DER Member Spotlight – Monica Nuñez, Director of Development, New Door Ventures

As Director of Development at New Door Ventures, Monica Nuñez leads a team of three development staff and works closely with the Board fundraising committees and CEO to implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy. Monica previously served as Assistant Director of California Clubhouse in San Mateo County. In 2022, she transitioned fully to development work, first starting as the Associate Director of Development and, now about a year later, as Director of Development.

Monica reflects, “I got into development mostly by chance. Like many nonprofit professionals, we need to do it all. Coming from a small nonprofit, it was my responsibility to work with the Executive Director and fundraise for the organization. However, I’ve now chosen to do development work and am eager to work at New Door Ventures and provide leadership and develop strategies to initiate and meet ambitious fundraising goals.”

While fairly new to the development world, Monica shares that she is most excited to see a push for the landscape of development to move to a more community-centric approach. She shares, “Many nonprofits have been doing work grounded in equity and social justice, so it’s only right to include our fundraising practices. I’m excited to work with New Door and the fundraising community to find creative, inclusive, and diverse approaches to raising funds.”

To meet the challenge of annual fundraising goals, Monica finds that a clear sense of purpose and a collaborative mindset can be beneficial. She explains, “I tend to approach work in a very intentional way – ensuring that I am deliberately making choices to reflect what is important to me. The pandemic brought forth an even bigger need for intention in all that we do. So, by default, my sense of urgency has shifted completely to a balance that works better for me and my job duties. I find that this shift has been helpful in development work, which is typically surrounded by a scarcity mindset and fear of not meeting fundraising goals.”

Monica finds that the DER workshops and trainings have been extremely supportive of her work in her first year of membership. She shares that DER hosts many workshops on current trends, such as considerations of using AI, as well as on trends that are constantly evolving, like effective storytelling. She has also recommended DER to many development colleagues and is looking forward to the 2024 calendar of events. Outside of work, Monica enjoys recharging with a good book or TV show. “I’m also a plant mom to about 10 plants and spend many weekends watering, trimming, and repotting my plants,” says Monica. This year, she joined the board of Upward Scholars, an organization that provides adult immigrants the boost they need to move up the economic ladder through education and career development support, and spends many weekends talking to her family and friends about them.