Interested in running for a charity but intimidated by the fundraising piece? Staci Brown, who has recently begun working with Project Purple, can help you become a fundraising extraordinaire! Staci brings years of experience working in endurance fundraising to the Project Purple team and she looks forward to working with our current and future teams of runners.
Staci grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama, where she earned a degree in health care management. To this day, she is an avid Alabama football fan. She first became interested in nonprofit work when one of her college professors told her that she had a big personality and recommended that she look into high-end event planning. This conversation stayed with Staci as she embarked upon a long career in event management and fundraising.
After college, Staci began working with nonprofits, helping build their endurance charity teams. She worked for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society’s Team in Training in Birmingham for many years. Eventually, she relocated to Phoenix, AZ, where she became the Senior National campaign manager for the Team in Training program. From there, she became the National Director for Team Challenge at the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation. After several years with Team Challenge, Staci went on to work at the American Heart Association.
Staci honed her knowledge, skills and abilities at these larger charities, but she felt like something was missing. She decided to strike out on her own, forming SLB Consulting. Now, she works with up-and-coming charities to help them reach and exceed their fundraising goals. “I do well with smaller organizations, because I feel the love and I love the impact we make,” Staci explains.
Staci met Project Purple founder Dino Verrelli through mutual contacts at Competitor Group International. She will now be heading up the Project Purple teams of runners for four events: The OC Marathon, the Long Beach Marathon, the Chicago Marathon and the Napa-to-Sonoma half-marathon. Staci sees herself primarily as a fundraising coach. To help the runners reach their goals, She focuses on getting to know them as individuals and understanding what or who inspires them to run. She says, “I want to know what they are doing, why they are doing it, and what their inspiration is.”
Staci is passionate about learning what drives people to run for a cause. “I like hearing people’s stories and helping them use them for the greater good,” she explains. She enjoys motivating people and helping athletes find creative ways to raise money. Staci has completed two marathons herself, and has also personally raised $30,000 for various charities, so she draws on her own experiences when she advises runners. In fact, she ran the Chicago Marathon in honor of her childhood gymnastics coach, who had been diagnosed with cancer. She did a cartwheel in his honor as she crossed the finish line.
Staci’s family has been impacted by cancer numerous times. Her mother is a breast cancer survivor. She lost grandparents to cancer and she lost an aunt to pancreatic cancer. She was very close to her aunt and was with her as she entered hospice care. She knows how devastating cancer is for the patient who is fighting and also for their families. Her aunt’s experience with pancreatic cancer showed Staci how difficult the diagnosis is to face and overcome. As she has spoken with Project Purple runners, she has been struck by their commitment and passion to the cause of ending pancreatic cancer. “There is not a high success rate with pancreatic cancer. People who have lived through it are angry because of the low cure rate,” Staci says.
Staci has found inspiration among the community that exists within Project Purple. She explains, “Dino has created a community that wasn’t forced. It is organic. You cannot manage with heart, but you can motivate with heart.” Now Staci will help motivate and inspire our runners to achieve their running and fundraising goals!