This is part 3 of 4 in a series about Heart to Heart International, a non-profit organization that seeks to strengthen communities through improving health access and providing humanitarian development and crisis relief worldwide. You can read part 1 about Steve Hower, the Director of Corporate Relations, here; or part 2 about Dr. Rick Randolph, the Chief Medical Officer, here.
Monica Enloe was over at a friend’s house on a Friday night when her friend started telling her about Heart to Heart International (HHI).
“She was raving about it,” Monica said. “I had only heard of Heart to Heart one time at a benefit concert my mother-in-law had taken me to [four years before].”
Then, that following Monday, Monica received a phone call from one of her associates at the Association of Fundraising Professionals, where she served on the board.
“Heart to Heart has this great opening that you would be perfect for,” her friend said.
Well, that’s interesting, Monica thought. I haven’t heard about Heart to Heart in four years, and here are two people telling me about it in just a couple days.
Monica decided to look into the position, and she met with the HHI employee who would become her boss. Today, she has worked with HHI for two years and holds the title of Director of Strategic Giving.
Monica had decided to get her master’s degree in social work with an emphasis in non-profit management and health policy after a summer internship made her realize she didn’t want to deal with the red tape and loopholes of a career in law. Although she didn’t think clinical social work would be the right fit for her, she was excited about the possibility of helping non-profits in administrative ways.
“I naively went into fundraising, thinking that if I was awesome at raising money, the people doing the really hard work—which is the people on the front lines—could make more money. They’re undervalued, underpaid, and they have some of the hardest jobs in the country,” she explained. “I just thought, ‘I’m not cut out for that, but maybe I can help by making their jobs easier.’”
Although she has since learned that greater funds do not always equal better pay and higher value of front-line non-profit workers, she believes in the importance of fundraising. “I feel like it’s a valuable role in an organization to find funding to sustain and grow programs.”
In her role as the Director of Individual Giving, Monica’s goal is to spread the word about what HHI is doing all over the world and in the U.S. to as many people as possible. As part of that, she makes phone calls, helps create direct-to-mail campaigns, writes grants, and helps people find the best way to give a gift for what they care about.
“Once people hear about it, they all want to get involved. My job is finding new people who are willing to listen.”
A couple times each year, she also has the chance to take groups of donors on overseas trips to Haiti.
“I really believe in what we do there, and it’s nice to showcase that,” she said. “It’s one of those things that changes people’s perceptions of the country, because we often hear from people that Haiti is a lost cause. But once they go and see [how we help] those community leaders help their communities rise, everyone is on board after that, hands down.”
On one of those trips, Monica and a group of donors met with a federation that had established a health clinic in their community.
“Now that you have a health clinic, what would you like to do next?” one of the donors asked.
“I want to plant coconut trees,” one of the men answered.
“But you won’t get a coconut for seven years.”
“But for seven years, when I walk by that coconut tree, I will have hope because I will know that one day I will have coconuts to sell, and my kids will have coconuts to sell.”
“I thought that was the best answer,” Monica said. “Coming from a place where you always hear about the corruption and people trying to get theirs when they can, it was very transformative for that man to move from thinking about next week and the week after to thinking about seven years from now and knowing he would own that coconut tree and feel that sense of pride. . . . That was a very profound moment for me.”
Monica loves being able to introduce donors to moments like that, helping them see the impact HHI is having but also providing them with opportunities to be impacted themselves.
“Part of the vision of our founder that is ingrained in our culture here is the power of serving people. It’s not just the lives you affect but how it affects your own life too,” she said. “There’s a lot to be learned from that.”