Cat Cvengros is a nationally recognized expert in fundraising, donor development, client storytelling and public speaking. She believes in service and is honored to be the bridge between those that find themselves in need of help and those that can help.
Cat currently gets to be a managing director at Aperio Philanthropy, where she helps nonprofits across the country deliver on their missions with ethical fundraising practices. Cat most recently served as Chief Philanthropy Officer for Second Harvest of Silicon Valley. There she led a team of 70 amazing humans to increase revenues 203%, from $37M to $112M. She also launched the company’s $150M capital campaign, which was part of a $200M project to unify the food bank’s operations and expand its volunteer space. Cat was instrumental in securing company’s largest donation in its history of $25M and was the primary solicitor for several other 8-figure donations.
Cat strengthened operating revenues during her five years at Second Harvest by focusing on growth areas, notably growing the donor pool between annual fund and major donors to increase upgrade potential. Pre-pandemic, Cat led her team to grow sum of individual major gifts from $22M to $27M over three years and increased average gift per major donor by 29%. She also achieved 43% growth (from $7M to $10M) in children’s program funding by managing strategic partnerships with high-profile campaign partners such as Reid Hoffman, Sheryl Sandberg, John Donahoe and Bill Gurley.
Prior to Second Harvest, Cat worked on behalf of those experiencing homelessness for ten years. She served as Chief Development Officer at Social Advocates for Youth in Santa Rosa, CA, which helps homeless and former-foster youth. There she led a $10M capital campaign to open the Dream Center, which provides housing for more than 60 youth and services for thousands annually. Under her leadership, the agency increased its annual operating revenues by 133% over five years. At Committee on the Shelterless in Petaluma, CA, Cat managed development staff in numerous projects, including agency-wide application process for $1M State of California Federal Emergency Shelter grants resulting in agency ranking in the top 15% out of over 300 statewide applications.
Cat began her professional life of service in the United States Peace Corps, where she served in Armenia. Earning proficiency in the Armenian language, Cat worked side-by-side with local Armenians and helped open the nation’s first domestic violence shelter, organized nation-wide HIV/AIDS trainings, advocated for and succeeded in expanding healthcare to rural villages and enjoyed a lot of delicious Armenian food.
Cat holds an MBA from Dominican University and a Bachelor of science from Baldwin-Wallace University. Cat regularly speaks at conferences, guest lectures and participates in storytelling events. Cat is a recipient of two 40 Under 40 awards: Silicon Valley and San Francisco North Bay. Cat left her heart in San Francisco to move to be with her love in Oklahoma City, Mike Slack, his children and her cat, Fake Joe Louis. She spends her free time dabbling in astronomy and getting to know the great plains.