A Pipeline to the Profession
Jesus Rangel started his first year at Texas State University intending to become a lawyer. Flash forward five years and instead being mid-way through law school, he is assistant director for regional programs in California with the Oregon State University Foundation.
He attributes his change in career trajectory in part to a CASE internship that took him to the University of California - San Francisco, where he got his feet wet in the world of fundraising and then on to Oregon State as part of CASE’s North America Fundraising Residency Program. The competitive, year-long program places recent graduates who want to explore fundraising careers in host institutions as entry-level employees. The eight-week summer internship program lets students get experience in all areas of advancement.
“I think a lot of us don’t start out absolutely knowing we want to be fundraisers, but it’s something that develops over time,” Rangel says.
This is OSU’s second year participating in the residency program. After Rangel’s successful year as a resident, he was offered a permanent job with the foundation.
“As higher education support from the federal perspective continues to
dwindle, the need for fundraising continues to increase. At a time when unemployment rates are so low, it’s definitely a job-seekers market,” says Jason Thomas, associate director of talent management at the OSU Foundation. “This allows us to build relationships with those who do the work that we do. It helps them understand the impact of philanthropy and want to be part of it. It’s a win-win for both sides in being able to meet individuals who want to work in the profession.”
During his residency, Rangel worked to help launch OSU’s first annual giving day, which raised over $600,000. He oversaw the social media components of the campaign, getting alumni and others involved with OSU across the country to promote the giving day through their social media channels.
This fall, a new resident, Jordin Letusick, began working with the foundation. The Virginia Commonwealth University graduate had majored in psychology and minored in non-profit management, interning in donor relations at VCU and serving as a development coordinator with Camp Kesem, which supports children who have parents with cancer. She is working on a benchmarking project to help OSU build its identity-based alumni groups.
“I’m speaking to peer institutions around the country to find out best practices,” she says. “I really enjoy being able to talk to institutions about the great work they’re doing and how we can implement that into the work we’re doing at Oregon State.”
For Thomas, Rangel and Letusick’s well-rounded experience helped give them a leg up in being chosen as residents. Residents also take part in CASE’s Summer Institute on Educational Fundraising, a district conference, and networking with other residents.
“Partnering with CASE and its resources is so important. We both value efforts to foster and create diversity within the profession,” Thomas says. “The residency gives them the experience to springboard into their careers. Jesus and Jordin did a really good job articulating where they see themselves within the profession and what this opportunity would provide them in their journeys.”
For Jesus, the internship and residency opened his eyes to a career path he hadn’t initially considered but now feel confident it’s exactly where he belongs.
“I think the whole world of advancement is a place where anybody and everybody is welcome. It goes back to the vision that CASE has of transforming lives and society. I think that’s exactly what the residency and internship programs do for those who get involved with it.”
While the application deadline for 2020’s residency program has passed, internship applications are being taken until Feb. 7, 2020. For more information on the programs, see https://www.case.org/talent-management.
CASE also offers global opportunities in fundraising training. These include the Asia-Pacific Educational Fundraising Graduate Trainee Programme and the Europe Graduate Trainee Scheme.
About the author(s)
Barbara Ruben is a senior content creator at CASE.