Tuesday, Jan 24, 2023
CASA Hires a New Development Director
In order to communicate better with our donors about CASA’s vision for providing foster children in Contra Costa County with all the resources they need to transition into successful adults, at the end of last year we hired a new Development Director, Colleen Miller, who comes with a wealth of experience and passion for development and fundraising.
For much of Colleen’s 30-year development career, she has worked with children and youth who have been affected by trauma - whether abuse, homelessness, or extreme neglect. Working with and for children and young people is her absolute joy and fits perfectly with her professional expertise and passion. Her positions at organizations serving youth and children have included Covenant House of California, Family Builders by Adoption, and Catholic Charities of the East Bay. Colleen believes it is easy to see how her professional skillset is custom-made for CASA's mission to serve foster youth in Contra Costa County.
Colleen’s primary emphasis in her new role is to execute a successful fundraising plan that will allow CASA to achieve even more success with its mission now and in the future. But for Colleen, it’s so much more than raising money. She says, “It is about creating relationships with our donors, letting them know how appreciated they are, making sure they can see the impact that their gifts are making, helping them to realize that their donations are not just going somewhere to sit and do nothing. Rather, their gift is absolutely changing the lives of young people every single day. Raising funds is always necessary. But helping donors see and feel the influence they have through giving is worth more than its weight in gold.”
The CASA program has many positive impacts on foster youth in Contra Costa, such as children with a volunteer advocate are much more likely to be adopted than those without a CASA, and they tend to get more assistance with mental health services, school tutoring, and have higher rates of graduation from high school than foster youth without an advocate. The impact that touches Colleen the most is that of foster youth having a stable, consistent adult on their side. Having a stable adult can greatly increase a child's sense of hope, bolster positive outcomes such as academic success, overall wellbeing, increases in a child's self-control, and help children and youth to develop positive social relationships and optimism. In other words, the impact of a CASA can make a true and lasting change in a child's life.
Colleen plans to ensure that CASA is succeeding in its mission by securing the funding to achieve our goals and objectives. She says, “But I really want to get to know CASA's current benefactors and also bring in new donors to develop long-lasting, supportive relationships that will ultimately provide for all children and youth needing CASA volunteers.”
Colleen is very passionate about having peace and justice for all, which encompasses a great deal of fortitude. She says, “Sadly we live in a world where far too many people are not treated well because of the color of their skin or their gender or their age or their sexual orientation. And I could go on... We also live in a world where children don't have enough to eat, where humans live on sidewalks, where people have to work two and three jobs to simply survive. For me, this is egregious, and in my personal life, I do what I can to make changes.”
In her free time, Colleen bikes and plays the mandolin. She enjoys spending time with her good, long-time friends and talks regularly with her children, which recharges her probably more than anything.
Colleen is originally from Delaware, where, as she says, “The ladybug is the state insect, the peach blossom is the state flower, the state motto is ‘Liberty and Independence’, and scrapple and muskrat are favorite dishes for both breakfast AND dinner. “
We’re thrilled to welcome Colleen on board and invite you to do the same. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org