“SVP is an innovative concept, and it really is what you make of it…It’s fun to see the results of a conversation unfold, It makes you feel good.”
As Executive Director of Development for UT Health San Antonio, Gwen Notestine’s professional life is centered around fundraising. So, when the opportunity presented itself to become a Partner with Social Venture Partners San Antonio, it felt like a natural fit.
“Although fundraising for an academic health center is a little different, I felt like I would have something to contribute, especially in terms of the tactical aspects of fundraising,” said Notestine. “SVP is an innovative concept, and it is really what you make of it. It’s been fruitful for me personally, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know some of the fellows. It’s fun to see the results of a conversation unfold. It makes you feel good. I’m proud of what SVP offers the community.”
Gwen joined Social Venture Partners in January of 2020, and although most of her interactions have been shaped by Covid, she has still been able to meet and connect with other colleagues and Partners.
“Gwen has been really valuable as one of the top fundraisers in San Antonio, the knowledge and experience she has shared with us and nonprofit leaders really cannot be measured,” said Becky Dinnin, Executive Director. “Fundraising is a question receive the most on special help, so we hope to do much more this year, with Gwen’s leadership in this area.”
“I’ve learned a lot – in fact, I would say 90% of the nonprofits we’ve reviewed I knew nothing about. It’s been wonderful to learn more about what is available in this community. It’s also been fun to meet everyone. When I run into folks in the community, it’s a fun spark and nice connection. Although we’re all in the same small pool looking for funding, we respect the diversity of initiatives,” she said.
As nonprofits continue to navigate fundraising in a Covid environment, Gwen has some hard-won advice to share.
“My advice to nonprofits, especially as it applies to fundraising, is to always stay true to the mission. In all communication, no matter how you engage with people, keep to your mission,” she continued. “People are Zoomed out and eager to connect in person. Even if we are unable to do so face to face, commit to finding special ways to connect. We all appreciate meaningful connection, so find ways to make that happen. It is pretty amazing how humanity rises to the occasion and gets creative in pursuit of connection.”
Her guidance for donors and supporters? Don’t be shy.
“Never hesitate to drill down and ask questions. There should be no trouble on the part of the nonprofit to answer any question you have, so don’t be shy.”