2023 Unsung Hero: Hillary Alford
American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Senior Director of Direct Response Marketing
There are so many people who contribute to a nonprofit’s success in their own special way, and the work these organizations do couldn’t be accomplished without each person’s contribution. Oftentimes, though, some of the biggest pieces of that puzzle go unrecognized for their work.
This year, NonProfit PRO is highlighting the efforts of Hillary Alford, senior director of direct response marketing at American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC)/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, by awarding her the Unsung Hero Award. ALSAC is responsible for St. Jude’s fundraising and awareness.
“Telling a story is the foundation of human communication and the primary way a volunteer, donor, board member, etc., connect with an organization’s mission,” Alford’s nominator told NonProfit PRO. “Yet the writer of those vital connections never gets the credit for a story well told.”
As the organization’s “primary storyteller” for the past 16 years, according to her nominator, Alford has helped ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital build its donor base of more than 8 million active donors, 800,000 of whom donate on a monthly basis.
“Her writing is raising more than $500 million in revenue each year, and she has made all of us smarter about recognizing the warning signs of childhood cancer,” her nominator told NonProfit PRO.
She has built trust among the organization’s community members — including patients and their families and doctors — who then share their experiences with St. Jude.
“Stories make people feel emotion — happiness, sadness, excitement, anger and hope,” her nominator said. “And powerful storytelling humanizes tremendous need and points the way for donors and supporters to create change.”
Alford’s philanthropic efforts don’t stop when she clocks out of work for the day. She gives her time to local and regional nonprofits, putting together meals at food pantries and helping rescue dogs find forever homes, her nominator told NonProfit PRO.
All this she does without asking for recognition, her nominator told NonProfit PRO.