Meet Turner C. Bitton, Executive Director of Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and eighth in our lineup of AFP Utah Members highlighted for August Appreciation month!
Having worked in non-profit fundraising for about four years, he notes that the field of philanthropy is in a period of transition. "After a very divisive and polarizing presidential campaign, many organizations are working hard to recommit to their important missions. As development professionals we are on the forefront of providing the resources to the organizations that are working to bring our country together to resolve our country’s most pressing issues," he says.
As his greatest pride and accomplishments, Turner points to his relationships with his nonprofit staff and volunteers that has developed over the past several years. "I’m proud of the incredible dedication, vision, and grit that these fine people demonstrate everyday in resolving the most pressing and difficult issues in our community," he explains. "Each and every day I have the opportunity to establish new relationships and build collaborative partnerships with individuals across the state and country."
Turner says he is an AFP member because of the professional development opportunities the organization offers, saying that every time he has attended an event or networking opportunity, he has "left inspired and enriched." he adds, "I’ve met friends, mentors, and professionals that have helped me grow as a development professional. I highly recommend membership in this incredibly high caliber organization."
Today's August Appreciation spotlight goes to AFP Utah Chapter member Diane Parisi, Development Director at Pioneer Theatre Company!
Diane has been working as a fundraiser for 27 years, and her first job was with Utah Musical Theatre at Weber State University.
Currently, one of her greatest challenges is working in the nonprofit performing arts, where the business environment is both commercial and philanthropic. "We have to find ways to connect patrons with theatre in a way that helps them see the value beyond the mere investment of a ticket," she explains. "We try to focus on the patron first because it can’t just be about our value to the community, it has to be about our value to that patron."
Diane experiences her greatest sense of accomplishment when she has the opportunity to mentor novice fundraisers. "My own mentor, Patti Choate, had a tremendous influence on me in my early years as a fundraiser. It is very rewarding to witness the professional accomplishments of those I’ve mentored," she says.
When asked why she became a member of AFP Utah Chapter, Diane says, "AFP membership is comprised of so many wonderful and talented people. I value the opportunity to be a part of a professional community where I can commiserate, share ideas, and have 'lightbulb' moments."