Conversation with Nate Greenland, a Member of the 2018 Scholarship Cohort

AFP Advancement Northwest offers scholarships for promising fundraising professionals. Recipients have the opportunity to attend trainings for free, be paired with a mentor and join a committee to build their network. Nate Greenland is part of the 2018 scholarship cohort from Everett. He shared with us his thoughts on the experience and his appreciation for everyone who gave to make this opportunity possible.

Tell us why/how you became involved in the fundraising/nonprofit profession.

Like a lot of us in fundraising, I fell into this. After college, I lived and served for a year in Chicago’s inner-city – West Garfield. I was significantly impacted by my time there. After returning home, I wanted to continue helping families trapped in poverty. No opportunities were open in the social service sector at the time, so I worked for a mortgage company. I was at a wedding and met Ed, the CEO of Housing Hope at the time. He encouraged me to apply for a job. I did and was hired.

Why did you decide to apply for the Advancement Northwest scholarship?

When I learned that Advancement Northwest was trying to diversify its geographic representation, I got excited. The scholarship offers a robust opportunity to be engaged: being part of the cohort, regular time with a mentor, complimentary admission to the Forum on Strategic Fundraising, National Philanthropy Day, monthly programs, and so much more.

What were you hoping to gain as a scholar?

One of the core things I was hoping for was more networking and I definitely got that. Advancement Northwest offers lots of wonderful opportunities for networking, but the 30-60 min drive from Everett has been a barrier. Knowing that I’d been given this great gift, I wanted to utilize it as fully as possible. I made a point to suck it up and drive into Seattle for various gatherings. That includes our recent cohort gathering in Pioneer Square. Roughly eight of us shared take-out together with Ray Li, this year’s Professional Achievement Award winner, who graciously shared two hours of his time to talk about our profession and life in general. It was encouraging to hear from a professional, further along in his career, how fostering deep relationships has been so essential to his success.

What has been the most impactful part of the scholarship?

Besides the networking, I’ve enjoyed regularly meeting with my mentor, Heather Giron Fritts. Every time we meet, I bring a handful of questions or challenges and pick her brain. She always has great feedback that includes ideas I hadn’t yet considered, as well as confirmation where my proposed strategy is very similar to what her approach would have been.

Part of being a scholar is having the option of serving on a committee. You chose the Communications committee. How has that experience been for you?

I chose the Communications committee and collect testimonials from members and program guests. It affords me the opportunity to reach out to professionals whom I might not normally have had the occasion to meet. It also gave me the chance to serve remotely, which was a bonus. I’ve made connections with some wonderful professionals through my committee work. I just set up a coffee with a fellow fundraiser who works in Seattle but recently moved to Everett.

What will you take from this experience through the rest of your career?

It’s important to carve out and budget time for networking, socializing and training with other fundraising professionals. It’s too easy to get caught up in the tyranny of urgency in our jobs. I need to create and preserve space on my calendar to gather with peers outside my organization to glean their perspectives and professional insight, and share mine as well.

Why is having the scholarship opportunity available important?

This scholarship is a barrier buster. For some that barrier is budget. For others it’s geography. And, for others still, it’s a lack of taking initiative. The scholarship goes a long way toward removing so many of those hindrances that prevent individuals from accessing the formal and informal professional development that’s essential to both a personally fulfilling career as well as a stronger, healthier fundraising community.

Anything final thoughts?

I want to thank everyone who donated to Advancement Northwest’s scholarship fund to make this fantastic opportunity available, so I could dive deeper into all that Advancement Northwest offers!

Share this post:

Comments on "Conversation with Nate Greenland, a Member of the 2018 Scholarship Cohort"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment