Member Spotlight: Karolo Aparicio, Annual Giving Officer, San Francisco Foundation

While working on the program team at Global Exchange nearly 20 years ago, Karolo got his first taste of fundraising by watching the director of major gifts in action at a fundraising event. He was impressed saying, “She knew everyone by name. Struck up conversations. Before the event, she had prepped the staff and everyone knew their assigned roles and executed them. By the end of the evening, we had raised several thousand dollars. I thought to myself, I want to learn how to do what she just did!”  Fortunately, a position opened up on the development team and Karolo got the job, “She was a great mentor who helped me learn on the job and pointed me to training opportunities.”

Since he began work in fund development in 2002, one of the most marked changes that Karolo has seen is our relationship with technology.  He explains, “Everything from analytics to integration of communications systems, to communications technologies has changed so much from the time that I started in the profession.”

One of the ways he has approached work differently since the pandemic is having to be more intentional about maintaining healthy boundaries between work and home, “Without a commute, I’ve had to be intentional about marking the time when I start work and when I end work. I tend to do that by going for a walk first thing in the morning and ending the workday by either exercising or practicing for the weekend’s music lessons; I’m learning how to play the tenor sax.” 

Karolo is also handy in the kitchen and has found that taking the time to prepare and eat nutritious and delicious meals is a good way to unwind and recharge after a busy day.  He also enjoys spending time outdoors and says, “While I’m not a particularly gifted rock climber I am an enthusiastic one.”

Karolo has found that working as a fundraiser for causes that align with his values has been fulfilling and has provided him with some great experiences, “With EcoViva, I’ve been able to help produce some award-winning documentary films with amazing documentary filmmakers, host a panel discussion on mangrove forest conservation at the Global Climate Action Summit (you can listen to a segment on Yale Climate Connections).  I’ve also had the opportunity to share what I’ve learned about fundraising by facilitating workshops through Berkeley Extension. I’m also really proud of the work that I’m doing at the San Francisco Foundation.

Karolo first joined DER in 2010. “The programming provides great learning opportunities and when we could do in-person lunches, I enjoyed catching up with my colleagues in a social setting.”


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