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For nearly 40 years, WVDO has been committed to helping people engaged in the work of not-for-profits better tell their stories. Whether it is helping someone start their story, through the Development Series or one of our conferences, or hone their story through peer networking or the Certificate Program the stories of our members, and the organizations they represent drive our mission, and have been a hallmark of the organization. The #MyWVDO campaign is a way for you to share your story, so we can better tell our own. Think about the impact that WVDO has had on you, or on someone you know. Tell us about that impact and what WVDO has meant to you.


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I <3 My WVDO!

Posted By Alison Bailey, Thursday, August 18, 2016

I’m not a fundraiser. But I love them, they are my people. In my work as a corporate funder, it’s my job to set them up for success. Even if I’m not able to secure the big grant or sponsorship for them, I can be a friend. And the best way I know how to do that is to connect them to WVDO. It’s the place where a fundraiser can take real responsibility for their development and cultivate a family of peers in the industry. That’s why my company supports WVDO, it’s why I’m a broken record singing its praises. Oh yeah, I’m on the board too. I heart MY WVDO!

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Where I came to connect

Posted By Samantha Swaim, Monday, July 11, 2016

At first WVDO was where I came to connect to other fundraising professionals. With many events and networking opportunities the annual conferences and monthly trainings became a way to get information, see trends, and connect to others so that I could better serve my clients. 

But soon WVDO became a teaching outlet for me. As a big advocate for education the work I do every day is to try to simplify the work that development directors take on by providing best practices and guide posts along the way. WVDO gave me the opportunity to teach at PCC in the certificate program and then to be a guest educator in the PSU cohort. As a profession, so many great development directors have found their way into development because of a passion for a mission but have never had formal training. WVDO is providing that training. Through concrete tools and resources our development professionals are able to raise more money and therefore have a bigger impact on their mission and on our community. 

WVDO is providing the tools that each of us need to be better at our jobs. That is why I now serve on the board of WVDO and advocate for the great work of this organization. It is also why I am giving to the #MyWVDO campaign. I hope you will join me. 


Samantha Swaim
Fundraising Event Consultant, Swaim Strategies
WVDO Board Member

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I was ready for something new

Posted By Kemp Shuey, Monday, June 20, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, June 15, 2016

For ten years I had the fortune to work at an amazing nonprofit doing truly magical work as the program director.  I loved the job, the people, and most of all – the mission.  While the job was perfect on so many levels, I realized that I was ready for something new.  I needed a new challenge and I needed to be learning new things.


Changing careers, particularly when you are leaving a place you love, is an intimidating exercise.  In the moment, you are constantly questioning yourself, “Is this the right move?  Can I do this work?  Am I good enough?”  Ultimately only you can answer those questions for yourself, but it helps to have a network of people who believe in you.


That’s why this is My WVDO.  As a member of the 2014-15 Certificate of Nonprofit Fundraising class I gained the knowledge necessary to help me make that leap to development.  More importantly, I built relationships with my classmates and instructors that reinforced my confidence to do this work, and strengthen my belief that I had something worthwhile to bring to the field.


One year after graduating from the course, I find myself as the Director of Advancement for Community Action, a social services nonprofit in Washington County.  It is a great fit, and I’m enjoying the new challenge every day.  I’m lucky to be where I am, and it wouldn’t be possible without My WVDO!

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How'd you end up doing that?

Posted By Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Mis Queridos WVDO Members,

A close college friend recently asked me what I did at work. I went on and explained that as a one-stop-shop development guy I did a little bit of everything to grow Centro’s ability to ‘do good.’

The kicker came when he asked “Cool, Juan, how’d you end up doing that?” only for me to reply “Well… it just kinda happened”.

I can probably imagine this is a common narrative for development professionals everywhere. Development isn’t always a career that people dream about when they’re in college. Many of us stumble into it for one reason or another to discover that it’s enthralling, rewarding and incredibly difficult work.

I’ll never forget my first encounter with WVDO. How good I felt sharing my experiences and hardships with people that understood. Even better, having seasoned professionals offer solutions, their advice and support.

WVDO gets me. They get Development. They want me to be successful, because if I’m successful then my non-profit and community are successful.

That’s why WVDO is My WVDO, and that’s why I donate above and beyond the dues my non-profit covers. If the same is true for you, I hope you’ll join me by becoming a monthly donor today.

Gracias, WVDO.

Juan Carlos Gonzalez

Development Director at Centro Cultural de Washington County

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Before I even knew WVDO existed I knew I needed it

Posted By Rebecca Alexander, Friday, May 27, 2016

Before I even knew WVDO existed, I knew I needed it. It was 2010, I was trying to find my first fundraising job and no one appeared interested in what I had to offer.

It felt as though my applications were going unread and my follow-up calls and emails were certainly unanswered.

I was involved in the nonprofit sector already as a volunteer, but I wasn’t quite sure how to make the leap to nonprofit employee.

Enter: The Informational Interview.

A fellow volunteer connected me to WVDO member Laila Cook, then the Development Director  at Make-a-Wish Oregon. We had a great conversation about nonprofit fundraising, her accomplishments, and my aspirations. It was a great connection!

Laila referred me to WVDO’s website and allowed me gain experience with The Raiser’s Edge at her office. With my newfound knowledge about fundraising careers and the ability to say “Yes,” when asked if I had familiarity with donor databases... I landed my first paid gig just a couple months later!

I now know that 2010 was a particularly bad time to try and find a job in the development field in Portland, especially as someone without a fundraising background. But with the help of WVDO and WVDO members I became so incredibly lucky to make my living working for causes I deeply respect and admire.

From this first informational interview on, the connections I’ve made with WVDO members at their conferences and events like 3 Degrees have been priceless.

My nonprofit pays for my WVDO membership dues so that our fundraising techniques are the best they can be. But I chip in an extra amount because WVDO benefits me personally as well.  If the same is true for you, I hope you’ll consider becoming a monthly donor today.

With thanks for My WVDO,

Rebecca Alexander

Development Director at Bradley Angle

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Welcome to MyWVDO

Posted By Agnes Zach, Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Guess what?  it's time to celebrate WVDO!  In 2017 we celebrate 40 years of supporting nonprofit fundraising in the community.  How has that impacted you?  What is your WVDO story?

Mine?  I found WVDO 9 years ago and I've never been the same since.  Who knew fundraising could be so much fun, so hard, so rewarding and such an amazing way to connect.  I look forward to events to see you; I look forward to coffee meetings and Friday nonprofit tours.

This blog is your chance to share your story--let's hear it!

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