"I want to see the dreams of our leaders and the dreams of our donors come to fruition," Stacy Fender said about taking the job as a Saint Michael's College Individual Giving Officer. Fender, formerly Assistant Director of Major Gifts at the University of Vermont, began at Saint Michael’s on September 30. "I want to see changes come through on campus because of the gifts that I'm able to bring," she added.
Fender was at UVM from 2011 to the present and before that did consulting work for the University of Vermont through her job as senior director, for IDC Fundraising/Harris Connect, where she worked from 2007 to 2011. At Harris Connect she also worked for WFYI Public Broadcasting in Indiana where she was instrumental in increasing giving by 180%. She consulted for several other non-profit organizations while with Harris Connect.
"I really wanted to work for a small private institution that had the kind of focus that Saint Michael's has - focus on service learning," she said.
"I think people don't necessarily know how to make change in the world till they're out there," Fender said, "but Saint Michael's puts such emphasis on students doing community service that it gives students a chance to be in the world and figure out how to apply what they’ve learned - for them it’s not theoretical anymore."
Raised on a farm in Eastern Washington State, Fender graduated from nearby University of Idaho with a Bachelor of Science in History with honors, Public Relations Emphasis, in 2004. She earned a Master of Arts in Philanthropy and Development from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in 2011. She earned this degree during summers while working full-time.
"I've learned that you can't assume what you've learned in the past is going to be how you do your job today, so I try to meld those experiences into making the best decisions in this position," Fender said. "I find it a huge asset and a resource to call upon my connections with other institutions; I try to make sure that the knowledge I bring is not just me, but is all of my network behind me."
Fender has a wide array of working and volunteer experience in fundraising, including work as a board volunteer for the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Northern New England (2009 to present), and board volunteer for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (2008 to present), among other activities.
Fender is a fan of all outdoor activities, especially mountain biking, and she is an avid Seattle Seahawks fan - "and I mean avid," she said. She and her partner, Danelle Berube '03 M'06 reside in Colchester.