Jennifer Demeter

PBN 40 Under Forty 2023 Awards
Jennifer Demeter | 39 | Director of development, health initiatives, University of Rhode Island Foundation & Alumni Engagement

What have been the most significant changes in your industry in the last five years? Overall, giving declined last year, mostly due to the stock market performance, inflation and other economic pressures. Also, education giving declined by 3.6% year over year. Giving by individuals has declined by 6.4% (13.4% adjusted for inflation). There are also fewer households giving philanthropically. However, overall individual giving is still where the majority of funds and philanthropic dollars come from versus foundations or corporations. On a brighter note, gifts from wills, trusts and retirement accounts have remained steady at 9% of overall giving.

What is the best advice you have ever received? Leave it better than you found it. Leave no stone unturned. Listen more than you speak.

What was your first job? Besides babysitting, my first job was working in an office after school filing papers, distributing mail, answering phones, etc.

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What is your greatest attribute that you bring to your job? I am a good listener. This is an important attribute while engaging with donors. Listening to their story, reason for giving back, what they are not saying or showing through body language, and giving donors the time and space to express their thoughts.

What is your favorite Rhode Island food or drink? Matunuck Oysters – grown in Potter Pond. Salty and sweet.

What was your last streaming or cable binge watch? “The Marvelous Miss Mazel.”