I Live Here, I Give Here names new leader

courtney manuel

I Live Here I Give Here (ILHIGH) announced today the appointment of Courtney Manuel as the nonprofit’s new executive director. She is set to begin in this role on Tuesday, January 22 and will lead the organization, best known for producing Amplify Austin, the annual 24-hour day of giving, set for Feb. 28- March 1 this year.

“Our efforts are supported by local companies, foundations, nonprofits, and individuals who are dedicated to making Austin a better place for all. That said, we are so thrilled to have found our new executive director in Courtney Manuel. Courtney’s talents and her passion for community building shone through, and we knew she would be the perfect fit to take our organization to greater heights. Her leadership will carry the organization forward, driving transformative community impact and engaging new givers,” said Blake Absher, ILHIGH board of directors search committee chair.

Manuel joins ILHIGH with over a decade of experience in fund development, management, and leadership.

Most recently, Manuel held a variety of positions at the University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas, where she advanced to eventually serve as executive director for development at Dell Medical School that she helped to build from scratch and lead development operations. (See our story about Courtney’s work, “How does a new medical school build a donor pipeline? Dell Medical finds out.”)

Manuel’s professional experience boasts many impressive highlights, including leading a campaign at Dell Medical School that has raised over $200 million to date towards a $1 billion, 10-year goal. To accomplish this goal, she worked closely with visionary donors, the Dell Medical School dean, and faculty, as well as key University of Texas partners, to create a case for support and a comprehensive, successful development plan. Manuel additionally designed the development department structure and strategically selected a talented team of development professionals to support this work.

“I am so fortunate to have chosen a career that prioritizes improving the community in which I live and work. But to now lead an organization whose vision is to make Austin the most generous community in the nation is the opportunity of a lifetime. Therefore, I am honored, and humbled, to serve as the next executive director at I Live Here I Give Here — an organization whose stellar reputation and enormous impact across our city’s vast nonprofit landscape has already made an indelible mark. I am eager to begin working with the brilliant staff and dynamic board of directors to further grow and shape the organization as we move into our next decade of service,” said executive director Courtney Manuel.

Celeste Flores, who served as executive director of ILHIGH for three years, departed from the nonprofit in August of 2018. Lindsay Muse, senior director of operations, served as interim executive director throughout the search process for a new executive director.

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