We Are Disability Advocates: Nathan Slauer

As the Annual Fund Manager with Disability Advocates, Nathan Slauer engages community members with giving opportunities, leads community outreach efforts, and handles marketing & communications activities. 

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Cascade on the Thornapple River, where my parents still live. I later found myself renting an apartment in an old mansion located in the Heritage Hill Neighborhood of Grand Rapids. My wife, Meg, and I currently live near downtown Holland. Throughout my career, I have traveled all over Michigan, including Whitehall, Muskegon, and Lansing. 

Have you always been interested in working in the nonprofit sector?

From early on in my career, I knew that I wanted to use my career to help people in my community. At first, I studied secondary education, but I realized that teaching was not quite the best fit for me. I decided to explore career options by completing two AmeriCorps service years and serving as a campaign manager through the Michigan House of Representatives. These experiences helped me build my fundraising and marketing skills and made me realize that I wanted to build capacity for a great organization like Disability Advocates. 

What do you hope to accomplish at Disability Advocates?

The new Special Olympics of Michigan campus is a great opportunity to introduce our work to the broader community and build excitement among longtime supporters. My goal this year is to share our story with tours, images, videos, and more. 

What philanthropic trends are you excited about?

One of my professors at Grand Valley State wrote a book entitled Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Giving. The book argues that Gen X and Millennial philanthropists will become the largest giving generation. This new generation emphasizes the impact of their gifts and evaluating the success of programs and initiatives. I hope to connect individuals from this new generation and offer new ways to give back.

How do you stay involved in the community?

I am currently working toward the completion of my Master of Public Administration at Grand Valley State University. Outside of class, I serve on boards and communities, stay active with nonprofit and educational associations, and volunteer with campaigns. I also create multimedia content through WKTV Community Media Center. 

What do you like to do for fun?

When I’m not staying busy, I enjoy reading, writing, and running. My wife Meg and I have a standing date on Thursday nights, where we compete in trivia at an Irish pub called Curragh. My Australian Shepherd, Jo, brings me for a walk twice a day. 

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