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Gleaners Community Food Bank

One of the first food banks in the United States, Gleaners Community Food Bank has been leading efforts to end hunger in southeast Michigan since 1977. Gleaners operates a wide range of programs to fulfill its mission of providing households with access to sufficient, nutritious food and related resources. The organization delivers three million meals per month in the region. It has also transformed access to emergency food through pilot initiatives, including neighborhood produce markets that resemble retail environments and home delivery for customers with complex health issues. Gleaners has nimbly responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, offering drive-through meal distribution, mobilizing its resources at and near schools, and connecting the community—at a safe distance—through virtual food drives.

Addressing the complexities of food insecurity requires constant innovation. Recognizing this, Gleaners recently sought to add two new senior positions—a Director of Donor Engagement and Director of Data Analytics—to support the development work essential to success. In addition to these new roles, Gleaners also needed to fill a Major Gift Officer position.

Gleaners’ leaders recognized the openings as opportunities to add new perspectives to the fundraising process. The Director of Donor Engagement and Major Gift Officer would build relationships with donors, securing the funds critical to power the food bank’s mission. And the Director of Data Analytics would develop and implement efficient processes to guide the development team toward the best investments of their time and resources.

To leverage these opportunities, Gleaners engaged Benefactor Group to conduct each of the three searches. Using our network, fundraising insights, and knowledge of the food bank’s leadership and culture, Benefactor Group helped Gleaners successfully place three excellent candidates. Each new team member brings passion for Gleaners’ mission, a collaborative mindset, and the expertise to help the food bank thrive.

“I truly enjoying working with Ron and Cathy at Benefactor Group for this process. They took the time to understand our organization, our development team culture, and our overall needs before finding us a number of great candidates for the open positions. Their approach was professional, approachable, and very effective,” said Stacy Averill, Vice President of Community Giving and Public Relations at Gleaners.

The success of the three searches led Gleaners to retain Benefactor Group for an additional search: a new Chief Financial Officer. Building from the knowledge gained from the previous engagements, Benefactor Group supported Gleaners in identifying a candidate with the financial acumen and strategic mindset to guide the organization as it continues to flex to the changing needs of southeast Michigan.

As health and economic turbulence continues, meeting the needs of hungry neighbors requires ingenuity and dexterity. Benefactor Group takes pride in our search process, which placed experienced, dedicated individuals at Gleaners at a critical moment.

We would be delighted to support your organization, as well. If your organization is interested in learning more, please reach out to Ron Guisinger at 614-437-3000.

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