Meet Amanda Tipper, a key member of Team Unstoppable!

Amanda currently works as Surrey Hospitals Foundation’s Database Specialist. She has been with the Foundation for over 3 years and recently received her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification. We asked Amanda a few questions to seek her insight on what it means to work in the non-profit sector and why it’s important to her.

1. What first got you interested in the non-profit sector?

It was very gradual. I was fortunate to be introduced to fundraising and non-profits when I was a kid but never considered it for a career. My sister has Type 1 Diabetes so our family had a close relationship with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and I saw the impact non-profits can have in the community.  In high school, I was involved in a lot of fundraising activities for the BC Cancer Foundation through the coach of my curling team.

I had actually intended to work exclusively in the Arts & Culture sector – specifically box office ticketing with Live Nation or Broadway Across Canada. This shifted after covering a mat leave for my supervisor at a non-profit cultural centre. I had a conversation one afternoon with the art gallery director where he mentioned that the organization would benefit from having a staff person dedicated to fundraising. Since I was looking for something new to do within the centre, I walked into the Executive Director’s office and asked him to create a new position and hire me as their first Development Officer. Without too much hesitation, he agreed.

As I learned more about fundraising, I started to participate in events put on by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. It was at one of these events that I met someone who would give me an extraordinary opportunity to work with a national non-profit. Leaving the cultural centre shifted my direction from arts to non-profit. I fell in love with the feeling of being a part of something bigger than me that could change someone’s life for the better.

2. What does fundraising mean to you?

To me, fundraising is about supporting those who support others. I won’t be the person to, for example, develop a treatment for metastasized breast cancer, but I can financially support the researcher who’s been approved for funding from a non-profit I’m involved with.

3. What are you most proud of while working at Surrey Hospitals Foundation?

Passing my CFRE exam. In addition to that, I would say successfully pitching a donation software change.

4. What motivates you to continue to do this work?

The impact that donations of any size really do have on the people non-profits strive to help. I often think of a quote someone special to me once said: “I spend a lot of my time fundraising because I know that is what it will take to save my life. Even if it doesn’t save me, at least it will let me live longer with a higher quality of life.”

5. What’s a piece of advice you’d like to give to others who want to go into fundraising and/or database management?

Never stop trying to learn new things. You never know what skills or knowledge will come in handy in your current or future position.

6. What’s your vision for the future in 5 years’ or 10 years’ time?

I plan to be still working in the non-profit sector with organizations that work to better our communities. There are also dogs in my future, lots and lots of dogs.