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Fellowship Alumni Spotlight: Suzanne Sharp Connors

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Brian Brown

About Suzanne Sharp Connors
In 2000, Suzanne Sharp Connors had just finished an MBA and was looking for a “real” job. While she looked, she took a position helping her father raise funds for nonprofits…and never looked back. Over a decade later, a plethora of nonprofits can say Connors helped them achieve their
missions—through her father’s firm, her own business, and more.

“Several years after starting work at my father’s fundraising consulting firm,” Connors recalled, “it dawned on me that I loved this opportunity. I was managing a small for-profit firm while also making an impact on a wide variety of nonprofit organizations.”

Approximately ten years after she joined her father, she started her own company, Avid, which helped small nonprofits create business plans, raise funds, and use social media.

“Large or small, I was proud of each client engagement, as I knew I was providing value at a favorable cost,” said Connors. “I helped one organization complete its $7.5 million capital campaign in the middle of a difficult economy. I was fortunate enough to work with focused volunteer leaders and experienced staff members to complete the campaign in an amazingly short period of time.”

Connors attributes her dedication to service in large part to her time as a fellow at El Pomar Foundation.

“I learned time management, program management, volunteer management, gained a network of amazing individuals and some of my best friends today…and extreme reverence for the role of executive director of a nonprofit,” she added.

Now the lead fundraiser for Graland Country Day School in Denver and a board member of the Colorado chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Connors says she learned more than technical skills at El Pomar.

“I developed a true love of Colorado while at the Foundation,” she said. “And that plays out every day of my life. I am passing along this love of all our state has to offer to my children. As a family, we run, hike, bike, ski, camp, and travel to beautiful areas around the state. I am grateful to live here and to share a dedication to Colorado.”