Brittini Lasseigne, Director of Philanthropy
Brittini Lasseigne lives in Vancouver, Washington and is the Director of Philanthropy at YWCA Clark County, a nonprofit whose mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Prior to her time at YWCA Clark County, she was the Director of Fundraising and Communications at Innovative Housing, Inc, an affordable housing property developer, in Portland, Oregon. Brittini has a passion for the public sector and has worked and volunteered at nonprofits for the last 14 years. Brittini previously served on the board of Vida’s Ark and in 2016 co-founded a nonprofit, Concerned Humans Against Poverty. She and is currently a member of the Clark College Alumni Board, Philanthropy Track Chair for the Conference on Diverse Philanthropy and Leadership in April, and on the Diversity Committee of AFP Oregon and Southwest Washington. Brittini holds a psychology degree from Washington State University-Vancouver. In her spare time, she enjoys road trips with her husband and daughter, Austin and Arianna.
How did you get interested in the fundraising profession?
In 2006, when I was finishing up an AmeriCorps position, here at YWCA Clark County, I volunteered for their annual auction. I remember walking into the banquet hall and seeing rows of beautifully decorated tables and then in the next room seeing what seemed like a never-ending amount of silent auction items. I watched as several hundred people seemed to float around to each item, deciding what to bid. The rush of it all was amazing. And then when the silent auction ended and I peeked in the banquet room one last time to witness the grand event, I was sold. This was magic. People were bidding more money than I ever knew was donated. Mind you, I was 20 and knew nothing about fundraisers up to this moment. All I needed to know was that this was a world I had to be part of.
What is something you wish you knew early on in your fundraising career?
Access your local professional development organizations! Whether it is AFP or another organization, get engaged! I would have far fewer grey hairs if I would have gotten more involved sooner. The education and networking opportunities they offer have been invaluable to my career. The relationships I have built through those organizations have been critical to my career. Having a network to run ideas past and people to vent with makes the intolerable days, workable.
What is the one quality every fundraiser should have?
The ability to ask, and not just for money. That is only a small part of it. It is asking a donor for a meeting, a staff person for a story, a board member for their time, your supervisor for their help, or a community member to volunteer. It all boils down to asking. Figure out what your ask is and go do it. You cannot be afraid of it.
What inspires you about the fundraising profession?
I get to be a part of saving lives. I get to provide joy and hope. The joy a donor experiences when they give and you share the difference they are making in the community. The hope that is shared in our community when they access our services. The feeling I get from that is indescribable and worth it all.
How do you want to be remembered as a professional?
I was once described by a supervisor as sunshine. That I have a way of brightening people’s days and warming hearts. I hope that I can continue to brighten the fundraising profession and warm the hearts of people in our community to show people that this is where you can change lives and build connection in your community.