Name: Jerad Wood, CFRE
Current Title: Campaign Manager
Organization Name: Mid-Ohio Food Collective
Q: Tell us a little about your organization. Mission. Population you serve. What do you like most about working there?
A: Mid-Ohio Food Collective has been battling hunger in our community for 40 years. We provide food and other items of need for over half a million individuals each year. We provide support for 20 counties in Central and Eastern Ohio, providing 140,000 meals each day for hungry neighbors. My favorite part of working for the Collective is my colleagues and the direct impact our work has on helping feed so many. It isn’t just about the food, but about the root causes of poverty – good healthcare, a good paying job, etc. I love the direction we are headed.
Q: How long have you been an AFP member, and what has your involvement been?
A: I have been involved with AFP for the better part of 13 years. I have participated in the Mentorship Program, chaired the program, and I currently serve as Chair Elect for Education. I also have served on the AFP Board for just over a year now.
Q: What do you consider the most valuable part of your AFP membership?
A: The most valuable part of AFP for me are the connections I have made with such talented and amazing professionals. They are all simply amazing people and everyone is doing great work – impacting the communities in which we live and work in such positive ways.
Q: How long have you been in fundraising, and how did you get into it?
A: I have been in fundraising officially for 15 years, but it started even earlier than that, helping my Dad run charity golf events to benefit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. My Dad instilled giving back as something that was meaningful in more ways than just a standard job with a salary. It was a way that I could give back to the world in a positive way. When I graduated college, I was offered a job at my local hospital foundation and I just went with it. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else the remainder of my career.
Q: What has been your biggest success in your career?
A: I have found a lot of value in earning the CFRE certification in 2018, but the successes have every day in my job is finding the best fit between a donor and something they truly care about. I have sat across from donors and watched tears roll down their faces after telling them how many meals they’ve provided to those hungry in our own community. There is no better measure of impact than that.
Q: What has been your biggest learning opportunity in your career?
A: I am been really fortunate to start out in small shops with amazing supervisors who helped mentor me. For anyone interested in getting into the field, I loved having the opportunity to work in small shops because you learn all facets of development. This helps guide you to the specific area of development you want to go into. It also gives you the freedom and flexibility to select a cause you really care about. Do something you love to do for a cause you care about and it won’t feel like work.
Q: Tell us a fun fact about you that other AFP members wouldn’t know.
A: I am Circleville-rooted. I was literally born during the Pumpkin Show (just don’t call it a festival, please).
Q: What is your favorite part about living/working in Columbus? Favorite place to go?
A: Apart from the people here being amazing, we are thriving in a big way. There is always a new business opening – a restaurant, a brewery, etc. There are always a myriad of things to do, no matter the time of year. It is a huge town, but has a small-town feel. You can’t go wrong taking in a game at the Shoe or Nationwide Arena.
Q: What advice would you give to a new member of AFP?
A: Don’t wait to get involved – just jump in. Join a committee, come to education sessions, show up to a happy hour, be a mentor, be a mentee. The more you get involved, the more beneficial you will find it both personally and professionally. You will meet so many amazing people that can serve as connections for the rest of your life.
Q: Do you have a favorite book/blog/podcast/etc. that has been very helpful in your career that you’d recommend?
A: I’m a fan of Jerold Panas: “Asking: A 59-Minute Guide to Everything Board Members, Volunteers, and Staff Must Know to Secure the Gift”. It is a quick and easy read, but there are some key takeaways, especially if you are early on in your career.
Posted March 2020