We sat down with World Forestry Center’s new Development Associate, Sarah Marks, and talked about our community of donors, the importance of fundraising, and moving to the Pacific Northwest.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in Indiana and lived in the Midwest until I moved from Chicago to Portland with my husband in 2016. I’ve been working in fundraising since 2013, first at a nonprofit in Chicago and later at Pacific University in Oregon.
What do you do at World Forestry Center?
As Development Associate, I work with our Development Director to share World Forestry Center’s programs and mission with our donors and the wider community, to foster connections and engage support for our work.
What connects you to World Forestry Center’s mission?
As a transplant from the Midwest, one of the things that has stood out to me is the outsized role forests play in the Pacific Northwest. There is a strong emphasis on spending time in nature, coupled with the economic role that forests have played in the region’s history. Forests also play a vital role in so many other facets of daily life, from housing to climate to health. I’m proud to play a small part in helping to champion sustainable forestry, creating healthier forests and a healthier society for future generations.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love using storytelling (in many different formats) to inspire people to support causes they care about. Whether it’s an appeal letter highlighting great programs, a thank you letter to a donor, an email sharing an opportunity to support the organization in a new way, or a story in the Evergreen magazine, communication is essential for bringing more people into the conversation about sustainable forestry. I love being able to connect with our community of supporters in a variety of ways. That’s what fundraising is ultimately about — creating a community that cares through sharing stories that inspire generosity.
What’s something people may not know about you?
This is the second time that I have lived in Oregon. When I was six years old, I lived in Eugene for half a year while my dad was on sabbatical at the University of Oregon. The memories of all the trees, and how everything was just so green, were enough for me to agree to move to Portland sight unseen when my husband was offered a job out here.
Do you have a favorite “forest memory”?
I am very excited to create new ‘forest memories’ with my son as he grows up. I cannot wait to take him hiking and camping, and really look forward to exploring the awe-inspiring scenery that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.