WTOP: 5 ways nonprofits can…
Get to know Executive Director Bound, Valerie Navy-Daniels!
Valerie has more than 20 years of experience as a philanthropy professional. She has a proven track record of fundraising and communications success and has consistently exceeded revenue goals by persuasively articulating and demonstrating compelling cases for philanthropic support from corporations, foundations, individuals and other constituencies.
1. What or who inspired you to pursue your profession?
Navy-Daniels: My passion to support organizations that improve people’s lives inspired my desire to pursue work in philanthropy.
In fact I’ve enjoyed a life-long love of leadership, sales and persuasion. Beginning as a top-selling Girl Scout cookie troop member and as a Raleigh’s Haberdashery salesperson while in high-school, I’ve always appreciated the art of inspiring people to support a cause or to help achieve a goal. Flash forward to my Boston University years and I’m reminded of my stint as a development officer charged with cold calling alumni to support our alma mater. Given this background, it should have been no surprise that as public service coordinator at the ABC-TV Boston affiliate, my job included the development of strategies to entice corporate sponsorship of multi-year public service campaigns.
Over my 20+ year career in development, I have been fortunate to work for leading human service providers, including the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the American Red Cross, and the Boston Medical Center. I led successful efforts to secure more than $140 million in funding helping these special organizations to expand and sustain their critical work to better the lives of people worldwide. How fortunate I’ve been to work with like-minded Boards, staff members, and incredible volunteers to enhance our community’s quality of life.
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2. As a nonprofit leader, how have you personally prepared for talent shifts in the social sector?
Navy-Daniels: A considerable shift is taking place in the hiring of qualified talent in the social sector. In the past, those who were motivated to work at a nonprofit organization may have been attracted because it was mission-driven. However, with an increase in purpose-driven businesses, for-profit institutions are now attracting many from the same talent pool.
I’ve helped organizations prepare for this shift in a variety of ways. One strategy involved my development of volunteer opportunities to increase employee engagement. In this way team members helped deliver program services and observed their workplace’s positive effect on its clients. I also designed national annual staff retreats. These meetings not only offered networking opportunities to bridge and eliminate department silos but also provided skills training. Employing such strategies enabled me to improve employee retention and increase team morale. Collectively, these experiences allow me to leverage meaningful and measurable solutions.
3. What disruptions have impacted your profession and community?
Navy-Daniels: One obvious disruption to fundraising this year was the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act voted into law. While it was predicted that fewer people would have an income tax incentive to donate to charity, I maintain that tax incentives are not the sole incentive to give. In addition, ever changing technological advances and the donor’s need to have information “now” have positively disrupted the philanthropic community. Donors now have more options than ever regarding how they give and in what manner.
As donors and Boards demand more return on investment, organizations are investing significant dollars to fund institutions that they believe will provide mission impact and generate significant short and long-term financial gain. This new direction now requires the hiring of professionals who are knowledgeable in the investment field and possibly have venture capital experience. My goal is to help organizations respond to ever-changing disruptions by developing interactive and responsive websites and integrated constitute management systems to respond to donors in a personal manner.
4. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Navy-Daniels: I look forward to helping my next organization achieve new heights and to connecting my passion for community improvement with action. I am a proven leader, have managed large teams, developed and successfully executed budgets, and worked side-by-side with Board leadership to affect change. In addition, I am very familiar with working in and partnering with large chapter and volunteer networks, locally and nationally, and feel I am well-suited to execute the responsibilities of a senior-level executive in the C-suite.