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Sarah Evans

Director of Philanthropy at Ashley Hall

Evans, Sarah

How long have you been a member of the Lowcountry Chapter of AFP?

I have been a member of the Lowcountry AFP for 4 years.

How has being a member of AFP helped you in your work?

Being an AFP member has been such a wonderful opportunity to have a pulse of what's going on in Charleston and the nonprofit world nationally. I have been able to network with many peers who are enhancing the culture of philanthropy in our community professionally and personally. Not only has AFP been helpful in my professional career at Ashley Hall but through my personal philanthropic efforts such as TEDxCharleston, Wofford Terrier Board and Special Olympics.

What advice would you offer to new AFP members?

Take advantage of the networking opportunities. There are so many exceptional people in the Lowcountry doing incredible things. Leadership by example is the best way to mentor and to be mentored. There are many ways the fundraising profession has evolved and continues to transform, yet the common thread that will remain pertinent is building relationships both with your organization's community and other philanthropists in the larger community. I have been fortunate to be the beneficiary of knowledge and wisdom from countless mentors and leaders in Charleston. And most importantly, always remember that you are making a difference and enhancing the community --- kudos to you!

Something my AFP colleagues might not know about me is:

My colleagues know that I am an athlete (former soccer player at Wofford College) and very active. What they may not know about me is that I am a big nerd at heart. I love random facts and statistics. It may be the analytic side of me, but when it comes to miscellaneous pieces of information, I enjoy learning and investigating. Perhaps that is a major reason I have chosen to work in the education sector for the past decade.

What is the one thing you want people outside of the fundraising profession to know about what you do?

Many people think that philanthropy is solely about giving back. Giving back is a clear prominent reason people contribute their time, treasure and talent. However, the reason I have been spent my entire professional career and a portion of my personal time contributing to the community is to pay it forward – to lay the groundwork. It is vividly evident by the girls who graduate from Ashley Hall and become active members of society, the importance of providing the foundation for our forthcoming leaders. We need to ensure that the future is bright for the next generation, so it is evermore important to pay it forward as it is to give back. It is quintessential that children have discerning, compassionate, progressive, wise mentors to emulate, just as I have had throughout my lifetime.