Emerging Leaders in DC “Pay It Forward”

By Reggie Galloway ’11
2015-16 AlumniCorps Emerging Leader

unnamed (5)One of the most challenging aspects of leading any nonprofit organization is fundraising; it needs to happen, but can be excruciatingly difficult. Depending on their size, nonprofit organizations—particularly their CEOs and development teams—are tasked with raising thousands to millions of dollars each year in order to cover costs. As a participant in Princeton AlumniCorps’ Emerging Leaders program, I got a small taste of the time, effort, and innovation it takes to raise funds for a nonprofit with a good cause.

The purpose of the Emerging Leaders program is to provide rising nonprofit managers with an immersion experience into various aspects of nonprofit sector leadership, including fundraising. Each year, each regional cohort of Emerging Leaders program participants is tasked with raising $4,000 in groups of 4 ($1,000 per group or $250 per program participant) to help support next year’s cohort. This year, our DC cohort decided to do something unique: instead of working in silos, combine on one collective fundraising effort in the form of the “Princeton AlumniCorps: Pay It Forward” Happy Hour.

Although we were all aware of the program’s fundraising assignment well before of our first session in June, this benefit happy hour came together in the course of three months. We mapped out and executed the event details during our sessions, lunch breaks, conference calls, and through emails. During the course of planning the happy hour, we were granted a crash course in nonprofit development and tackled some questions and challenges in event planning.

On November 19, we held our happy hour at Mission at Dupont Circle. Eighty friends, colleagues, and supporters joined us. There was lots of energy as we celebrated five years of Emerging Leaders in Washington, DC, and raised about $1,000.00.

Our team enjoyed engaging in this collective effort and looks forward to reaching our goal! You can help us pay it forward at crowdrise.com/alumnicorps.

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