As a first-generation college student, Amanda Chavero quickly learned to work hard and think strategically. After 10 years in nonprofit management and fundraising, she realized she had a skill set that could help small organizations build capacity without significantly increasing their overhead. In 2019, she founded Dear Donor, a consulting firm dedicated to “helping good people do great work.” Her professional experiences gave her the confidence to start a business, but with no prior exposure to entrepreneurship, she turned to Google for answers. That’s how she found SCORE.
“SCORE gave me the tools to start my business,” Amanda explains. Her mentor, Mark Lancaster, helped her establish a long-term vision, think through human resources questions, learn the difference between growth and scale and develop a plan for maternity leave in 2021. “I call Mark my ‘work therapist,’” she shares.
Dear Donor’s clients are primarily small and mid-size nonprofit organizations that center their work in K-12 and higher education, health and human services and community development with annual operating budgets of less than $5 million. In her first full year of operation in 2020, Amanda raised over $700,000. With her first child due in December 2021, she hired two employees and raised $3.2 million with a 40% success rate — well above the national average of 10% — and average award size of $205,000.
Amanda says, “With SCORE you have someone in your corner who can ask you the right questions, connect you with experts and help you access a world of opportunity.” In turn, she happily serves her clients by asking them the right questions and drawing out their hopes, visions, fears and challenges. “I love helping my clients capture their dreams,” she says, “and I appreciate SCORE’s help in realizing mine.”