Please join us in welcoming the newest member of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation team, Chief Development Officer, Allan Marshall!
A Cuney, Texas native, Allan has an extensive background in fundraising and philanthropy initiatives for numerous institutes of higher education and non-profit organizations in Waco, Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston. An avid purveyor of bow-ties and crazy socks, his mounting collection contains the perfect accessory for any occasion. Allan resides in Richmond with his wife, Amy, a teacher, where the pair enjoy long walks and watching college football.
What drew you to the position of Chief Development Officer/Director of Development?
“I’m passionate about fundraising” said Marshall, “the ability to connect intentionally to something is so important.” As a literacy advocate, Allan’s experience and devotion to the literary legacy of Mrs. Bush make him an excellent addition to our team.
What is one particular aspect of the Foundation’s mission that resonates with you?
“All facets of the Foundation piqued my interest”, chimed Marshall. As a fan of the Bush family, the legacy and work of former First Lady Barbara Bush drew him to the position. From an organizational standpoint, Marshall is most excited for the “ability to start at a grassroots level” while generating new and expanding existing philanthropic initiatives for the Foundation.
How do you anticipate your previous work experience to be similar or different from the work you will do at the Foundation?
Marshall states, “I have spent twelve years in the higher education and non-profit sector and I believe that each position has made me ready.” He believes that his ability and experience fundraising for institutes of higher education will yield new ventures for the Foundation. Marshall believes his future endeavors will shaped by his acquaintance with successful fundraising models and his ability to “take [his] background and professional experience” and cultivate innovative and successful development opportunities.
In your opinion, what is the best practice to ensure that a non-profit organization becomes a valuable contributor to the communities it serves?
“I want to have an organization that can have an impact in the community” provided Marshall “I think the best way to ensure this is to find people and donors who are passionate about the cause.” When asked about the best way to mobilize individuals for the cause, Marshall answered “we need a multifaceted approach”, emphasizing the value of stewardship and financial commitment to our cause.
How would you best encourage someone wanting to get involved with one of the Foundation’s many initiatives?
To Marshall, “It’s a matter of connecting. We want everyone to be involved.” Marshall encourages literacy advocates to engage in thoughtful dialogues discussing the issues of literacy inequity many of our city’s students face. “We have to have people who want to be a part of us.” To learn more about one of the Foundation’s auxiliary groups, or to discover how to get involved, click HERE.
What are you most excited about in this new role?
As with any new position, opportunities and excitement abound. Marshall recognizes the value of opportunity and matches it with his bold vision to “build a good, well-working fundraising strategy for a place I’m passionate about.” Marshall deems this new position “the epitome of something I’ve always wanted. Not everyone gets the dream job, but this is mine.”
As a fan of the Bush family, what is your favorite memory of meeting with them?
A presidential history enthusiast, Marshall enjoys learning about former presidents and is particularly interested in the Bush presidencies. When presented the opportunity to meet former President George W. Bush at a game at Marshall’s alma mater, Baylor University, Marshall recalls feeling “completely starstruck. I think I was able to coherently thank him for his service to our country… it was the highlight of my career.”
As a self-described collector of a wide variety of funky socks, describe your favorite pair.
Marshall paused briefly, “there’s too many” he offered, considering his vast collection before enthusiastically describing his favorite pair featuring the hoverboard from Back to the Future. With a sock for every occasion, Marshall proceeded to describe his various pairs of literacy-themed socks, which he assured would be proudly worn in the office.
What was your favorite book to read as a child?
An avid reader since his childhood in Cuney, Marshall enjoyed classic series’ such as The Boxcar Children and The Hardy Boys, which ignited the passion for reading he has sustained into adulthood.
We want to extend our warmest welcome to Allan as he begins this new chapter at the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. Allan’s energy, enthusiasm, and unparalleled passion for philanthropy and literacy will make a wonderful contribution to our team.