David MacNiven - Director, Team Hole in the Wall



Featured week of January 6, 2014

David MacNivenName: David MacNiven

Title: Director, Team Hole in the Wall

Location:  New Haven, CT

Number of years as a fundraiser: 10

Number of years at current organization: 2.5


What inspired you to do this work?  

I’ve always admired Paul Newman and I feel lucky to have the chance to work for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. I’m inspired every day by the incredibly passionate and talented people I have the honor to work with. They inspire me to be better and to do more. I also have the added bonus of volunteering at Camp for a week each summer and seeing firsthand the impact our programs have on the children and families we serve. It refuels me and helps me to keep things in perspective.

What has happened recently that pumped you up?

I get pumped up every time we have one of our campers or families speak at an event to share their story and what Camp means to them. We know we are doing our job when we can connect our Team members to our mission. Last winter we hosted a Team gathering in New York City to provide a way for our Team members to meet each other and learn more about Camp. After our presentation, one of the people in the audience stood up and shared her story with the group. She had been a camper in 1988 during Camp’s first summer and recently reconnected by registering for one of our Team events. While we had spent the previous twenty minutes describing our mission and programs, nothing illustrates the power of Camp more than hearing from someone who has actually experienced it. Her story of strength and resilience and what Camp means to her was amazing.

Tell us of a recent challenge that you’ve faced?

We have a team in the Boston Marathon each year and a large group of Boston based staff from our Hospital Outreach Program and Camp families that come out to cheer them on. We were lucky that the entire group was safe after this year’s events and it was incredible to see how our community rallied both that day and in the weeks that followed.

What is next for you as a P2P fundraiser?

We are wrapping up Camp’s 25th anniversary celebration and have developed a five year strategic plan to expand our services to reach more children and families than ever before. Our Hospital Outreach Program is now in Philadelphia and we recently launched CampOut, a new program that brings the hopeful, playful spirit of Camp to camper homes, schools and neighborhoods. Of course as our programs expand, so does the need for support and that is why we created a three year growth plan for Team Hole in the Wall as well. I’m excited to have a road map that encourages innovation and can’t wait to begin implementing some of our new ideas.

What advice would you give to someone just starting a career in athletic event fundraising?

Look for the organizations that you admire and then connect with the people involved to learn as much as possible. Build lasting relationships and when you get an opportunity, focus on making a positive impact on the organization and the people you work with.