Meet Our New Director of Development

Nov 30, 2023

Looking at someone’s calendar is a good way to tell whether a person likes to be out in the community or view things from afar. In Mary Ann Goto’s case, she is OUT IN THE COMMUNITY! Her days, evenings and weekends are almost always spoken for. Here’s just a sample of what she has going on: 1) Sharing her origin story at the Filipino American National Historical Society, 2) Attending a fundraising breakfast for Mother’s for Police Accountability, 3) Volunteering as a greeter at the International Community Health Services, and 4) Meeting with Tsuru for Solidarity, a group of Japanese Americans with a focus on social justice, many of whom have first-hand experience being incarcerated during World War II.

“When someone sees my planner, they are often overwhelmed,” she says, “but that’s been my life as far as I can remember!” 

Mary Ann volunteering at International Community Health Services’ 50th anniversary fundraiser. 

As Companis’ new (and first) Director of Development, Mary Ann’s penchant for being out in the world and connecting face-to-face with people dovetails beautifully with our mission to make our community healthier, safer and more just by building relationships, all in service of fostering skilled volunteer service so nonprofits can succeed in delivering vital services.  

Mary Ann’s nonprofit roots run deep. She was the first membership manager at Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum, helped plan events at Town Hall Seattle, and most recently worked in development at Seattle’s Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS), a nonprofit partner of Companis where we’ve placed a number of volunteers. In between working for these and other organizations, Mary Ann ran her own event planning consultancy, focusing on small nonprofits that couldn’t afford a full-time event coordinator, an experience that she says added to her understanding of even more agencies and the populations they serve. “Running my own consulting business allowed me to work with a variety of nonprofits that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to work with,” she says, including Casa Latina and Helping Link, yet another Companis agency partner where we’ve placed volunteers over the years.  

When it comes to her new role with Companis, Mary Ann says she looks forward to creating and enhancing relationships with (potential) donors to ensure current and future funding. Her approach, she says, is to begin with a sort of listening tour. 

“I have learned that the most successful (development) plans start with your organic base, something that comes from the staff, the board, the current donors. Stick with what fits with your mission and grow it from there. So I’m meeting with staff members and look forward to meeting board members and donors who may want to share their thoughts and their vision for the organization.” 

Mary Ann says being invited to Companis events such as Spotlight and Showcase helped her understand the organization’s mission through the stories of Companis Workers and the nonprofit partners they serve, “and how supporting Companis impacts and uplifts multiple nonprofits.” 

And, yes, Companis events were in that packed calendar of hers. “I get a big dose of energy when I connect with the community. And when I attended those Companis gatherings I could just tell that its mission attracts good people, and, in turn, would be a good fit for me.”



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