Chad Leathers – Executive Director & Co-Founder, Cupid Charities

Featured October 2014

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Chad Leathers, his brother Drew and Atlanta Race Directors: Hannah Thompson & Chris Griffith

Chad Leathers, his brother Drew and Atlanta Race Directors: Hannah Thompson & Chris Griffith

Name: Chad Leathers
Title: Executive Director & Co – Founder
Location: Cupid Charities | Cupid’s Undie Run
Number of years as a fundraiser: 6
Number of years at current organization: 5

What inspired you to do this work?
To begin with, my youngest brother Drew. Drew was born with Neurofibromatosis (NF) and has had more than 20 surgeries, spent 4 or 5 Christmases in the hospital and in 2009, 183 straight days in John’s Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He was definitely the spark, but now I cannot say enough about the team and NF community around us. People want to make an impact and I think it’s my job to supply the tools to do that. For Drew and for the entire NF community.

What has happened recently that pumped you up?
We recently had a training camp for all of our volunteer race directors. Their energy and passion is simply incredible, especially those who have no direct connection to NF. These unique people believe what we believe and are willing to sacrifice their time and energy for something great. It is easy to get pumped up with examples like this.

Tell us of a recent challenge that you’ve faced?
“Letting go.” As a co-founder of a growing organization, I certainly have a way of how I would do things, but as a leader within the organization it is my challenge to put people in places to succeed and have control enough to let go.

What is next for you as a P2P fundraiser?
I hope the answer is “a bigger year than we ever imagined.”

What advice would you give to someone just starting a career in athletic event fundraising?
Find a cause you love and never stop being persistent. Love to learn the word “no” because if you’re hearing it, you’re probably heading in the right direction. Today’s market has never been more competitive, so to stand out, you must challenge what has been considered normal or standard. Enjoy it!

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