Chief Development & Communications Officer
WE ARE A BUSINESS
Fast fact: Tweet her @JerichoProject1
LaToya Williams-Belfort gave up a more lucrative career in corporate America to follow her passions. At Jericho Project, she is responsible for fundraising and communications; driving all funding, marketing, volunteer engagement and special event strategies to support programs that are designed to help end homelessness at its roots. Williams-Belfort previously served as vice president of fundraising and operations for Children of Promise New York City and as director of special events and fundraising at United Way of New York City. She is a wife and mother of two beautiful sons. Additionally, she holds a bachelors of arts degree in media and communications from the State University of New York at Old Westbury.
NYN: DESCRIBE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF.
LWB: Before I came to Jericho I worked for Children of Promise New York City for about three and a half years, and when I got there it was a very small organization with a budget that was under a million dollars, and it was about 90 percent restricted. I was able to go into Children of Promise, which was more of a social entrepreneurship … and I was able to double by almost 200 percent the operating budget. The more dollars you can bring in, the more people you can serve, the more impact you can create.
NYN: WHAT CHANGE WOULD MOST HELP THE INDIVIDUALS YOUR ORGANIZATION SERVES?
LWB: What really excited me about this organization and this work is that society’s conversation is really on the pulse of the face of homelessness and what it looks like and what it really looks like in comparison with what people think it looks like. I’m right on the pulse of being part of a team and an organization that can really shape some of that perception and really shape some of that conversation and then drive support.
NYN: WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU RETIRE?
LWB: I would just like to be privileged enough to continue to do work that’s important to me. I hope to be able to really drive policy and really continue to raise a lot of funds, more funds than previously raised, maybe create some venture partnerships and do some out-of-the-box things.
NYN: WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR JOB?
LWB: I think there’s just this general perception that because we’re in the nonprofit space that we’re not a business, that we’re not selling a product, that we're not thinking about our fiscal management and how we grow and develop in a very sustainable way. We are a business. How do we bring in funders, how do we create value-add, how do we position partnerships so that there’s a return on investment? People don’t look at nonprofits from that business model as much as they look at for-profits. It’s the same thing, it’s just that a lot of nonprofits have less resources and again we’re really dealing with people’s lives.