Daily Record Staff//August 24, 2022
//August 24, 2022
Over the past seven years, Catherine Comer has helped to grow the reach of The Arc Central Chesapeake Region. She began her career with the nonprofit as a development associate and became the manager of communications and events before being promoted to director of development and communications. In January, the University of Maryland College Park graduate was named the vice president of advancement.
Earlier this year, Comer was accepted into the Shore Leadership Class of 2022, which offers leaders, managers, and executives on the Eastern Shore the opportunity to learn more about issues and challenges facing the region.
How would you say you inspired change in your organization or the community as an up-and-coming leader?
During the pandemic, I worked to change the narrative. We had challenges, for sure, but we also had a massive amount of opportunity. We talked to donors about the things that were going right — which was a breath of fresh air for people, especially when everywhere they turned, the news was awful.
What do you consider your most significant professional accomplishment to be?
In 2017 we were raising $14,000 annually during our fall appeal. I rebranded the program and focused on industry best practices and solid donor stewardship. This year, we raised $65,000 and planning for significant future growth.
Additionally, our annual fundraising has grown from roughly $100,000 across all avenues (grants, individual donations, events) to nearly $600,000. Together with my team, we are charting a path to begin raising between one and two million dollars in the next five years.