Meet Our Advisors: Jo Sullivan, ASPCA
Jo Sullivan is a voice for those whose barks go unheard. As senior vice president of development and communications for the ASPCA, she has been a driving force in its efforts to raise dollars to protect the nation’s kitties, canines, hamsters, horses and herds of other animals.
Read on to learn more about Jo, a three-year member of FundRaising Success’ Editorial Advisory Board.
Grew up in: Collinsville, Va.
Education: “I went to Fieldale Collinsville High School.”
How long have you been with the ASPCA?: “Nine years this Oct. 8.”
First and previous fundraising jobs: “This was my first. I was in advertising/marketing [in the packaged-goods industry] prior to coming to the ASPCA.”
Why did you choose fundraising as a career? “I really didn’t know I was … I wanted to save animals. And when I moved to NYC it gave me the opportunity to stalk the ASPCA for about a year before they hired me. It wasn’t until I started that I realized — naively so — that nonprofits and fundraising were career paths.”
Who are your heroes/role models? “Henry Bergh — our founder. He stood up for animals in a time that nobody else did. Founded in 1866 — you can imagine what else this country was facing. His bravery to take on animal issues is inspirational.”
What’s the best advice you can give your fellow fundraisers? “It’s not a program for ‘one.’ Think big and always look for new channels. If you build your customer-service team well on the back end, the program can have a broader sweep in fundraising.”
What are the biggest challenges facing fundraisers today? “Everything from economy to budgets to convincing leadership to take a chance on things like social networking and mobile fundraising. They are limitless. But the upside is the change we make every day in the charities we serve.”