Member Spotlight: Will León

Will León
Arizona State University Foundation
Director, Donor Digital Engagement Services

Can you tell us about your career trajectory? How did you come into donor relations as a career?

Given that I've spent 25 years in the higher education space, it's fair to say that higher education is in my wheelhouse. I began my career in donor relations after working in the University of Texas at Austin Development Office in corporate and foundation relations. When I relocated to the Phoenix area, I was hired by Arizona State University and have continued my career there.

What influenced your interest in and passion for donor relations?

Donor relations found me! Also, what better way to spend one’s time than expressing gratitude! Receiving gratitude makes donors feel good about their decision to give, and it makes me feel good to express gratitude to donors and colleagues as well. I think it's an honorable thing to acknowledge that people are supporting your organization and to find additional ways to engage with donors and connect them to their passions.

What lessons, words of advice/inspiration would you like to pass on to other donor relations professionals?

Always remember why you do what you do and who you're doing it for. On the one hand, you are helping to provide resources for the “clients” of the organization—community members, patients, doctors, researchers, students, or faculty. On the other hand, you serve donors who graciously decided to make a connection with your organization by making a gift. Keeping the end in mind as I perform tasks and deal with daily challenges helps me a great deal.

Can you talk about a specific donor engagement or stewardship activity that makes you feel like you are providing the best experience for donors?

The ASU Foundation recently launched a portal designed to give our donors and others interested in connecting to ASU a great digital experience. The name of the portal is ASU Link. We enable our donors to see their giving history and to register for events and courses that might be of interest. Additionally, endowment donors can see financial data related to their endowment and download a copy of the most recent annual endowment report. We have grand visions for what ASU Link will become, but for now, we're happy to provide a self-service option for our donors to make gifts and see their giving history.

Connection to ADRP

When did you become an ADRP member? 

I became an ADRP member in 2018. I was made aware of this professional organization, looked at the website, and was immediately drawn to the resources available, namely the webinars. As a new donor relations professional, I was very happy to see that an organization exists to empower, encourage, and educate others in the profession, so I was happy to join.

Why is ADRP membership important to you? 

It's important to be a part of a well-established, highly esteemed, and credible organization specifically dedicated to empowering donor relations professionals. I'm happy to be associated with other professionals from around the world.

ADRP is universally recognized as the authority on donor engagement for the philanthropy profession. In your own words, how does ADRP serve you in the form of professional development?

I am grateful for the insights I gain from webinars and appreciate being able to hear from colleagues at different nonprofit organizations on the work that they are doing in the donor relation space. It’s reassuring to know there are professionals in my field who are enjoying success, facing challenges, and sharing best practices I can take and apply to my work at the ASU Foundation.

Share this post:

Comments on "Member Spotlight: Will León"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment