Helping nonprofits make an impact

After moving to San Antonio in 2022, Rebecca White quickly found her niche. With two decades of experience in the nonprofit world, including five years leading her own consulting firm, she immediately started to explore the local nonprofit landscape.

When she learned about SVPSA from Partner Billy Cox, she was captivated.

“At first I thought wow, could this be? Maybe I don’t understand what he’s saying,” she said. “Then I dug into SVPSA and I was just so impressed.”

White soon joined SVPSA as a partner. After working with nonprofits in other markets, White said San Antonio’s nonprofit culture stands apart.

“I didn’t anticipate the depth and breadth of the nonprofits themselves and the collaborative spirit,” she said. “I think San Antonio knocks that out of the park. It’s more collaborative than competitive.”

White is the principal consultant at The Content Cove, where she specializes in helping leaders of small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations increase their impact. Her career has included roles as executive director, program director, board member and volunteer. It’s given her a unique understanding of the challenges facing nonprofit leaders.

“I just like helping the overloaded nonprofit executive director find that clarity on when and how to use the talents, time and tactics that best fit their organization,” she said.

One of her specialties is providing an outside perspective to nonprofit leaders and asking questions to help them discover the best path for their organization. For example, a client may contact her for help with grant writing to fund a program. With some discovery, she may find that the organization has some great contacts in the community that could lead to sponsorship or gift strategies that would be more effective for their goals than grant writing.

“We see where most of their success has come from and help them build on that,” she said.

She has a special passion for developing organizations that are just getting started.  

“I love figuring out how to make sustainable programs, which is why I love to work with smaller nonprofit executive directors who are basically running start-ups themselves,” she said.

With a career built around helping nonprofits succeed, she appreciates SVP’s model of bringing together philanthropy and nonprofits in a collaborative spirit.

She was also sold on the SVP leadership and its responsiveness to the nonprofit community. One example is Catchafire, the network that matches professionals who donate their time to nonprofits that need their skills.

“What Becky and her team have done, the way she and her board work together as collaborators, is really what drew me in,” White said. “They asked nonprofits what they needed, built the philanthropy to underpin it and made it happen.”

A native Texan, White has lived around the world. She grew up mainly in the Middle East and in locations including Malta, South Africa, Algeria, the UAE and the UK as her family followed her father’s career in the oil industry. She learned to snorkel before she could ride a bike.

After graduating from the University of Houston, she continued to move around the world when she married a Naval officer whose career spanned more than three decades. Following assignments in Japan, Bahrain, and across the United States, they retired to San Antonio in 2022 to be closer to family, friends and warm weather.  

As she deepens her involvement in San Antonio’s nonprofit world, White has assisted the current session of the SVP Fellowship, leading sessions on developing mission and vision statements.

“It’s fun to get to see and learn from the people who are doing the work in San Antonio,” she said.

She also sees opportunities to have fellow partners share more of their expertise and experience with fellows.

“We have such a diverse set of partners. If we can grow the number of partners that the fellows get to interact with over the course of their cohort, it would be a great learning experience for everyone, the nonprofits and the partners themselves,” she said. 

With a background in fundraising, communications and programming for nonprofit organizations including the Salvation Army and a chapter of The Arc in Maryland, White appreciates the unique benefits the fellowship program offers to nonprofit leaders, from building capacity to the opportunities for collaboration and partnership with other fellows.

“Sometimes if you’re in a really small nonprofit it can be lonely when you’re trying to figure out problems by yourself all the time. But now you have people doing similar work to you, facing similar challenges. They understand your issues,” she said. “You can brainstorm ways forward, provide a place to chat and help each other with self-care because nonprofit folks are often focused on other people and tend not to focus on themselves.”