Member Confession: Jennifer Player, Director, Crisis Assistance Ministry

After 8 years of the corporate "rat race", I decided to make a career change.  I felt in my heart that I wanted to work in the nonprofit sector; to spend my life devoted to helping others.  What that looked like, though, I didn't know.  I chose to pursue a Masters of Public Administration from UNC Charlotte with a focus on nonprofit management so I could have a solid foundation on which to start my nonprofit career.  While taking a course on Fundraising, my professor, Beth Fischer, listed off the various traits and skills needed to be a successful development professional.  A light bulb went off.  I felt that Beth was talking directly to me and, as they say, the rest is history.  
Transitioning to a career in the nonprofit sector, though, was not as easy as some might think.  Luckily, AFP and the members of the local Charlotte chapter were there for me every step of the way.  I joined AFP before I even started job searching so that I could meet people and learn about the various nonprofits in Charlotte.  I looked for as many opportunities as I could through AFP to learn more about fundraising:  webinars, affinity groups, and the monthly luncheons.  I also participated in the mentorship program which was another way for me to network and learn from experienced professionals.  This year, I joined the AFP Board.
Fast forward 3 years.  I have enjoyed a wonderful job as the Director of Major Gifts at Crisis Assistance Ministry and have just accepted a role as the Director of Development for Habitat for Humanity in Orange County.  One of the first items on my to-do list is to join the AFP chapter in the Triangle to continue learning and growing as a development professional.  I am confident that they will be as welcoming to me as the Charlotte chapter has been.  That's just the AFP way.

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