BBBS offers successful and impactful mentoring programs, but without funding these programs would go away. Lauren Portley, vice president of development, works hard to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Lauren’s job at BBBS is to oversee fundraising events and to solicit donors and businesses for money. It is a responsibility some people might find intimidating. “I think it takes a unique individual. Not everyone is cut out for it,” she said. “But I think everyone is capable. It’s just a fear of rejection that stops people.”
She is not put off if people are not ready to donate as she believes it is all a matter of timing. “The word ‘no’ doesn’t bother me,” Lauren said. “It’s all about the mission, about serving more kids, and about how to continue the quality of programs that we’ve set the standard for. We want to continue to be the best in town at what we do, while increasing the quantity of services offered while maintaining program quality.”
It’s BBBS’ mission that makes a difference for donors as well, according to Lauren. “There has to be a purpose to what you’re asking for,” Lauren explained. “And donors want to know you are being good stewards of their dollars.”
Every day is a different experience for Lauren as she meets with a variety of people and businesses. “I love meeting all the different donors and volunteers,” Lauren continued. “I enjoy chatting with my team and program and marketing staff as we prepare for events.”
Preparation is important to Lauren whether she is meeting with donors or setting up for an event. While an event may appear glamorous, the behind the scenes can be very different. “People don’t see behind the scenes when you’ve been schlepping 40 pound bins around in 6-inch heels and sweating in a cocktail dress for 12 hours,” Lauren laughed.
What does Lauren enjoy doing during her down time? “I love to travel. I’ve been to Paris, which I loved. I enjoyed going to Ireland, Scotland and Dubai. I traveled to all 50 states growing up. My family would pile into the van and head out,” Lauren said. “And I enjoy food and wine and spending time with my family.”