We are thrilled to welcome Summy Lau as the newest contributor to Winspire News! With a background in nonprofit development, publishing, copywriting and design, Summy joins the Winspire creative team with loads of practical experience that will help shape the content and resources delivered to your email inbox each week.
Summy’s experience in nonprofit fundraising began in 2011 when she joined the development department of a nonprofit serving Chicagoans experiencing homelessness.
“The organization does amazing, transformative work in the community, and for my first assignment, I was thrilled to help organize their annual 5K run,” recalls Summy.
As the biggest fundraiser of the year, the development team wanted to leave no stone unturned. “We planned for a big chip-timed race, kids’ fun run, raffle, online auction, live music concert, free swag bags and more—the bigger, the better."
Their vision for the 5K was a huge, fun event that brought over 2,000 participants to an underserved neighborhood on the South Side, plus encouraged team fundraising, online giving and volunteering. But when most of her teammates left a month before the event, she found herself with a ton of responsibilities and few resources to do it.
“Every day became a mad rush of deadlines: designing promotional materials, ordering collateral, obtaining raffle items, contacting media outlets,” Summy says. “Everyone needed to pitch in, so for the weeks leading up to the event, the day-to-day operations of running a major nonprofit seemed to get put on hold.”
“I learned a lot very quickly in my development ‘crash course.’ And while we did mostly reach our goals at the end of the day, I know having more resources, time and training would have turned the event from good to great.”
Summy carried her interest in event planning, logistics and administration to future roles as an administrative assistant for a Christian campus ministry, then on the editorial team of a national women's consumer magazine. Now a marketing assistant at Winspire, Summy looks forward to combining her writing skills with a passion for nonprofit development by creating and designing blog content, eBooks, graphics and more that help nonprofit professionals reach their event fundraising goals.
“I don’t think my experience at a nonprofit was unique,” Summy says. “So many staff just don’t have enough hours in the day to finish all that needs to get done. My greatest hope in this role is to provide practical resources, inspiration and encouragement that make it easier for nonprofits to fulfill their mission.”
Outside of work, Summy enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, watching reality singing competitions and exploring her new home in Orange County, Calif. You can look forward to plenty more helpful content from Summy in the near future, so stay tuned!