son, Pete. It was remarkable, challenging, and life-changing. After a year away from work, but not away from the sector, as I continued to volunteer with the AFP Golden Horseshoe Chapter, I was excited to go back to my role as a Senior Development Officer. However, I was a different person, I had battled post-partum depression and anxiety, and mothering had allowed me to become so much more confident in my skills and abilities.
I enjoyed being back to work, continuing to volunteer, and spending time with my family in the evenings and on the weekend. I felt like I had fallen into a good rhythm. Then, our second son, Zac, came along. Suddenly, I felt my career goals changing. I had a nagging urge that I needed to spend more time with my boys, everyone always says these years go by so quickly. Not wanting to give up on my career goals so quickly, I met with other women – women who are leaders and mothers. I asked them how they balanced their passion to pursue a career and set their family as a top priority. The answers concerned me. Everyone I spoke with said it was a constant struggle, something you must continually work at.
The fact that this is yet another task a woman must take on is frustrating, especially in the non-profit sector: a sector made up of seventy percent women, a sector with many (although still not enough) women leaders, a sector built on compassion and empathy, a sector desperately trying to make the world a better place. Yet, the sector’s traditional values have become a major barrier for so many women. Not to mention the fact that we are still fighting for senior level positions and equitable pay. Many of us want to excel in our career, want to reach those top positions, but also want to openly place our family as our top priority.
Balancing kids’ sick days, with sleepless nights, sports practice, and all our career demands often seems impossible. It is especially impossible in our sector. At the very nature of our sector is our empathy and compassion, we want to make a difference, so we are up late at night thinking about our donors, the community members our organization helps, or that inspiring story we heard from the recent major gift we landed. Then there are evening networking events, galas, charity runs, after-regular-hours donor meetings, late night e-mails, and countless other responsibilities. It seems like our fundraising thoughts and charitable hearts never stop.
This is where my vision to lead a change took shape. I didn’t want to feel this large burden, the pressure to excel in every aspect of my life. I want to champion a shift in our sector, we are a sector that advocates for change, that pushes for improvements in the lives of others, why can’t we also take care of ourselves too?
My work with Balanced Good is aimed at helping other leaders and passionate fundraisers reduce their workload, allowing them to breathe a little. I want to help with that grant application you can never seem to get to or take the time to develop a major gift strategy for your organization. I want us all to be able to spend ten extra minutes in the morning with our children because you aren’t worrying about these tasks.
However, my vision for Balanced Good goes beyond typical consulting services. I want to create a space where women feel supported, where we can connect with each other to discuss the challenges we face, where we make plans to address these challenges, and where we advocate for change.
Want to hear more stories? Stay tuned! In the coming weeks I will feature interviews with other leaders and mothers in our sector. First up, Megan Tregunno, CFRE – Megan is the Vice President, Chief Advancement Officer for Women’s College Hospital Foundation. She is also a mother of two, and just last year was named in the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy’s 40 Under 40 list.
A special thanks to those who have helped me launch my vision – I couldn’t have done it without you!