Member Spotlight: Jennifer Villa
For over 20 years nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals have counted on Full Circle Fund (FCF) to help build a better Bay Area. Every year we count on our members to share their time and talent to build the capacity of community groups to fulfill their missions.
We recently caught up with Jennifer Villa, a Product Manager at Grafana Labs and alumni of Duke University and Stanford University, about her first year as a FCF member.
Why did you become a FCF member?
I'm new to San Francisco and wanted to find a way to give back to the community here. When I lived in Texas, I volunteered as a math and science tutor for middle schoolers. However, this time I was looking for a way to increase the leverage of the time I volunteered, and I think Full Circle Fund gave me that. Instead of tutoring one child, I could help an entire tutoring nonprofit redesign their marketing plan or rethink their donor outreach strategy. Besides the chance to apply my professional skills in the nonprofit world--which is interesting and challenging in ways that you'd never encounter in the for-profit sector--I also was excited about the opportunity to meet new people from a variety of backgrounds.
What was one of the biggest challenges your project team worked on with the nonprofit partner?
The focus of our project was to help yLabs with their data collection strategy. This was particularly difficult due to the organization’s wide range of data needs. Early stages of their work involved unstructured text and image data, whereas later stages tended to be more numeric. Besides different data modalities, there was the need to support different languages, online and offline data collection, and of course protect the privacy of all participants. Finding tooling that could do all this in a non-profit budget required a great deal of research.
What was the most rewarding part of your FCF project experience?
The most rewarding part were the relationships formed, both with Y-Labs and the FCF team. I was consistently impressed by the effort put forward by FCF members and energized by the enthusiasm they brought to the table. I was especially lucky to be supported by a great co-lead, Alice Liu, who was always willing to debrief a meeting, bounce ideas around, or listen to a rant after a tough day. Besides the relationships formed, I was proud to learn that several FCF members from our circle have continued to work with Y-Labs, which speaks to both the great experience they had with the organization during our project as well as their desire to remain involved.
How would you describe FCF to friends and family?
FCF members donate several thousand dollars each and then work together to identify non-profits they'd like to award the money to. Each nonprofit grantee is then paired with a team of FCF members that supports the nonprofit on a project or initiative of their choice.
Would you like to add anything else?
I look forward to returning to FCF as a member this coming year, and hopefully we'll get to have some in-person experiences later in the year. It will be great to get to meet some of the folks I've spent so long on Zoom with in real life. I’m excited to start this year with a little experience under my belt, and I hope I can get new members excited about what they're signing up for.
To learn more about our membership program goals and opportunities for individuals and companies, click here.