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Johanna Thoeresz is Chief Development Officer at the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) whose mission is to “improve the lives of Oregonians through the power of philanthropy” and which provides a total of $120 million dollars a year in grants across the state of Oregon in order to accomplish this goal.  Johanna is an expert in the field of philanthropy with 30 years of experience. She leads a statewide team at OCF to cultivate a network of high net-worth donors. A graduate of Reed College with a degree in German Literature, Johanna was drawn to the philanthropic development world for the people, and their willingness to share and make the world a better place.  In this fast paced Espresso Shot episode, Johanna answers those 10 key questions Java Junkies need to know in order to make their way (and make a difference) in the world of philanthropy and development.


  • How volunteering is a great way to understand what nonprofit organizations are really like
  • How ‘development’ work and fundraising in a nonprofit is not equivalent to ‘sales’
  • Why you need to become a great listener to succeed in the field of development and fundraising
  • Why having a major you care about can be beneficial in your career in development
  • How your relationship with money can impact your success in this career, and how to unpack and alter that relationship
  • What are the most inspiring aspects of working in development/fundraising
  • Why you should identify mentors early in your career and how they can help you
  • Why you should read The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of Our Inner Resources by Lynn Twist to learn more about this fascinating industry
  • Why you should listen to T4C episode #73 to learn more about Johanna’s current job and her career

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