Member Spotlight: Erin Douget
Erin Douget is the Associate Director of Development and Philanthropy at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. She has extensive experience in grant-writing, membership development, and relationship fundraising. She holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Administration and has served her fundraising community as the 2015 Diversity and Inclusion Chair and the 2019 Vice President of Membership in her local AFP chapter. She was a member of the Barton Leadership program, Baton Rouge Area Foundation Fellows program, and is a member of Rotaract Professionals of Baton Rouge. Erin is passionate about forging synergic solutions for some of Baton Rouge’s most entrenched problems. Erin lives in Baton Rouge with her husband Colby, their son JD, and their daughter Lily.
How did you start your career in the fundraising profession and what lead you there?
My personal mission has always been to leave a positive impact in my community. I knew after I graduated from undergrad at LSU that I wanted to work in nonprofit organizations, since that it where this hard word primarily happens. I was hired in 2014 at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank as a Development Associate and I fell in love with this work. I did stints at Girl Scouts Louisiana East and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center before coming back to the Food Bank. I also earned an MS in Nonprofit Administration in 2018. With each experience, I grew more confident that I was right where I wanted to be: doing impactful work to help my community prosper.
Why did you apply for the WII mentor program?
I knew that if I wanted to continue to gain expertise and skills in the fundraising profession, I should seek every opportunity to hear and learn from others who have been there before me. I was excited about the chance to be paired with someone whose background was different from mine so I could benefit from their unique experience.
What were the positive experiences that came out of your mentor/mentee relationship?
Anytime you can expand your network with seasoned professionals in your field, it is a positive experience.
Describe a moment that surprised or challenged you during the program.
I started the program in February 2020, and the pandemic began shortly thereafter. I am used to the uncomfortable since I work in nonprofits; however, our community and indeed our world had never experienced anything like this before. However difficult that year was, both professionally and personally, the only way out was through, and I gained invaluable leadership instincts as a result.
What is a current challenge you or your peers are facing in regards to your professional fundraising career?
I think the greatest challenge my generation of fundraisers is facing is trying to reconcile what is your professional life and what is your personal life. In the past, there was this divide between them, which is not sustainable. I think we have a vision that in the future, professionals will not have to feel as if they must split in two in order to be a success in both.
What accomplishment are you most proud of and did having a mentor help you reach that goal?
I am most proud of earning my CFRE. I know that without this mentoring program, my mentor, and the support that I received from my local AFP chapter, I would have never achieved this.
How did your mentor help you work through a challenge?
My mentor provided me with more than just professional advice when I would come to her with a challenge. She really helped guide me along by working through the issue so that I could have guided practice at problem solving as a leader. She also helped to build up my professional confidence in the face of adversity.
How has AFP and the community (AFP Global and/or your chapter) helped you with success?
My first step when facing any kind of challenge or professional question is to consult AFP to see what recent research or opinion there is about the topic. AFP has so many resources for fundraisers at every stage of their career, whether they are experienced, mid-level, or just starting out.
What is your dream job?
I feel kinda lucky; I have my dream job! I love working every day with amazing people whose total focus is on feeding the hungry in Baton Rouge.
- Favorite book or podcast: All the King’s Men/Harry Potter Series
- Coffee or Tea: Coffee
- Morning Person or Night owl: Early evening
- Last show you binge-watched: Ozark
- Favorite band/artist: Tool