Beth Locke. Fundraising Professional for Aga Khan University.

Beth Locke is a professional fundraiser who truly recognizes the power of relationships and the impact one can have on the world. Beth was bitten by the fundraising bug after University and has been in love with the profession ever since. From the Vancouver Art Gallery, United Way, College Success Foundation to her current position as Director of Resource Development for Aga Khan University, Beth sees fundraising more as a calling than a job. It’s truly refreshing to see someone so fulfilled by her work and confident that fundraising was what she was destined to do. Oh and it helps that she’s a twitter ninja, using social media to build relationships in Canada and abroad.

Can you describe your job in a nutshell?
I work for the Aga Khan University (North America) engaging prospects and donors to help build a university in East Africa.

How did you get your current job?
Through networking, having a strong LinkedIn profile that people can view, and the ability to articulate my strengths. A colleague and friend suggested my name to the head of the North American team and– I ended up calling him. After a few meetings, I met with the President of the University and his wife at their home in Vancouver.

How did your past life and work experiences help get to where you are today?
I knew when I was young I wanted to be in some sort of “helping” profession – I thought of politics, teaching and being a counselor all before I went to university. Fundraising isn’t the path I thought I would be in – I was thinking the Foreign Service. I didn’t even know fundraising was a profession but eventually found my way.

My current job is great because it weaves together my fundraising background – in healthcare and education with a bit of arts and community development. Working in quite a few small shops early in my career and larger fundraising offices later helped prepare me for this experience.

What’s the most fulfilling part of your work?
Working with donors – hands down. Seeing a donor’s dedication to creating a better world; seeing donors move closer in their relationship with the charity. As a fundraiser, you are providing an entry point, ushering them into something good or even magical. Donors almost always genuinely wish to make a difference and they feel they can make that difference through YOUR organization.

And I have had some terrific colleagues- who you work with can add so much to this great profession!

What advice would you give someone looking to get a Bmeaningful job?
I believe if you love your work, it gives you energy. All jobs have their frustrating moments and challenges. Look at what you value and start your search there. I have a donor who segments life into “learning, earning, returning” and is working as a volunteer  fundraising leader now in retirement.

What’s one thing people might not expect to find on your resume?
I’ve lived in 10 cities or towns in my life since high school, six as a fundraiser.

What’s one trend you are seeing that will impact your sector in the next 5 years?
As a sector, we need to be better at adopting new practices and strategies, specifically how to attract younger generations. Gen X, Y, Z have different ways of interacting and committing to their communities. We need to be working with methods that are most comfortable to our donors and prospects, not hoping they will adapt to our comfortable and entrenched ways.

If you could have one super hero power that would help you do your job better what would it be?
The Midas touch!

Follow Beth @FundraiserBeth

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