Prime Data’s recent “BreadTalks” at AFP Congress in Toronto offered a select group of fundraisers a seat at the table with three fundraisers with unique experiences and insights. We’re big supporters of giving young people a chance to network and learn, so we reached out to the fundraising program at Humber College with an invitation for a student to attend the event. Shauna Krajacich came to join us, and we learned a bit more about the face of future fundraisers through Shauna.
It was a slow burn and Shauna Krajacich isn’t really sure exactly when it took hold.
But like a lot of people in the fundraising community, life’s experiences influenced her choices and pulled her towards a career in the non-profit sector.
At 29, Shauna was graduating from Ryerson University with a degree in Commerce. But the clarion call of Bay Street wasn’t echoing in her ears. It was something else entirely. Something deeply rooted in another passion – a passion to help her community and the people who live in it.
“I started to realize the for-profit sector wasn’t where my values aligned,” she says.
“In the back of my mind I always thought I would like to do marketing for a non-profit, or work somewhere so I could align my goals to do something good for the community.”
So she headed to South Korea to teach English fluency. While developing effective classroom materials, the curriculum and collaborating with colleagues, Shauna grew to appreciate just how much working for, and making a difference in, her community was at the core of her personal and professional identity.
“By travelling you meet different kinds of people from all walks of life and it opens up your scope of interactions,” she says of the experience. “It opened me up to all kinds of ideas and made me realize that there were many needs, and all kinds of disparity between those needs and what people actually had.”
“That that moved me towards the non-profit sector.”
So upon returning to Canada, she enrolled at Humber College as a postgraduate student in the Humber Fundraising Management program.
“It really is an exciting academic field. We leave the program with strategies and tactics we can employ right away as opposed to learning on the job” she says. “We are prepared with best practices as well as what not to do.”
At the BreadTalk Shauna was surprised by the amount of innovation that is happening in area of direct mail.
“I thought it was really interesting to hear insights into how data and direct mail are coming together” she says. “Most people don’t think of direct mail as ‘innovative.’”
“But the collection of data gives us such a better picture of our donors.”
As she works to finish the one-year program, Shauna is already focusing her passions into concrete goals.
“I’d like to start building my career in the non-profit sector in fundraising,” she says firmly. “Education really speaks to me, as well as making sure that children have all the services available to them that they should be getting.”
As data-focused fundraising continues to grow in importance, the students at Humber are entering the workforce with more ready-to-go fundraising experience, knowledge and tools than any generation that came before them.
As such Shauna and the rest of the class of 2016 are going to make significant impacts in this industry as they go forward. And we’re proud to help them succeed in anyway we can.