Fundraising Five with Jessica Dowell

Describe your role with Southern Anoka Community Assistance (SACA). Why are you passionate about SACA’s work?

Over the last 10 years, my role at SACA has evolved from volunteer graphic designer, director on the SACA Board for 7 years to now the Development and Marketing Manager. The passion of the staff and volunteers to feed their neighbors drew me in and continues to fuel my desire to help fight food insecurity.

How long have you worked with Fox Advancement, and in what capacity? What do you appreciate about your partnership with Fox Advancement?

Working with Fox Advancement for over 2 years, I appreciate their expertise and passion to help SACA build a new home. They have been our guide and partner in areas of fundraising that we do not have experience with, such as legislation and a capital campaign.

What do you enjoy most about fundraising? What is an example of a fundraising challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?

No matter what you give you make an impact on that organization, especially at SACA. Explaining to a potential donor that $1 allows SACA to purchase 10 pounds of food is eye opening. You cannot get much at a grocery for $1. It is so rewarding to see donors excited to give and know they are truly making a difference for a neighbor who is facing food insecurity.

In 2020, we had to cancel our largest fundraiser, Hops for Hunger 8, two weeks before due to COVID-19. With the assistance of Fox, we swiftly switched to an online campaign to raise funds that were lost due to the canceled event. Over the 10 day online campaign, we saw an amazing amount of support and were able to raise over $42,000!

What is a particularly memorable interaction you’ve had with a donor, board member, or volunteer?

The dedication and passion of our volunteers and staff are unbelievable and is showcased in our everyday work. H. Anderson made the following comment during her interview for a video and to this day it still pulls at my heartstrings when I think about SACA:

‘You have to be open and welcome them (clients) with love. You still have to show that compassion that you care for them, regardless of their attitude, you have to show them love because this is love. I look at SACA as love.

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