Employee Spotlight: Nadia Heyd

Since early September, we’ve been doing a series called Employee Spotlight, where we feature the staff here at The Storefront and what they do. Today is our last interview from Employee Spotlight, and we have Nadia Heyd, our Donor Relations Coordinator at The Storefront!

Name: Nadia Heyd

Job Title: Donor Relations Coordinator

What do you do at The Storefront?

As the Donor Relations Coordinator, my goal is for donors to feel great about making a gift to us, and it’s also important to me to help donors accomplish their philanthropic goals through giving. I make sure that people know the impact their generosity has. I tell them about the great things their gifts are fueling at The Storefront and for people in our community. I also work to expand our circle of friends by connecting with people who care about The Storefront’s community and the work we are doing. I work with them to learn how they would like to be involved or support our work and help make their vision happen!

Favourite quote you like?

“You can’t whistle a symphony. You need every player to play their part.” The Storefront’s Connected Community Approach is like that: it uses the collaboration of many “players” to make things happen that support the community.

What did you do prior to working at The Storefront? 

I graduated from University of Toronto with a B.Sc. (in zoology and psychology).  After university, I have worked in a variety of jobs, including at the Co-op office at UTSC (University of Toronto Scarborough) and also in sales, where I developed many transferable skills that are great to have in fundraising roles.

When my 3 children were in elementary school, I became involved with the school council and  helped raise money for the school, which made me realize that I was passionate about fundraising! I took the fundraising management program at Ryerson University’s Chang School. When I graduated, I went to work for United Way Toronto (one of The Storefront’s funders), supporting large workplace fundraising campaigns at some of the country’s most recognizable banks and telecommunications companies, as well as within workplaces of the Ontario government.

While I loved working at United Way and gained a lot of experience there, I missed the grassroots and community feel of the fundraising work that I did at my kids’ school. I also wanted to be able to work on more elements of fundraising, from building relationships with donors to writing stories about our work, to planning and executing fundraising campaigns. I get to do all of those things at The Storefront!

What does it mean to you to be part of a Community Backbone organization?

To me it means to always be exploring how to collaborate with others in the community, and to support the efforts of other organizations for the common community good. There’s a mindset of “we’re all in this together,” so we’re always intentionally seeking collaborations with partners or grassroots leaders or other community players that will let us do something better together that none of us could have done on our own. 

A “fundraising” example to illustrate this: Giving Tuesday is a global movement that celebrates giving and volunteering. In past years, several local community organizations got together to run Giving Tuesday events to raise awareness of our work and our impact in the community.  In 2018, we gave away free coffee at the Guildwood GO station, along with postcards that directed people to a website where they could learn more about each of us. In 2019, we gave away LUSH Bath bombs at Cedarbrae Mall and engaged the public with stories of the work we do and the impact it has in the community.  I believe doing these events together had a bigger impact than they would have had it just been us alone.

Giving Tuesday this year was just yesterday.  With the pandemic and the inability to gather, it did take away the “together” element. But we tried to keep it alive with an “elevate and celebrate” approach.  We highlighted people and groups who built community together through giving and volunteering over the past year.  You can find out more here.

Favourite show?

I really enjoy a show that has a captivating storyline, especially one with a bit of mystery, suspense, thrill and even a twist –  like LOST and Stranger Things. I also love shows with great ensemble casts, like The Office and Brooklyn 99.

What do you enjoy most about working at The Storefront?

I like that I’m able to do a variety of different fundraising tasks, which keeps things fun and interesting! And I love that we are an organization that isn’t afraid to experiment and try new things. It lets me exercise my creativity.

What is a project that you are working on at The Storefront?

A project I’ve been working on is celebrating The Storefront’s 20th anniversary. It’s going to be a wonderful celebration as there have been many people involved in creating and sustaining The Storefront. While our in-person celebration has been postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic, I’m looking forward to sharing The Storefront’s achievements and highlights from the past 20 years.

What is your favourite cuisine?

I like all types of cuisine, and living in Scarborough makes it easy to try food from many different cultures. Scarborough Shops is a Facebook group that explores all local businesses in Scarborough. It’s a great community-created resource that supports local businesses!

Apart from your work at The Storefront, what hobbies do you have outside of the office?

I am an avid walker. I also like to cycle, camp and canoe in the summer. I’ve been a Board Director for the past few years and just became the Board Chair at AURA – Anglican United Refugee Alliance, a non-profit organization that assists in the sponsorship and resettlement of refugees. I’m also personally involved in sponsoring a family to Canada. 

If someone were looking to join the team at The Storefront, or looking for work in a role similar to yours or in the nonprofit sector in general, what advice would you have for them?

Choose work that fires you up. It’s of great personal value to spend your days doing something that you love and find meaningful.

Where would you like to travel to/why?

I’d like to see every province and territory in Canada. I haven’t yet been to Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, or any of the three territories.

What is on your wish list for the next five years?

I’d like to see a Scarborough-wide fundraising initiative where local organizations come together to engage people in raising money for their respective causes.  Let’s have something like a run or a ride – in Scarborough (why should all the big “a-thons” be downtown?)A personal learning goal I have is to be involved in running a capital campaign. After reading my colleague Dip Habib’s staff interview and his wish of a new building for The Storefront, I say let’s roll up our sleeves and make it happen! Who’s with us?

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