Outstanding Fundraising Professional

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By KD REEP | Photography by SARAH ODEN

Ryan Miller

 width=Ryan Miller’s first experience with fundraising was as a scholarship recipient to the University of Arkansas. It offered insight that inspired his career path; it continues to be a catalyst for his work throughout the community. “That scholarship kept me in Arkansas and I saw the impact of fundraising and fundraisers like G. David Gearhart, Sandy and Clay Edwards and Mike and Kris Macechko,” he reflects. “I wanted to work in this field to make a difference for others just like I was impacted more than 20 years ago.”

Ryan recognizes the vast variety of nonprofit organizations that are creating a more equitable world. His professional portfolio includes work for the Arkansas Alumni Association and the UA Little Rock Alumni Association – significantly increasing the capacity and membership of both.

At Arkansas Foodbank, Ryan helps alleviate food insecurity. He realizes the scope of this goal and works diligently to engage friends + patrons in the organization’s mission fulfillment work. “I want gifts to change from transactional to transformational,” he explains. “Donors can truly have a transformational impact on our neighbors in need.” He believes that while accessibility to food for families is the most critical component, civic leaders can generate revolutionary ideas for the organization. “This helps the Arkansas Foodbank think beyond to new frontiers of changing lives in Arkansas.”

Whether it’s advocacy for literacy, housing, education or expanding the arts – Ryan suggests picking a passion and pursuing it with time + energy. Everyone can make a difference and Arkansas is remarkable. “The people of this state selflessly give to change the world.” As a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Arkansas Chapter, Ryan helps organize events and provide resources to members. “It inspires me to stretch for higher goals and encourages me when I need extra motivation to keep doing the challenging work of working in the world of nonprofits.”

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