My work with United Way started with Elvis. I was working at an insurance agency as a claims assistant when I attended a United Way fundraising breakfast. It was there that I heard a speech from Marian Heard, CEO of United Way. I was mesmerized. She was strong, relevant, and funny. At the end her speech, she pretended to be like Elvis and sang “thank you very much” to the crowd in his style. That evening I found an Elvis postcard that I had saved from a visit to Graceland. I wrote a message on the postcard expressing my interest in United Way and working on her team. A few weeks later, I got a call from her. I couldn’t believe it! She told me about some future jobs openings at United Way. I applied for a job and got hired.
I was an assistant to the Special Events Director and I helped with all fundraising efforts. This is where gained experience with donor relations, event planning, and time management. Donating online and micro-giving weren’t around so it was a lot of face-to-face outreach. I remember how high- stakes the events were, working with high-profile guests of honor. One that stands out was the Women’s Leadership Breakfast series: we recruited top women leaders in Boston and raised $3 millions dollars. Looking back on this job, I feel fortunate to have worked with such a dynamic team that truly believed in the organization’s mission.