United Way of Southwest Alabama / Uncategorized  / United Way Staff Spotlight – Lauren Luckie-Merz
UWSWA Staff Spotlight: Lauren Luckie-Merz, Manager of Donor Relations

United Way Staff Spotlight – Lauren Luckie-Merz

Lauren Luckie-Merz, serving as the Manager of Donor Relations since May 2nd, 2022, was initially drawn to the United Way by its clear and impactful mission: to improve the quality of life in the community. With a strong dedication to her hometown of Mobile, Alabama, Lauren felt a deep-rooted motivation to contribute to its betterment. Her professional journey before joining the United Way was deeply entrenched in the non-profit sector. Beginning her career in higher educational fundraising at Spring Hill College and later serving as the Coordinator of Development at United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile, Lauren accrued valuable experience and developed a profound understanding of how partnerships, like that with the United Way, can significantly influence and drive mission success.

In her role as one of the Managers of Donor Relations, Lauren plays a pivotal role in raising crucial funds for the United Way Campaign. Collaborating closely with the Board of Trustees, Campaign Committee, and the Resource Development team, she is tasked with securing $3,150,000 to support the counties of Mobile, Choctaw, Clarke, and Washington. Her daily responsibilities revolve around fostering and nurturing relationships with business leaders and individual donors, elucidating the various pathways through which their contributions can positively impact the community.

One of Lauren’s significant focuses has been nurturing the Emerging Leaders Affiliate group, a community of young professionals dedicated to making a difference. These Emerging Leaders, contributing between $125-$250 annually, represent a passionate group committed to effecting positive change. Their collective pledge of $28,665.23 signifies their unwavering belief in the community’s betterment.

Lauren finds immense inspiration in the United Way’s mission to enhance community life. Her core value of “showing up” guides her commitment to being present in moments of crisis and in the multitude of small actions that contribute to meaningful change. Beyond her professional endeavors, Lauren finds balance by prioritizing family, investing in relationships, and participating in creative hobbies like playing the bass guitar, board games, pickleball, creative writing, and music, as well as attending therapy to ensure she brings her best self to both work and personal life.

In reflecting on her journey, Lauren recalls a quote by Anaïs Nin that has been a guiding light since her high school days: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” This mantra resonates deeply, reminding her of the transformative power of embracing risks and growth.

Lauren’s dedication to her community, coupled with her commitment to fostering meaningful change through her role at the United Way of Southwest Alabama, underscores her passion for creating a positive impact and leaves an indelible mark on those she engages with daily.


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