Reena Joshi is a Global Influence Society member, a member of our Corporate Council and a member of our New York Community Engagement Board! We interviewed Reena about her history with Rise Against Hunger and her newfound passion for our work. Learn what drives Reena to stay so involved!
Q: How did you initially get involved with Rise Against Hunger?
I was working in the corporate sector but have always had a passion for philanthropy. Initially, I spent my free time leveraging my influence within this network towards fundraising and volunteer opportunities. This gave me a strong sense of fulfillment…until it didn’t. The turning point was when I no longer felt that I was giving enough outside of work and I wanted to do more. In 2019, I made the difficult decision to leave corporate America and dedicate all of my time towards philanthropy.
My original objective was to ensure my partnerships had an international reach and more specifically, focused on human rights. Although Rise Against Hunger was not an obvious fit due to its focus on hunger, I decided to keep an open mind and met with the New York team. And the rest is history!
Q: You support us through multiple channels. Can you share more about all the different ways you are involved and why you choose to make an impact through Rise Against Hunger?
As a donor, you are used to writing checks and not quite knowing where the money goes. Like most donors, we vet the organizations we are contributing to but it’s an added benefit to experience the activities on a grassroots level as well as the consistency of the strategic direction from the top-down.
From assisting with meal packing events (even hand washing equipment!) to joining the New York Community Engagement Board and Corporate Council, I’ve had the opportunity to partner at multiple touchpoints ranging from internal operations to an advisory capacity. Through these varying experiences, I have witnessed first-hand the credibility of the organization. I have confidence in the value of Rise Against Hunger’s work and the impact we make globally!
Q: You are a member of Rise Against Hunger’s new Global Influence Society. How has that changed your level of engagement? What inspires you to give?
The Global Influence Society has helped me connect even deeper with Rise Against Hunger! As donors supporting multiple organizations, COVID forced us to reassess our priorities — how and where should we expand our impact? Should we shift our contribution if the future of an organization is in question? How will this change my involvement? All of these concerns were top of my mind but quickly assuaged by Rise Against Hunger’s leadership team, who outlined a multi-faceted approach toward a COVID resilience plan while continuing to support our partners globally. This gave us the assurance & security we needed in our decision to expand our contribution, knowing there was a thoughtful, intentional plan in place. To learn more, check out Rise Against Hunger’s plans to continue empowering communities through sustainable agriculture projects while providing grants for local food procurement.
Q: How would you encourage others to engage?
I would encourage others to find that personal connection. At first, engaging with a hunger nonprofit wasn’t at the top of my list, and that is okay! Everyone has a different priority. Rise Against Hunger does so many things. If you care about education, Rise Against Hunger is working in education. Is there a specific country or region that you care about? Are you passionate about sustainable agriculture or climate change? Rise Against Hunger’s community-focused approach impacts all of these issues. It is important for supporters to know that the work we are doing is helping to create bright futures for so many children and families across the globe.