Q&A with Michelle Spreitzer, CFREMarch 2021
Michelle C. Spreitzer, CFRE
Director of Philanthropy at the Lotus Campaign
Why did you get into non-profit work?
Having parents who both were generous givers of their time, I saw the joy of giving from an early age. My mother was the primary care giver for 19 years for my older brother with severe disabilities. She was both gracious and gentle in her giving. Never once did I hear her complain. Later in my first career with NCNB (now Bank of America) they encouraged community engagement. This is how I first got involved with the Junior League of Greensboro. I am forever grateful for this enriching experience. I received great education around non-profit and community work being carried out at a high level of efficiency and effectiveness.
Tell me about your role at Lotus Campaign. Describe the journey that led to this position.
I am the first Director of Philanthropy at Lotus Campaign. I am thrilled to be involved in the formative work of a philanthropic office being established to grow with our work as we prepare to scale to other regions both locally and across the United States.
As a female leader, what was one of the biggest challenges you faced? How did you overcome it?
Early in my career, I experienced a lack of support from the majority of women around me. I was surprised and disappointed in this behavior. I am happy to share this has changed dramatically over the years and I have felt both the "lift up" from others who have served as mentors to me and have paid it forward by being a mentor to females myself.
What are some of the resources that have helped you along the way?
Mentors, for sure and associations like the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Obtaining my CFRE was very rewarding both in the achievement and in the journey to get there. PMA's prep course was a HUGE help in my preparation.
What advice would you give women who are on the path to leadership?
Find your voice and speak with confidence. Know you belong in the room!
What has been your experience with PMA Consulting?
I first met Patton during my time at Greensboro College. It was a great experience to help shape and renew the Advancement work being done. We continued to stay in touch over the years. One of the most important and recent influences in my professional journey I received from Patton is one of his podcasts where he shared the idea of a personal retreat. I followed his planning outline and created my retreat in early 2020. This was really the beginning of my path towards working for Lotus. Having created a personal mission statement, I gained clarity about how I wanted to spend my time and talents.
What is a quote that you live by?
"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
What are you most proud of in your career?
Constantly being open to learning, every single day!