Paula Calhoun, Director of Grants and Prospect Management, Malone University
What was your first job?
I worked as an Admissions Counselor right out of college. It was a fun, high energy job that provided a lot of great experiences. While working that job I got my MA in Arts Administration (non-profit management) which kind of paved the way for my future work in fundraising.
How did you get into fundraising and/or prospect research?
I was hired as an annual giving director and discovered I loved putting together pieces of a puzzle in regards to donors, connections, networking, etc. After a few years in annual giving I became the project person in our office. Now I handle some grant writing, prospect research and any other tasks that come my way. I love the variety – it keeps my job interesting since each day is a little different.
Where’s the next place on your travel bucket list and why?
The Grand Canyon! Our family has taken some amazing trips to national parks (Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Grand Tetons, Acadia) so the Grand Canyon is next on my list to experience. I have two sons and at 11 and 14 they are the perfect ages to explore and hike so we’re trying to squeeze in as many adventures as we can before they grow up.
Would you rather have a personal chef, personal housekeeper, or personal chauffeur?
Personal chef, for sure – I love to eat but would much rather someone else do the cooking…and dishes.
What piece of advice would you give to yourself at the beginning of your career?
Don’t worry about climbing the corporate ladder. Go for substance and find something that you believe in and can contribute to – don’t worry about your title. At the end of the day you want to feel good about the work you did, not the title after your name.