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Each month, we shine a spotlight on one of our chapter members with a series of questions. We hope you enjoy learning more about our spotlight nominee this month.

MAY 2021

Henry Pacheco
Co-Owner & Senior Advisor, Capacity Blueprint

Why did you get involved with the nonprofit sector?
I got involved with the nonprofit sector for a few reasons. I was raised in a very rural area of New Mexico and my parents taught me what it meant to be a part of and help the community around me. It was those life lessons that made the nonprofit sector a natural fit for me. As a gay person growing up in the 90s, I witnessed and experienced homophobia and because of those experiences, I decided that I wanted to work in LGBT human rights so that the next generations could be who they are without fear.

Tell us about your current position. What are your responsibilities?
I am co-owner and Senior Advisor with a small nonprofit consulting firm, Capacity Blueprint. The consultancy is focused on working with small grassroots organizations in order to help them to create fundraising programs with the ultimate goal of increasing their capacity so they can do more of the valuable work the community needs.

What has your career progression been like so far?
I have progressed through my career by following my passion for social justice. I began my career in my early 20s answering the phones at a community foundation which led to my interest in development and communications work. Over the years I have mainly worked with very small organizations and I have discovered I am most comfortable in small, noble organizations. I have prioritized the relationships and experiences over personal gain, which can be a little “isolating” especially in the Bay Area where I am surrounded by over-achievers and people with so many degrees it makes my head hurt. So for me, progression is more about connecting and learning and I am happy with where I am.

What are you most proud of in your career to this point?
I am most proud of the work that I have done to help achieve greater equality for LGBTQ+ people domestically and internationally. While I am only one of many, it is wonderful to see the steps toward equality (albeit small steps in many parts of the world).

What advice would you give to other AFP members who are considering becoming a board member?
I am a new board member with the AFP Golden Gate chapter so I don’t have much experience on the board but I can offer this advice: Bring your authentic self to the board. Your life and work experiences are valuable and your voice is important in helping AFP-GG be a better organization year after year.

Any secrets or just tried-and-true pieces of wisdom you want to share about what has worked for you?
The one piece of wisdom I apply to the work I do is: Your organization is the bridge between the problem to be solved and the community who wants to help solve the problem.

What is the biggest challenge facing the profession right now?
The biggest challenge now and probably always is funding for organizations. As we are beginning to understand, in 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic, it was larger organizations with large budgets that not only survived, but generally increased the fundraising dollars. While smaller grassroots organizations took a big hit.

The other big challenge that I see is the focus on major donors. While these large gifts are great, not all grassroots organizations or organizations of color have access to these high level donors. Also this country is rapidly losing its middle class, making it harder for more grass roots organizations to make ends meet because they don’t have access to the wealth of the upper classes.

How do you manage to balance your personal and professional life?
I have not been very good at balancing my personal and professional life. However, the pandemic has shifted the way that I think about balance. As a consultant, I am intentional about how much work we take on. My business partner and I are trying to employ all the various studies about work-life balance in our practice. Truthfully, it has been easy this past year - starting a business at the beginning of March 2020 did wonders for down time! Here’s to hoping that the coming year will be more challenging to balance work and life.

What do you like to do to relax?
For better or worse I spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos. There is just so much interesting content being created by such a diverse group of people. When I am not deep diving into YouTube I am very interested in the arts, nature, and the company of my friends

Last book you read (or show you’re watching or binge-watching)?
I most recently binge-watched “Casa de las Flores” on Netflix and “The Flight Attendant” on HBO. I love to read what I call “dime-store” espionage books. They are fun, easy to read stories and the authors seem to be able to pump them out like a factory (tells you a little about the quality of the writing. They are no La Carré in the writing department).

What do you want to do in life that you haven’t yet?
There are so many things I want to do it is hard to narrow it down. Travel, learning a new language, and building my business are top of mind at this point in my life.