Jill serves as Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Taste of the Nation at Share Our Strength where she leads a 22-person team in support of the No Kid Hungry campaign. Prior to coming to Share Our Strength, she worked in the nonprofit sector for almost twenty years while advocating on behalf of various childhood issues. She was drawn to the No Kid Hungry campaign in 2014 because she knew that ending childhood hunger in America is a solvable problem. After four years at Share Our Strength, she knows their strategies are working and that the promise of No Kid Hungry is in our future. Let’s Take 5 to learn more about Jill and the success behind the No Kid Hungry campaign.
Each September, food banks, advocacy groups, and individuals throughout the United States unite to fight against hunger. What is Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign focusing on in the month of September? Every September we team up with thousands of restaurants to inspire people across the country to join the fight to end childhood hunger by dining out to help the 1 in 6 children living with hunger in America. The restaurant industry unites through Dine Out for No Kid Hungry, which is a guest-supported fundraising initiative. When a guest dines out at a No Kid Hungry partner restaurant, from a popular chain to a local mom and pop restaurant, they can make a donation in exchange for rewards. The promotions vary but range from a special menu item to a bounce-back coupon in exchange for a donation. Every dollar donated, regardless of the restaurant, provides a child with up to 10 meals. As you enjoy that delicious meal you also have the chance to give back. Every year the list of restaurants grows. You can go online at nokidhungry.org and find a participating restaurant near you for almost every meal that you eat.
One additional fun thing we are doing this year is we are launching our Hunger Can’t Wait tour where we are hosting special events with local influencers at partner restaurants in five major cities. Traveling to markets across the country is a way to engage the public in a conversation about childhood hunger. This year marks the 10th anniversary, so we are rolling out the orange carpet and having restaurant employees tell us what working with No Kid Hungry means to them and making sure that they receive recognition and our thanks.
Tell us more about your cause partnership with the Kellogg Company and your #PoweredByBreakfast initiative. How did this partnership begin and how has the Kellogg Company advanced engagement and awareness around your mission? We’ve had an amazing partnership since 2013 and it really has grown in size, scope and impact every year. As of 2018, Kellogg has helped us connect kids with over 35 million meals. The real success of our Kellogg partnership is the corporate commitment to school breakfast, from the highest company leadership to the newest employee. One of the things we are focused on at No Kid Hungry is making sure that kids have access to school breakfast programs every day. Kellogg leverages all facets of their business to help increase and expand school breakfast programs. They have engaged consumers through on-pack features, launched ads with Food Network, and held multiple celebrity events to spread awareness about the power of school breakfasts. They also engage their employees in volunteer days and school breakfast site visits. Several of their own business units bring their skill sets to enhance the relationship. They’ve have done a great job of making sure every channel in their organization has a way to get involved.
What’s the most amazing thing people should know about you or your job? The thing I get the most pleasure from is knowing that I can strive every day to have a positive impact on other people – corporate partners and their business objectives, our amazing culinary partners, our very talented team and my colleagues. Most importantly, to positively impact the people who our mission serves. The most gratifying element of my work is knowing there’s this big continuous circle of people having a positive impact – I’m having it on them and they are having it just as much on me.
From your perspective, what is the biggest challenge facing nonprofits today when activating a national cause campaign? There are so many emerging channels to activate your cause campaign and there has never been a time when authenticity is more critical. You don’t want to be everywhere but there are so many great opportunities. The challenge and the fun is to find that perfect balance of getting your cause in front of your priority audiences in an innovative way, ensuring that they take action and want to stand up for your cause with their own networks.
What person has had the most influence on your cause career? I have been really lucky throughout my career to have a few special mentors who have inspired my growth and encouraged me to identify my personal strengths and to confidently leverage these strengths. They have inspired me to embody the true meaning of leadership which to me is the ability to translate your vision into reality while motivating and empowering those around you.
Five Fun Facts About Jill:
- Favorite App: Instagram, Etsy
- Last Book Read: Joe Biden’s Promise Me, Dad
- Hobby: Entertainment junkie – tickets to events or experiences
- Favorite Place to Unwind: any patio or outdoor spot
- Guilty Pleasure: reality shows on Bravo TV, Hallmark Movies