Inclusive Fundraising Fellowship

Inclusive Fundraising Fellowship 2022 Cohort

Alana Ama (she/her/hers)

Alana graduated from the University of Virginia (’17) with a bachelor’s in psychology and Studio Art and from Virginia Commonwealth University (’19) with a master’s in Social Work Administration, Planning, and Policy Practice (SWAPPP). After college, Alana secured a paid internship in the United States Senate. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she transitioned to a direct-service role and became an emergency response employee with her hometown’s local government. Alana discovered her real passion is writing, at her last job as grant writer and researcher for Commonwealth Catholic Charities. She also is an artist in the mediums of painting, drawing, and printmaking.

Robert Lee Chisley, Jr. (he/him)

University Development Engagement Officer, Virginia Commonwealth University

Robert is a native of Newport News, Virginia. He is a two-time graduate of VCU with a bachelor's in Exercise Science and a master’s in Sports Leadership. He started his career as a fundraiser at Duke University in the athletics department as the Iron Dukes Annual Fund Assistant and currently works as a University Development Engagement Officer. 

Mario Guevara (he/him)

Development & Operations Coordinator, Equality Virginia

Mario is the Development and Operations Coordinator for Equality Virginia, the state’s leading LGBTQ+ advocacy organization. Before relocating from South Carolina to Richmond, he started his career in non-profits as the Special Events Manager for the Columbia Museum of Art where helped plan exhibition openings, donor functions, and major fundraisers. His passion for philanthropy and community development blossomed over the many years he spent volunteering and working with cultural arts and LGBTQ+ organizations in the South. As the son of an immigrant father and a mother who loves to travel, much of his childhood was spent on cross-country family road trips between South Carolina and El Salvador. Always one to stay on the go, Mario enjoys running, playing piano, live music, and taking care of his spoiled cat Lizard.

Kortenay Gardiner (she/they/ella)

Director, Development, Our Kids Read

Kortenay earned her A.B. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University, a member of the Class of 1997. Prior to her role at Our Kids Read, Kortenay has worked with Maggie Walker Community Land Trust, Safe Harbor RVA, the Alliance for a Progressive Virginia (APV), Richmond Peace Education Center (RPEC), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC Richmond chapter) and volunteers for the Sacred Heart Center.  She was a community organizer for Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) working to push state legislators to expand healthcare access to more residents of the Commonwealth.  Kortenay is Caribbean-American whose father immigrated to the USA from Trinidad and Tobago as a young man and whose mother was born and raised in New Jersey. Aware of holding multiple identities, she co-chaired and co-conceptualized the inaugural Intersectional Wonder Women Art Show at the Hof benefiting Safe Harbor RVA with Sylvia Mallory that took place in May of 2018. 

Glynis Boyd Hughes (she/her)

Storyteller, Ahsek Innovation

Glynis Boyd Hughes is a Grantwriter and Storyteller for Ahsek Innovation, a creative solutionist company specializing in creative fund development. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with her B.A in English and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and a M.Ed. in Leadership, Policy, and Organizational Development from Merrimack College. Glynis' focus areas of interest and research include intersectional coalition building, community equity as it pertains to access to resources and opportunities, and always working to uplift the greater good of humanity.

Shelley Thompson (she/her)

Senior Manager of Development, Higher Achievement, Richmond office

Shelley is a seasoned non-profit professional with over 25 years of experience in the field. Shelley specializes in program management and youth and staff development. Shelley currently serves as Sr. Manager of Development at Higher Achievement where her program experience affords her a unique perspective to her work in financial development. Shelley is a collaborator and uses her positive attitude to encourage others to succeed. Shelley is inspired daily by her 5-year-old daughter. In her free time, Shelley likes to attend Zumba classes, read, and travel with her family. 

Program Details

The Inclusive Fundraising Fellowship offers inclusion-oriented education, training and networking activities, and one-on-one mentorship for Central Virginia-based mid-level and emerging (2- 5 year range) nonprofit professionals representing a wide range of diverse backgrounds and interests. The goal of this program is to build a pipeline of fundraising leaders that reflect the diversity of our communities and develop practices that make a more just, equitable, and holistic Richmond fundraising community. A secondary goal is to share the learnings from this experience with the Richmond non-profit sector through the project component of the program.

Inclusive Fundraising Fellowship Planning Committee Members

Dani Brown, Development Coordinator, Cristo Rey Richmond High School

Jessica Cocciolone, Executive Director, Shenandoah National Park Trust

Molly Everett, Annual Fund Officer, United Network for Organ Sharing

Yasmin Gregg, Development Operations Officer, ChildSavers – Co-Chair

Nikkia Johnson, Senior Development Officer, Legal Aid Justice Center

Amanda Macdonald, Consultant, The Monument Group – Co-Chair

Session Facilitators

Nadia Gooray, Director of Equity and External Affairs, YWCA

Nicole Jones, Deputy Director, ART 180

Generously supported by