Introducing Jennifer Castellani, Ph.D.: PA USA’s New CDO

Jennifer Castellani joined our team on October 12, 2020. To get to know her better, we asked her a few questions:

When did you start your career?  
My first fundraising position was at my undergraduate alma where I developed and implemented a phonathon program in 2007.

How long have you been working in your field?
13 years

Have you won an award you’re proud of?
In 2019, Vassar College won the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE) Excellence in Fundraising Award based largely on the improved metrics of the annual giving office where I served as the Director.

Tell me a little bit about your education, and did it affect your career?
I have a B.A. in Technical and Professional Communication, an M.A. in Mental Health Counseling, and a Ph.D. in Leadership–all of which blend together perfectly for a career in development because I can effectively communicate the mission of the organization to supporters, build relationships with donors that allows them to bring their philanthropic vision to life, and lead talented teams to the next level of success.

Tell me an interesting/humorous tidbit about yourself?
I play the djembe, a West African drum.

What do you do in your free time?
I am a ferocious reader, so I usually read 3-4 books at a time of all different genres.

Why are you passionate about Penny Appeal?
Poverty relief is a universal mission, and the global coronavirus pandemic is sadly increasing the number of national and international people living in poverty. Raising funds for PA USA allows me to be a part of the solution and help people move from just barely surviving to thrive.