rebermd_pic 2This month we spoke with Carrie Reber, one of the original members of TPC, about her experience with the organization and what has kept her coming back as a TPC member for five years! Carrie, who has an extensive career in software marketing, is currently the VP, Worldwide Marketing at DataCore Software.

Q. Carrie, you joined TPC when it started in 2012. How did you find out about the organization?

A. We were living in Ohio, and had become empty nesters, with our kids both in the Northeast. So we decided to move to Boston, and I moved first to start a new job while my husband remained in Ohio to wrap up the house sale and arrangements. I was living in Cambridge alone, started going to a local yoga class to keep busy, and one day a fellow yoga student stood up and announced to the class that she was starting a philanthropy group for women if anyone was interested. That was Marla, and I was interested, and I’ve been a member ever since.

Q. What aspects of TPC have you been involved in?

A. Because of my marketing background, I started out helping with the communications committee and with the TPC website. I’m on one of the grant review committees this year. And although my travel schedule for work is busy, I attend as many of the Dialogues and other TPC events as I can.

Q. What do you enjoy about being part of TPC?

Carrie (right) with member Barbara Gross at a Philanthropy Dialogue.

A. I’ve always been interested in projects that are intended to make the world a better place. In Ohio, I was very active in a program that worked on refugee resettlement. Now in Boston, TPC gives me a chance to see the needs of this community and to learn about the programs that are making a difference. I like that relatively small contributions from a number of people can be pooled to have a transformational impact on important programs. The events and dialogues I’ve attended have been great, both for learning about organizations and for meeting people – I’ve met such interesting, accomplished women through TPC.

The other thing that I’ve found really interesting is that I’ve learned so much about non-profit organizations. Before, I would just look at the mission of a program to decide if I wanted to support it. Now, having met women who really have solid experience in the non-profit world, and watching how they evaluate programs, I see the questions they ask about organization, finances, leadership and how those aspects should be considered too. I’ve come to understand that we need to look beyond the good intentions and pay attention to the discipline required in running a non-profit organization well and sustainably.

Q. Have you gotten more involved with any of the organizations you’ve learned about through TPC?

A. There are a few that especially appeal to me, and I have contributed to in addition to the grant provided by TPC. I’ve supported Silver Lining Mentoring, and Sibling Connections. I’ve also supported Family Nurturing Center, which gives welcome baskets to young pregnant women and provides education for mothers and fathers to become the best parents they can be. I’ve been knitting a blanket for one of the baskets, but that’s become more of a long-term project.

Q. What would you tell women who are thinking about joining TPC?

A. I would tell them not to be worried about not knowing anyone in the organization. Many of the women in TPC know each other and already have connections within the group, but lots of us didn’t know anyone at all, and everyone is incredibly friendly and welcoming. As someone who knew no one in Boston at the time I joined, it was a great way for me to meet people. And even if you have a lot of other commitments, you can participate in as many or as few events and committees as you’re able to, it’s worth it even if you only have a little time.