How did your career journey lead you to Geneva Global?
My career journey began at PwC’s LA office providing HR advisory consulting services. I learned how to deliver exceptional client service, contribute to a diverse high-performing team, and develop as a leader. PwC provided my first experience with corporate philanthropy initiatives.
Over the past 24 years, I’ve worked in nonprofit organizations in a variety of sectors including health and human services, and education, primarily focusing on fundraising, marketing, communications, and other strategic initiatives. Empowering leaders opened opportunities for my learning and growth. Relationships with clients and their families, donors, board members, and colleagues fueled my passion for creating a more just world for all.
Shared values, meaningful work, and wholehearted colleagues attracted me to Geneva Global. I joined the team because I believe that together, leveraging philanthropy, we can make the world a more equitable and sustainable place.
How has your role at Geneva Global evolved?
From day one, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with colleagues and clients. Presently, I’m spending most of my time supporting a large private foundation and a nonprofit organization focusing on global health. Over the past few months, I’ve been tapped to manage and support two new associates as well as join the Donor Advising Team management group. These opportunities have provided exciting ways to demonstrate leadership and learn from others. I’m excited to see what the future holds!
What fulfills you most about your role?
Relationships, relationships, relationships. Working closely with clients is immensely rewarding. The work we do varies, which I love. It is energizing to learn new things and lean into existing expertise. When a colleague or a client succeeds, it is the most fulfilling feeling.
How has the philanthropy landscape changed over the last few years?
COVID has fundamentally changed the world of philanthropy. Giving is happening more quickly. Massive need and tangible disruption have opened essential conversations about the role of philanthropy in meeting basic needs, programmatic priorities, and funding practices. I find it especially exciting to see major foundations creating nimble structures to respond and incubate transformative ideas.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in philanthropy (or philanthropy consulting)?
Take your next best step. If you know someone who works in philanthropy, start a conversation. If not, reach out. The range of opportunities are expansive. People working in philanthropy are passionate about their work and will be happy to share. Follow causes, people, organizations, advocates, and publications who are doing excellent work. Consider what you’re most interested in and begin giving. Most of all, stay curious. There is always more to learn.
What are you most excited about for the future of philanthropy?
I am eager to see the results of bold, trust-based philanthropy investments. The growth of collaborative funding and mindful intergenerational family giving is also exciting.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear. His insights are powerful and actionable.
This quote is particularly inspiring, “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity. This is one reason why meaningful change does not require radical change. Small habits can make a meaningful difference by providing evidence of a new identity. And if a change is meaningful, it is actually big. That’s the paradox of making small improvements.”
Where do you get your news?
NPR’s radio coverage and podcasts are my go-to sources for news.
How has your work-from-home journey been? Any tips or tricks?
I appreciate focused work-from-home time balanced with intentional opportunities to connect with colleagues and clients online. For me, it’s easy to work increasingly longer hours. To avoid burnout, I find it helpful to set aside a workspace and close the door at the end of the day. Having an intentional routine that includes setting daily priorities has been helpful. That said, it’s different for everyone. Trust your gut and do what works best for you. We’re all navigating the “new normal” together.
For more information about Juanita and to meet the rest of our team, please click here.