Who are you?
Riley Elizabeth Karbon (@rileykarbon), Minnesota born and raised with enthusiasm to share. I graduated from Gustavus in 2009 (watch out, Gusties are everywhere) with a degree in Political Science. I’m an aunt to two cute little boys, a step-dog parent, a very loyal friend and a currently a 2014 member of Leadership St. Paul (the best class ever)!
What do you do?
I have the best job in the world. I’m a fundraiser for Neighborhood House! Many people think that asking for money is hard/terrible/akin to cutting off an appendage, but I assure you it’s a blast. Here’s the secret: Fundraising is never about the money, it’s about creating and maintaining relationships between the nonprofit and donors.
Tell us something about non-profits that we don’t know.
Like businesses, nonprofits must have strong financial, human resources, marketing and business practices to thrive. I’m proud to tell you that Neighborhood House is an expert at all of these and I’d love to tell you about them sometime!
How can members of Y-Pro help Neighborhood House?
Many Y-Pro members have been generous to Neighborhood House. They/their organizations are needed in one of three ways:
- Host a food drive for our food shelves (Fun Fact: We have two, one on the West Side and one in Highland Park)
- Get a group of co-workers together and come read with our English Language Learning students or distribute food to food insecure St. Paul families for an afternoon this summer
- Become a sponsor of our fabulous annual fall event, Revel with a Cause
Please contact Riley to get more information! (firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-789-3626).
Why did you join Y-Pro?
I had heard that of all the networking opportunities in the Twin Cities, getting involved with the Saint Paul Area Chamber’s group would bring the most energetic, connected, fun leaders together. SPACC Y-Pro has not disappointed.
What is your favorite Y-Pro moment?
The tour of Gillette Children’s Hospital and the visit to the workshop where they make adaptive equipment for children in wheelchairs was a special time for me. One of my college roommates has a special needs baby who may soon need the services of Gillette. I am proud of our community because it places a priority on supporting this hospital which helps children from all over the world live better lives.
How has Y-Pro helped you personally and professionally?
Personally, Y-Pro has provided a forum to me and other St. Paul-minded friends to get together and meet other Young Professionals like ourselves. Professionally, many Y-Pro members have asked their organizations to do food drives for Neighborhood House and several have helped me get in touch with key contacts to talk about sponsorship.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working or going to Y-Pro events?
Fundraising is an incredibly creative job and that spills over into my social life as well. I sing in VocalPoint Chorus, a local auditioned choir that holds concerts and fundraisers for local nonprofits. This year they chose Neighborhood House as the beneficiary, which was a fun blending of my personal and professional life. Blues dancing, swinging really heavy kettlebells around for fun and looking for local art in honor of my 2014 art-buying resolution keep me busy. Please send me your favorite local artists/venues! (email@example.com or @rileykarbon).
Where is the coolest place you have traveled to?
While studying abroad in Prague in 2008, I made friends with a woman who grew up in Nepal. We have remained friends ever since and last year I attended her week long wedding in Kathmandu, Nepal. It was the most incredible experience of my life and definitely worth the 54 hours of travel it took to get there. If you need any tips about sleeping in airports, getting by without luggage for five days or getting airport personnel to give you the meal voucher they promised when your flight gets delayed another six hours, let’s chat.
What is your favorite food?
Anything that the cooks of Travail put in front of me. If you haven’t been there yet, go! Better yet, take me and then lets get Y-Pro to lobby them to open a restaurant in downtown St. Paul.