Kaitlin Levenstrong, Sojourner’s director of strategic gifts, is a self-professed "smitten with the mitten" Midwesterner who has continually moved east since graduating high school in western Michigan. Her adventurous spirit is driven by the power of community, social change, and wanderlust, and her passions have been shaped by the desire to encourage transformation in policies, philanthropic commitments, and purchasing habits. She identifies strongly with the “first globals” generation that John Zogby writes about, where true success is defined through accumulating relationships and experiences, versus material possessions.
Kaitlin has developed a unique blend of non-profit fundraising, strategic partnership building, and business acumen, having worked on global/gender equity programs, social enterprise, and corporate partnership development for the United Nations Association of Greater Boston (UNA-GB), Prosperity Candle, and the Girl Scouts in Washington, DC. Her career officially began before all of this, however, just down the hall from where her office is now, when she worked as the media assistant during Cycle 24 of the Sojourners Internship Program.
Her intern year laid the foundation for her deep and abiding commitment to engaging the church and people of faith on critical social and economic justice campaigns, with a particular heart for addressing gender equity and advancement. From Maasai communities in Kenya to resettled refugee populations in western Massachusetts to townships in South Africa to the Columbia Heights neighborhood in D.C., Kaitlin has seen firsthand the power of investing in women, and prays for the day when we will all join together in naming, claiming, and uplifting the inherent worth of all women and girls.
Hasseler is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she received a B.A. in journalism with concentrations in religious studies, politics, and African new world studies, and recently completed a certificate in professional fundraising at Boston University. Additional non-formal education achievements include planning epic themed parties; creating tasty dishes using kale, brussel sprouts, and quinoa; finding good craft beer; exchanging witty barbs in the spirit of the Gilmore Girls; and dancing anywhere and anytime.
“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.”—Agnes De Mille
Posts By This Author
Whose Stories Do We Tell?
Too often the stories of women are overshadowed, undervalued, dismissed, forgotten, ignored, and simply overlooked. The stories exist — they are there — it took our group less than a half hour to recount 17 stories back to back. But the collective awe that we felt — the pat on the back we were giving ourselves — felt bittersweet. How often had we heard these stories preached from the pulpit? Or shared in Sunday school and small group?
How Sojourners Kept Me in the Church
This week’s headlines regarding the latest Pew report about the changing religious landscape in the US have gotten me thinking about my own journey with religion, especially as the discussion continues to emphasize the growth of the 'Nones' – the religiously unaffiliated who are said to now make up about one-fifth of the population and outnumber Catholics and mainline Protestants.
Almost eight years ago, I showed up to work at Sojourners for the first time as a member of Sojourners’ Intern Cycle 24. It saved my faith and it changed my life.
Supporter January Update
While January sometimes can feel like a slow month, after the hustle and bustle of the end-of-the-year and the holidays, time has flown by for us at Sojourners, and we can’t believe we’re already wrapping up the first month of 2014. The past 31 days have brought an amazing amount of movement and action that we are really excited to share with our closest friends and supporters (you!).
Seven Top Reads of 2013
The past few months have flown by in true whirlwind fashion (my co-worker Katie aptly describes the professional whirlwind here). And as the hours tick down to the end of 2013, I find myself facing a bit of a personal whirlwind, surrounded by boxes, bins and far more hangers of clothes than I’m happy to admit. I am thick in the middle of a move, in what I’m calling my boomerang return to D.C. and Sojourners, after a three-year hiatus in the great Northeast.
As I pack up all my belongings, it’s becoming clear that books dominate an absurd amount of bins and boxes — turns out I have a penchant for the printed word (if moving isn’t a compelling argument for a Kindle, I surely don’t know what is). Therefore, it feels appropriate and timely to reflect on which of these titles affected me most this past year. As the director of Major Gifts (and newest member of the team), I’ve been particularly consumed with thinking through resource distribution, stewardship, and the power of the purse, so it is with this lens that I share my top reads of 2013.