We have a brand new SAFE staff member to introduce to everyone: Marianna Clair, who joined SAFE last week as our Development Director. 

Marianna will be taking over responsibility for fundraising efforts at SAFE, as well as planning and executing events, and developing relationships with our donors. She’s an experienced development professional who has raised funds raised funds at a number of nonprofits, most recently at Pacific Northwest Ballet. In addition to having a Masters degree, she earned a certificate in Nonprofit Management at the University of Washington, and is completing a certificate in Fundraising Management this summer.

And this may sound like the craziest of coincidences, but the person we felt was the best fit for the job here at SAFE is also.…a SAFE horse adopter!! Marianna adopted Duchess (now known as Esperanza) in 2018!! She’s a big fan of SAFE, and is well positioned to communicate our mission to potential donors and supporters. 

Here is Marianna’s full bio:

Marianna Clair grew up with her horses her whole life. She was six the first time she was in the saddle, took lessons for years, owned her first horse by sixteen and competed in regional level hunter-jumper shows in her youth. Her second horse, an off-the-track thoroughbred was her first stab into the dressage world. Now she practices classical dressage with her horse Esperanza, who she adopted from SAFE in 2018. 

Five years ago, Marianna moved to Seattle for graduate school at the University of Washington, earning her masters in museology with a specialization in museum education and community outreach. She also earned a certification in nonprofit management. After graduating in 2016 and falling in love with Seattle and the surrounding communities, Marianna couldn’t bring herself to leave. Her first postgraduate work was the Volunteer Program Manager at the Refugee Resettlement Office in Seattle, a position through AmeriCorps. It was there that she found her true calling: raising money for others in need. She shifted her focus to fundraising, developing relationships with donors, and managing the fundraising plan.

Marianna has always had a love for dance and saw a direct correlation between ballet and dressage. Wanting to return to the arts world once again, she joined the development team at Pacific Northwest Ballet. She effectively managed the individual giving program, worked with major donors, planned and executed cultivation events, and served as the board liaison for two years. 

When she’s not fundraising, Marianna can be found reading a good book, growing microgreens in her kitchen, taking weekly lessons from her trainer with Esperanza, spending time with her two rescue cats, and traveling the world. She has been to five continents already and hopes to make it seven one day!