Meet Your Colleagues: Bobby Fergerstrom, Grants Manager, Entertainment Industry Foundation
GMN is always looking to increase membership and encourage new members to become actively involved in the organization. In this issue of the GMN Examiner, we would like to introduce you to one of our newly active members, Bobby Fergerstrom, Grants Manager at the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) in Los Angeles.
Bobby and his two brothers were raised in a single-parent household in the San Francisco Bay Area by a mother who taught them respect, tolerance, the value of hard work, and the strength of family. His family sounds like a minor version of the U.N., with very diverse ethnic backgrounds including Asian, White, Pacific Islander, African-American, and Hispanic. He credits this diversity with enabling him to “view the world with an open mind and an empathetic heart.” Because of the struggles faced by his family when he was growing up, he has “a deep appreciation for organizations and people that work to improve the community.”
In January of 2002, Bobby accepted an administrative position in the newly created Programs Department at EIF. EIF, established in 1942, harnesses the collective power and resources of the entertainment industry to raise funds for, and awareness of, critical health, educational, and social issues. This year, EIF’s national giving portfolio will approach $100 million, and for the past two years Bobby has been the sole grants manager. During this time, he has designed, implemented, and overseen the transition to a digital grants management and grantee relations system, a move to streamline the grants management process and help EIF’s leadership understand the role that grants management and grantee relations play in ensuring a foundation’s success. One of the things Bobby is most proud of is his role in helping design, implement, and administer the employee giving program for the Walt Disney Company over the past five years.
Bobby joined GMN because it provides the opportunity to grow professionally and meet others who work in the same area. “The great thing about working in the nonprofit industry is the sense of community, collaboration, and learning that exists; and I think GMN is a shining example of that,” is how Bobby describes his involvement with GMN, including his desire to be an active participant in the Southern California regional group.
Lest you think Bobby spends all of his time as a grants manager, he loves nature and spends a lot of time outdoors. He also claims to be a “total foodie” who loves to cook and try new cuisines. In addition, he volunteers as a Helpline Counselor for the Trevor Project, a local nonprofit that operates the nation’s only 24-hour crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth.
So, welcome Bobby – perhaps you will get to know him better through the regional group, the online community, or at the conference next year in Baltimore.
The GMN Examiner Editorial Team
The GMN Examiner is published three times a year through the dedicated efforts of GMN members and volunteers.
Ericka Novotny – Editor
Allison Gister – Associate Editor