Member Spotlight: Erin (Neeb) Prescott, CFRE


Erin (Neeb) Prescott, CFRE

Director of Development at The Dawes Arboretum


Tell us about your organization:

The Dawes Arboretum enriches lives through the conservation of trees and nature.  Located just 35 miles east of Columbus, we offer nearly 2,000 acres of tree collections, woodlands, wetlands and sustainable farming.  The Arboretum provides meaningful experiences in nature that encourage learning and enhance our community.  Last year, more than 260,000 visitors explored our plant collections and more than 15,000 people participated in our educational programming.

Not just a gem of central Ohio, The Dawes Arboretum’s plant collections are known on a national scale.  Participating in the Plant Collections Network, a group of North American botanical gardens and arboreta that coordinates a continent-wide approach to the preservation of plant genetics, The Arboretum’s work includes tree records dating back 100 years!


How long in AFP

I joined AFP in 2012.  Erich Hunker, who has long been active in the leadership of our AFP chapter is also a trustee of The Dawes Arboretum and encouraged me to join.  I have been fortunate to learn so much from his experience. 


What do you consider the most valuable

Being in a small shop development office, it has really meant a lot to me to have AFP colleagues with whom to discuss ideas.  AFP helps me to remember while sometimes I might be the only one at my organization with a particular role, I’m not alone! 

I also appreciate AFP for introducing me to the CFRE credential and providing exceptional continuing education opportunities to keep my certification current.


How long fundraising

My first experience with fundraising came in college when I was a member of a student association promoting recycling on campus.  The Fundraising Chair role was open with no volunteers to run for the position.  I thought, I could certainly do better than no one!  After securing a $10,000 grant for the organization, I got a taste for fundraising and looked at career opportunities.  I’ve been a professional fundraiser for 10 years now.  Before my time with The Dawes Arboretum, I was lucky to learn relationship management from the wonderful folks at The Nature Conservancy.


Columbus Faves

I love a long walk with my dog, Annie, so of course I enjoy visiting the parks and natural areas across the region.  If you asked Annie, she’d probably rather visit the Short North and Three Dog Bakery. 


Fun Facts

Causes related to the environment and animals are near and dear to my heart.  When you work for a cause you believe in so much, you are willing to do everything you can to help, which is why I have found myself in several costumes over the years.  I have been Lucky the Ladybug (Ohio’s first lady of litter prevention) and The Lorax.  At first, sweating through a wool costume at a hot summer festival doesn’t seem worth it, until a child runs up recognizing you from their favorite book and thanks you for speaking for the trees!  I know that my smile can’t be seen from inside the costume, but I always smile anyway.


Posted July 2017