This month we are spotlighting the newest member of the AWF staff – April Castro. April joined AWF in December 2020 as the Director of Philanthropic Operations. As Director of Philanthropic Operations, April is responsible for reporting and database management, gift management, donor relations/stewardship, and prospect development. This role provides strategic direction and guidance to ensure excellent service delivery to enable the success of all philanthropic functions.
April has served as a fundraising services professional for many Atlanta-area educational institutions – including Oglethorpe University, Emory University School of Law, Atlanta International School, The Paideia School and the Westminster Schools. She has extensive experience with fundraising CRMs, non-profit operations and donor relations. April has a Bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Master’s degree in Arts Administration from Boston University.
What inspires you to work in the nonprofit sector?
I have worked in the non-profit sector my entire career. I grew up in an artist community and was a dancer for many years. I shifted into the Arts Administration sector to work for dance companies in Chicago and Kansas City. Being a non-profit administrator has given me the ability to support the culture and the health and well-being of my community directly. I get inspired when I see the impact of my fundraising work in the delivery of the mission. There is nothing more satisfying to me than knowing my work has made someone else’s life better. It has given me so much joy in my life.
What has surprised you about working at AWF?
How emotional it can be. Because I can relate to so many situations and stories of those we help, it can be poignant. I fully expected to be inspired, but I was surprised by how introspective the work and impact stories of AWF made me. It is one thing to intellectually understand the needs and challenges of women and girls in our community; it is quite another thing to get to intimately know the stories and people that are impacted by our work.
What’s your ideal vacation?
I love vacations that are peaceful and provide some mental space for reflection and quiet. I think my ideal vacation would be a solitary trip somewhere completely off the grid. The ability to unplug, read, be in nature and just have the luxury of quieting my mind sounds amazing. I am also obsessed with the Fogo Island Inn. It just looks like a fabulous place to get away and be pampered.
If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be and why?
Probably the opossum. They are peaceful creatures and beneficial to humans in an unassuming way. They are often misunderstood but are more helpful to humankind than most think. They snack on garden pests, so they are a gardener’s best friend. They have been proven to be very good problem-solvers and are resilient (they can thrive in urban, rural, hot, and cold environments). I think they are the best of “behind-the-scenes” kind of helpers and I love that.
What language would you like to learn one day? Why?
It would be Lithuanian. My spouse is a Lithuanian citizen and his family has a place in Palanga that will most likely become a retirement spot for us. It would be nice to participate in family discussions in Lithuanian. And I’d love to be able to engage in the culture there through the language.