We Have a Commitment to the Greater Good
Each member of the Catholic Charities’ Development team is deeply committed to the mission of our organization and what it means for the thousands of clients we serve each year. As a team, we carry an extremely significant responsibility to ensure the agency’s services can meet the needs of those who turn to Catholic Charities for assistance. We do this by partnering with our community of generous supporters and friends to advance our collective mission.
We’d love to hear from you. Please call us at 503-688-2656 should you wish to learn more about getting involved in Catholic Charities’ mission.
Development Team Members
Please contact us if you would like to know more about Catholic Charities. We are happy to answer questions or discuss your philanthropic interests.
James Howell | Director of Development
With over 15 years of nonprofit fundraising experience, James Howell oversees Catholic Charities’ advancement efforts. He has a passion for connecting donors to meaningful opportunities, building stronger organizations, and developing creative solutions within the philanthropic sector. Before coming to Portland in 2015, James spent more than ten years in Washington, DC working with several national and international nonprofit organizations. Highlights of his career include serving as Assistant Vice President of Bethlehem University in the Holy Land, where he oversaw a $25 million comprehensive campaign to support capital expansion, scholarships, program development, and endowment growth. He has also served as Director of Development for Catholic Charities USA, Vice President of Development for Musicians on Call, and Director of Development for the YWCA USA. A graduate of William Carey University, he was an American Express Nonprofit Leadership Fellow and has completed educational leadership programs at Morehouse School of Medicine and Maastricht School of Management (Netherlands). He enjoys the Pacific Northwest weather and spending time with his Jack Russell Terrier, Lucy.
Vanessa Briseño | Director of Grants & Partnership Development
With more than 17 years of experience in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, Vanessa Briseño possesses in-depth knowledge and cultural understanding of foundation and non-profit environments. As the Program Officer directly in charge of carrying out the philanthropic visions of a trustee at a large, national foundation, Ms. Briseno was responsible for monitoring trends in the field, developing strategic relationships across sectors, negotiating partnerships, managing Board-directed projects, and evaluating the effectiveness and impact of philanthropic strategies. Ms. Briseno brings with her a strong commitment to achieving great results as well as broad experience in fund development and management, community building, and identifying and implementing strategic opportunities to maximize organizational strengths.
Sarah Granger | Director of Donor Engagement
Sarah Granger has a passion for helping donors make a meaningful impact – a core focus of her role as Director of Donor Engagement. She came to Catholic Charities in 2016 with an accomplished background in all phases of fund development but especially enjoys building relationships and connecting donors with the mission. Prior to joining Catholic Charities, Sarah worked as the Director of Stewardship and Administration at St. Andrew Parish in NE Portland, where under her leadership they retired the debt from their capital campaign and nearly doubled offertory giving. She has also worked as a fundraising and organizational consultant to many small non-profits, was a staff aide to Multnomah County Commissioner Barbara Willer, and taught religion at both Central Catholic High School and St. Andrew Nativity School. She also brings passion for Catholic Social Teaching (and a B.A. in Theology from Notre Dame) and a big smile. Family and community involvement are top priorities for Sarah. She and her husband Dan keep busy raising their four children, spending time outdoors, and being active in their parish (St. Andrew Parish) and their children’s school (St. Rose School).
Marti Jacobs | Manager of Annual Giving
As the Manager of Annual Giving, Marti Jacobs is responsible for all fundraising appeals that support Catholic Charities’ Annual Fund. Marti is also responsible for all special events, including the annual Celebration of Hope Gala. A longtime friend of non-profit work, Marti’s previous experience includes working as the Director of Marketing & Communications at St. John’s Preparatory School (Collegeville, MN) and Program Director at Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest (St. Cloud, MN). Having grown up in Portland and graduating from University of Portland, it’s great to be back in the Pacific Northwest. Outside of work, Marti enjoys time with her family, baking cakes, getting some exercise and a good hamburger with an IPA.
Kirsten Goetz | Partnership Navigator, Pope Francis Center for Justice & Charity
Kirsten Goetz loves connecting people with opportunities to build a better community. In her role as Partnership Navigator, she helps volunteers and donors connect with Catholic Charities’ programs and clients in meaningful ways. Kirsten is a graduate of St. Mary’s Academy and holds both a BA in Communications and a Masters of Public Administration from Clark University, Worcester, MA. She serves on the Board of Directors at Willamette West Habitat for Humanity. In her free time, she can be found exploring local parks, enjoying bike rides or relaxing on the Oregon coast with her husband and three wonderful children.
Hannah Macfarlane | Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
Hannah Macfarlane first started working with Catholic Charities in 2015 as a volunteer with the Refugee Resettlement program, eventually becoming a staff member in Spring 2016. In her role, she stewards the efforts of hundreds of volunteers giving their time to Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement Program. Hannah is a Midwest transplant with a degree from Loyola University Chicago. She completed two years of service with the United States Peace Corps in Senegal and wanted to continue serving those in need here in Oregon. Hannah enjoys travel, cooking, sewing, and exploring Oregon’s beautiful natural areas.
Jenifer McVicker | Development Associate
After being a stay-at-home mom and also working nine years in Development at the non-profit L’Arche USA, Jenifer McVicker joined Catholic Charities’ Development Department in 2010. She attended the University of Portland before graduating from Washington State University Vancouver with a degree in English. As Catholic Charities’ Development Associate, she manages the donor database, processes all donations, acknowledges our donors’ generosity, and helps the department run smoothly. A third-generation Oregonian, Jenifer most enjoys walking on the beach on the Oregon Coast and being with her husband, Larry, her two children, her mom, and her dog, Max.
Lauren Odderstol | Digital Marketing Specialist
Lauren Odderstol moved to Portland in January 2017 to begin a new adventure on the West Coast. As someone who is passionate about using creative skills to share stories of those in need, serving as Catholic Charities’ Digital Marketing Specialist is an ideal fit. Native to Virginia/the DC Metro area, Lauren spent three years in Arlington, VA working in the Creative department for International Justice Mission and on the Primetime Marketing team for Public Broadcasting Service. Prior to her domestic non-profit work, Lauren lived overseas working for Scripture Union Peru’s homes for abandoned children as an interpreter, mission trip liaison, and manager for a socially entrepreneurial café. Outside the office, Lauren enjoys running a photography business on the side, exploring Oregon’s gorgeous nature, traveling, and tasting the endless variety of IPAs and coffee that Portland has to offer.