Meet Thrive DC’s New Development Director

Tell us a little about yourself

Hi! My name is Greg Rockwell. I’m from South Carolina but I’ve lived in and around DC for the last eight years. Currently I live in Wheaton with my wife and two year old son, and we’re really excited to teach him about growing vegetables in a small garden this summer (assuming the bunnies don’t eat it all)!

What originally brought your to Thrive DC and what brought you back?

What brought me to Thrive was the unique combination of a mission that is really powerful, and concrete, and urgent, with the opportunity to really make an impact with my work. In my career, I’ve found that there are a lot of people who are passionate about working with clients or working on the front lines of an issue – it’s more rare to find people passionate about finding the resources to make the work possible.

Thrive DC is really special. I’ve always told people that the way Thrive brings volunteers, staff, and clients together creates real relationships and a capacity for change – on everyone’s part! I’ve seen volunteers humbled by realizing the connection they have with clients, and clients warmed by the acceptance they find here, finally giving themselves a chance to be vulnerable. Change is at the heart of what we do here, and I’m passionate about giving other people the opportunity to be part of a mission that has changed my life so much.

What does a typical day as a Development Director at Thrive DC look like?

It depends on the day! My job is to provide individuals and organizations with an opportunity to put their values into action. Sometimes this means helping to create fundraisers to support meals, showers, and laundry for our clients, sometimes it means helping new members of the Thrive family learn about our mission through articles on our website. My favorite part is getting to make thank you calls to our donors.

It’s fun to connect with someone who cares about this work as much as I do, and reaffirm to them that their gift really does make a difference, no matter the size.

What are you most excited to accomplish at Thrive DC?

I am most excited to continue growing our monthly donor program The Next Step Team. When I was here before, the program was much smaller, just a few dozen individuals. Now there are almost 200 people making regular gifts each month, supporting almost 10% of our yearly budget!

It’s hard to overemphasize how important this is. Most nonprofits have “roller coaster” fundraising – lots of donations at the end of the year or around special events, but also months where very few donations come in. What monthly giving allows us to do is forecast a steady income and make plans on how best to invest in our programs knowing there is funding that we can rely on coming in.

It’s not glamorous, but regular giving is the foundation of growth. We have big plans for this year – when things get back to normal, we are excited to work on expanding our programs, providing more opportunities to clients and better specialized services to make sure every client has what they need to make a new start.