Member Spotlight: Stephanie Maurice
AFP Greater Detroit Chapter board member, Stephanie Maurice, is a long-standing servant of the Metro Detroit nonprofit community. In her role as Director of Annual Giving & Marketing at Focus: HOPE, she leads fundraising activities in the name of Detroit civil and human rights. Stephanie previously served as Philanthropy Manager at Hospice of Michigan and as Director of Fund Development & Marketing at Mariners Inn, a recovery center for homeless men. She received the Marjorie S. Fisher Fellowship of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Detroit in 2014.
Stephanie receives great joy and purpose by assisting others in following their passions in transformative philanthropy. As a member of the Women’s Impact Initiative, she’s sharing her fundraiser career experience and how her mentor has helped her reach career milestones.
How did you start your career in the fundraising profession and what lead you there?
In college I had the opportunity to be involved in planning community service trips, and through that experience I realized that I enjoyed and was skilled in the administrative and relational aspects of community work. That spurred me to pursue my MSW with a focus on Leadership & Development in Social Services, and thankfully I was “officially” introduced to fundraising as a profession through my first graduate internship. I haven’t looked back!
Why did you apply for the (Emerging Leader or WII) mentor program?
I am always looking to learn from more experienced fundraisers and to grow my professional expertise. The WII mentorship program seemed like a great opportunity to do both.
What were the positive experiences that came out of your mentor/mentee relationship?
My mentor, Jan Bonner, was an amazingly empathetic listening ear as we built our relationship amidst the chaos of COVID in early 2020. It was so wonderful to have someone to check in with during that difficult time.
Describe a moment that surprised you or challenged you during the program.
The virtual convenings I participated in with my WII cohort were some of the first Zoom meetings I experienced (seems like a lifetime ago that Zoom was not a daily-used app!). It was absolutely wonderful to be able to connect with a group of fundraisers in similar places in their careers from around North America, and I learned so much from them.
What is a current challenge you or your peers are facing in your professional fundraising career?
There’s such competition to hire right now! This is great for job seekers, but from the hiring side it is extremely difficult to find development team members – so we find ourselves having to do more with even less staff support than ever (and we all know that most development teams don’t have folks to spare at the best of times!).
What accomplishment are you most proud of and did having a mentor help you reach that goal?
Jan encouraged me to pursue my CFRE, and assured me that I would be able to pass the test – and she was right! I’m proud of attaining that certification, and so grateful for Jan’s confidence in me. It was truly the encouragement I needed to move forward.
How did your mentor help you work through a challenge?
My mentor walked with me through the early days of the pandemic – as every day was a challenge, and some days felt like almost too much to bear as my organization (like so many others) scrambled to continue serving our community during such uncertainty. Jan’s calming and consistent presence was unspeakably helpful throughout those months.
How has AFP and the community (AFP Global and/or your chapter) helped you with your success?
Certainly the WII mentorship experience was extremely beneficial. I have also been involved with the AFP Greater Detroit Chapter for several years, and have really benefited from being able to connect with and learn from the many talented and kind fundraisers in Southeast Michigan.
What is your dream job?
This will sound cheesy, but the other day as I was walking to my car after work, I realized, “Wow - if 10-years-ago me saw me today, she’d be so excited that I’m doing exactly what I dreamed of doing then.” What I’m doing now is exactly what I want to be doing. Perhaps that will change within the next 10 years, but I am exceedingly fulfilled and grateful that I have been able to pursue such a meaningful career.