Hosted by Susan

In this interview with her new colleague, Susan invites Jennifer to share her first impressions of the Good Work Institute as a workshop participant, her experience-informed perspective on the work of fundraising, and how her path - including degrees in finance and women’s history - led her to this work. The energy it brings her to deeply understand an organization’s mission and then connect the puzzle pieces of two types of passionate people - those doing good work and those wanting to be involved in and support it - shines through. She sees how GWI can serve as a supportive, open and even vulnerable container that is needed for the authentic expression of efforts to make change that are reflected both in externally oriented work and within the organizational culture. Studying women’s history gave her a mind-opening experience of being asked about her views and being listened to while awakening to the ways our culture suppresses essential “feminine” aspects of our human wholeness, like emotions, nurture and care. Practicing yoga taught her how to cultivate authentic connection to herself and to do internal work that becomes the basis for aligned action. Drawing parallels between personal and organizational inner and outer alignment, we declared that we want and need a culture of care to pervade our world.   

Jennifer Montalbano is the newly hired Development Steward at GWI focused on the design and implementation of development strategy, including institutional funder and individual donor cultivation. Jennifer began her journey in fundraising as part of the Advancement team at Sarah Lawrence College while pursuing a Masters in Women’s History. She believes wholeheartedly that we are living in a historical moment where inequities and destruction have come to the forefront of our collective consciousness and that the answers lie in people — in democratizing communities, wealth and work. For the past decade and a half, she has helped organizations fund these good and important collaborative efforts. She is passionate about connecting the people doing work toward a Just Transition with those who want to support it. Jennifer grew up in the Mahicantuck Valley and currently resides in Saugerties, NY with her wild spirited 10-year-old son and stubborn but loveable black labrador. She also practices yoga and was trained and certified at Shakti Yoga in Woodstock, NY.