Vanessa Chase’s twitter account describes her as on a mission to reinvigorate philanthropy – working with individuals & organizations on awesome projects that will change the world for the better. And she has done exactly that from her first day at WAVAW. Vanessa Chase joined WAVAW as a Board Member in July 2011 and immediately she also took the opportunity to become the Chairperson of the Fund Development Committee, where her drive and professional fundraising skills were felt instantaneously.
For all those who have had the pleasure of meeting Vanessa you know that she is very intelligent, communicative, passionate and driven. Vanessa volunteers at WAVAW, works full-time as a professional fundraiser, has her own consulting company and blog specializing in storytelling and copywriting, and will soon be the best gluten-free baker in town…and she isn’t even a quarter of a century old!
One evening after our monthly Fund Development meeting, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Vanessa to ask her a few more questions about her involvement with WAVAW. We were particularly excited about this opportunity because as we remember it Vanessa just magically appeared at the front door of WAVAW but what we were curious about is why she chose WAVAW to dedicate her time and talents to.
After graduating from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vanessa, shares that she wanted to utilize her communication and fundraising skills to better and wholly articulate the problem of sexualized violence, to have our communities recognize and acknowledge the prevalence of it and to motivate and inspire people to take action against it – all with the aim of preventing and stopping the fear and reality of sexual assault. A reality that Vanessa is unfortunately familiar with. While attending UBC, Vanessa was sexually assaulted. She does not speak about the specifics of the sexual assault but what she does speak greatly and passionately about is how she joined WAVAW to propel the message of how sexual assault is a societal problem that requires a collective response.
“I feel compelled to do the work I do with WAVAW because I feel that it’s a part of my healing process. Channeling my experience into something positive that is helping other women and making our community a better place is incredibly important to me.”- Vanessa Chase. And through her communication and fundraising talents that is exactly what she has been doing.
Since starting with WAVAW, Vanessa has dedicated countless hours and energy to numerous fund development initiatives ranging from restructuring the Fund Development Committee, to developing educational fundraising materials for Board Members, to connecting us with other amazing Philanthropists in the community, to developing and organizing Thank-a-Thons for donors, to being involved in WAVAW’s strategic planning for the next three years – and the list goes on. Vanessa is truly a committed and dedicated philanthropist and an exceptional Board role model.
It gives us great delight and honour to thank Vanessa today for leading, inspiring and moving us forward.
From all of us at WAVAW:
Happy National Philanthropy Day and Thank you!
P.S. Oh and one more thing, if you see Vanessa out and about in the community, ask her how many Thanksgiving dinners she’s had this year – she’s surpassed her annual record.