EmBe’s continued growth is rooted in programming. Whether it’s the addition of a new school site for our Girls on the Run program, the addition of our Girls’ Makers Day event to expose more girls to STEAM career fields, or the expansion of our Women’s Leadership Program to Rapid City, our programs and the people that champion them, make our growth possible. As this programming continues to grow, we also must grow our donor base both in new donors and expanded capacity of existing donors. Luckily, our quality programming continues to bring in new donor prospects because of the exceptional experiences they’ve had in our programming.

One of our most recent examples of this is Desirae Hovdestad. As a member of the 2014 class of EmBe’s Women’s Leadership Program (WLP), Desirae experienced the impact our programs have firsthand. Through her experience with WLP, she gained professional and personal development skills that gave her career momentum and increased focus.

So, when the call came, Desirae and her husband stepped up to host a table at our recent Giving Tuesday event. Not only did they give back through a generous donation, but they brought an energetic and lively group of guests who helped elevate the atmosphere of the event and brought additional financial contributions.

In addition to Desirae’s financial gift at Giving Tuesday, she volunteers on the planning committee for In Her Shoes Empowerment Breakfast and plans to begin mentoring with the Women’s Leadership Program – bringing her EmBe journey full circle.
“I believe in paying it forward,” said Desirae recently. “I can enrich and positively impact a woman’s life by getting her involved in Women’s Leadership.  If I can do that, then we will have succeeded.”

As our donors see growth in their businesses, they find new ways to give and with greater capacity. For years, Melissa Johnson has been investing her time and talents at EmBe. Whether the emcee at Tribute to Women or a panelist at Ink Your Dreams, Melissa gives back in meaningful ways. Not only has she been gracious in donating her time and talents, but she’s been recognized as an outstanding woman in our community when she was honored at the 2013 Tribute to Women ceremony for Executive Leadership.

At this fall’s Recycle the Runway, Melissa’s business, Oh My Cupcakes!, donated their gourmet cupcakes for every attendee. Finding new ways to support EmBe through her business is a win-win to our programs and how she donates.

“Women’s empowerment is one of our guiding pillars at Oh My Cupcakes! Simply put: it’s what we’re about and what we want to BE about. Supporting the great work that EmBe does in our community is a natural fit in accomplishing these goals,” said Melissa.
“From mentoring through the Women’s Leadership Program to bringing our staff for a morning of learning and fun at the Women’s Empowerment Breakfast, it’s been such a natural fit (and a joy!) to partner with EmBe. The fact that they lift up not only women but also young girls moves my heart. We are growing a great future right here in Sioux Falls, and the programs at EmBe are a big part of that!”

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