1. How did you get into healthcare philanthropy?
Early in my career, I had the opportunity to participate in a fundraising mentorship program in Vancouver that matched me with an incredible fundraiser who worked in healthcare philanthropy. She introduced me to one of her colleagues and when an opportunity came up to join her Donor Relations team at VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, I jumped on it. Both of these women continue to inspire me with their leadership and vision.
2. Why did you choose to make healthcare philanthropy your career?
Since moving to Kamloops nearly 10 years ago, it has been incredibly rewarding to work at Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) Foundation. RIH is the only hospital in the city and our donors appreciate how hard the healthcare team works to care for our community. I love learning about the needs of the hospital and connecting our donors to the staff and hospital projects that might interest them.
3. Tell us about a pivot point or crucial step in your career journey.
A crucial step in my career journey came when my husband and I decided to re-locate from Vancouver to Kamloops, BC in 2011 in order to take advantage of the lifestyle available to us in a smaller community. I was leaving a position that I really enjoyed in Vancouver without having a new job lined up (I was about to go on maternity leave when we moved). Fortunately, just as my maternity leave ended, I was able to secure a role at Royal Inland Hospital Foundation, and I have worked there ever since. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to join the team at our local hospital foundation and to develop relationships with so many amazing donors and volunteers during this time.
4. What was your first job, and what is something it taught you?
One of my first jobs was pumping gas at the local gas station in rural Saskatchewan. (The show Corner Gas is a pretty accurate portrayal of small town life in Saskatchewan!) I learned the hard way not to put gasoline in a diesel truck.
5. What are your future aspirations?
I look forward to continuing to work closely with our donors on future projects and to explore new ways to develop connections in the community. The current pandemic has highlighted the need for fundraisers and charities to be nimble and creative in how we approach donors. With limited opportunities to meet with donors face-to-face right now, what else can we do to stay connected and ensure our donors are kept informed and excited about our work?
As a member of both AHP and CAGP (Canadian Association of Gift Planners), I am also interested in working more closely with professional advisors to promote legacy giving to ensure the future success of local charities in our community.
Find Alisa on LinkedIn.