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Board Member Spotlight: Lauren Futch

Wednesday, October 9, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jackie Wickliffe
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Lauren and her husband, Justin, at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. They met in D.C.


“I think being a fundraiser makes you more aware of the ways you can make an impact.”

-Lauren Futch, Associate Development Director, UTHealth

A Board member spotlight by Jackie Wickliffe.



Lauren has served on the AFP Houston Board of Directors for two years. She also serves on the Ask the Experts and National Philanthropy Day committees.


“I knew when I moved to Houston I wanted to be involved. I was transitioning into a new type of role within fundraising, and I wanted to have a network of people and resources to help me learn and develop new skills.”



“I think our chapter is at a point where we’re very adaptable to what our members want. We’re not rigid. If we hear members are really looking for this this type of engagement, we’ll create an opportunity with our chapter. I think that leads people coming back to us year after year.’ Our chapter does a great job being adaptive and innovative in our space.”



“Career experience or age doesn’t matter because a board or committee needs to be representative of the entire chapter. The entire chapter isn’t made up of people who are 10-15 years into their career. There are people who are just starting out or this might be their second career.”


“I’m pretty young in my career. I think people value my perspective, because I am showing the other side of the coin from someone who has been working at their nonprofit for 25 years. I think it balances all input and it provides good networking opportunities and diversification of opinion. I think it creates a better environment and experience overall.”


“It’s funny because my boss has been with my organization for 13 years, and I’ve been there a year; but I learn things from her, and she learns things from me. We’re always all growing at the same time. There’s never a point where you’re experienced enough. In fact, joining AFP at any point in your career allows you to either be a mentor or a mentee, and that’s super important when you’re building your career.”



“I wish we had more at-large members to get more involved. There are tasks that require a little time commitment – or maybe you’re looking for something to pour your energy and time into that is going to give you more opportunities. You don’t have to be on the Board to oversee a committee. I think if we could all find a way to give a little bit more time, it would make our chapter stronger.”



“I think we are doing a lot. First, there is our program with the University of Houston, as well as Texas A&M. That’s a great pipeline for college students who are looking to pursue a career in the nonprofit world. That way, when they do start their jobs, they’re able to see the value that AFP is going to bring to them.”


“In terms of new ideas, one of the things we are working on right now is setting up mini-affinity groups for example, healthcare and arts. I think another good one could be a young professionals group. There are a ton of scholarships available for younger members. We also have a mentor-mentee program.”



“My mentor is Lisa Wood. She works for The Kinkaid School. We were partnered together, and it was really a great match. I was going through some transition of my own. I ended up interviewing at my current role which is in the medical center, and Lisa had worked in the med center at a different institution for a long time. She was able to walk me through what a typical interview might look like and what to expect. That was very helpful. She is wonderful.”



“Since I was in college almost nine years ago, a lot of universities have created a track for people to learn more about fundraising, which I believe is really what’s driving more people to work in fundraising.”


“I also feel the media is highlighting philanthropy in different ways. For example, with Hurricane Harvey, you saw all the nonprofits and charities which came together. A lot of people were watching the news and probably realizing, obviously there are individuals who help run these programs and raise money for this amazing causes. I think people start to realize they can do what they are passionate about doing, but do it for a nonprofit and have a feel-good connection to their organization.”



“Joining an AFP committee is really the first and easiest thing you can do. Once you are involved with the committee, you are communicating with people. You’re getting to know them because of the project you’re working on. That way, when you go to a luncheon, you’re already going to know a handful of folks who you’ve been working with.”


“I’m a pretty extroverted person, and I still find a lot of networking opportunities are kind of intimidating, because you think everyone around you knows each other, but that perception is not correct. Diving into a committee is a very easy entry point for anybody looking to get more involved or build their own network.”



“I love my organization, because my original passion is healthcare. I wanted to be a doctor or a nurse. Now, I get to work with doctors and nurses and the institutions which train them. I find the science side of everything very fascinating, and I can really relate to it. I think it is amazing that we have people who are so dedicated and so willing to spend their life looking at research for things like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson's or cancer.”


“What I love about fundraising is just hearing people’s stories and meeting new types of people. It provides me with a unique world view. Some of our donors are giving because they have been impacted by a disease or illness. You can learn a lot about people, resilience, and compassion. It caused me to think more about myself as a person who gives my time and money as well.”


“My husband and I met through a program at our college which was 100% scholarship driven. You couldn’t be a part of the program if it weren’t for donors. Now, I think about how much fundraising has impacted me and where I am today. I already know one day I want to make sure I can give back the same way I felt the impact myself. My husband and I want to do something one day for this program, and we want to make sure we spend our lives giving back to other people. I think being a fundraiser makes you more aware of the ways you can make an impact.”




Special Thanks!



Special thanks to Jackie Wickliffe for writing this great spotlight. Jackie Wickliffe currently serves on AFP Houston's Communications Committee.

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