Meet Our Award Winners: Jessica Harrington
In our February issue, Fundraising Success named the winners of our 2010 Fundraising Professionals of the Year Awards. In this recurring "Meet Our Award Winners" series in the Advisor, you will have an opportunity to learn more about these distinguished nonprofit professionals and their unique perspectives on fundraising. Here, meet Jessica Harrington, who was named one of this year's Fundraising Stars.
S&W Direct (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Organization's mission: To provide strategic and innovative solutions to the nonprofit sector that help our clients build strength and achieve long-term success.
Role models: Katherine Graham, who was fearless, innovative and passionate. She said, “To love what you do and feel that it matters — how could anything be more fun?” And I completely agree! Also, my grandmother, who taught me to love everyone and laugh at myself, and that any problem can be solved with mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Why you chose fundraising as a career: I believe that individuals can really make a difference — especially when we band together. When done right, we can change our community, our nation — and our world. It all starts at the grassroots level. I love getting people involved and keeping them engaged.
Greatest fundraising challenges: To convince donors — and organizations — to look beyond the size of the gift. A small gift can lead to greater things and make a difference.
Keys to success (in life): Knowing how to read upside down.
Keys to success (in fundraising): Be a donor to many different organizations; knowing what motivates me to give and the feeling I receive from giving helps me to understand why other people care. That said … don’t be a focus group of one — just because I like it (or don’t like it!) doesn’t mean it’s going to work (or not).