Imagine the feel of warm sand squeezing between your toes, the sight of seagulls soaring overhead, and the enveloping mist of the salty ocean breeze. Unlike the familiar landscapes for Tompkins County locals, such serene beaches are a cherished source of joy for Ithaca Children’s Garden’s new Development Associate, Taylor Gettis (she/her).
“I love walking on the beach, working from the beach, and embracing a Zoi lifestyle that revolves around clean living and healthy eating,” Taylor shared. Taylor brings a welcome infusion of philanthropic spirit and an alternative, island-inspired lifestyle into her Ithaca Children’s Garden role.
As a pre-teen, Taylor discovered her philanthropic passion while volunteering for a Breast Cancer 5K Walk. “I can still recall that day, getting up at 3 AM, ready to assist with participant registration. I felt pride and deeply committed, especially given the prevalence of breast cancer within the African-American community.” This event represented a triumph for these individuals and instilled in Taylor a profound dedication to mission-oriented work. As a result, she decided to channel that commitment into a career and pursue further education. Graduate school not only honed her skills but steered her onto a lifelong path devoted to nonprofit and development work.
However, finding a place in Ithaca Children’s Garden, a nonprofit focused on connecting children to nature, was another journey—one she relates to her travels to the Bahamas: “Islanders there have taught me the value of life in a way that’s strikingly different from my upbringing. They encourage moments of stillness, urging you to focus intently on your actions and their repercussions. This island lifestyle encourages enjoying every moment, a philosophy I deeply admire and try to implement.”
After spending time in tropical Florida, Taylor became interested in conservation and environmental organizations. “I prioritize nonprofits that advocate for genuine environmental efforts, not just surface-level changes,” she expressed. She added, “My life now revolves around what makes me feel good. Moving to tropical areas, adopting a clean lifestyle, spending time outdoors, and remotely working has given me a sense of balance. Through this, I’ve found greater fulfillment, especially in organizations that aim to connect people to their true selves and the world around them.”
Taylor’s decision to join the Ithaca Children’s Garden harmoniously blended her personal and professional interests. “The Garden’s conservation and environmental stewardship mission aligns perfectly with what I believe in. I aim to harness my expertise, especially in database management and segmentation within the CRM, to further the Garden’s impact. I’ll be focused on refining our outreach to identify our constituents’ giving capacities, ensuring we can make a greater difference in our community.”
Erin Marteal, ICG’s Development Director, welcomes Taylor, noting, “Taylor brings years of experience in fundraising and data management. Her expertise in automating and streamlining internal functions is invaluable. We are excited about the potential of spending more of our Development team’s energy on building genuine relationships with and stewarding our invaluable donors.”
Please join us in welcoming Taylor Gettis to the Ithaca Children’s Garden community and discover the journey ahead for empowering more children with nature connections to create a more beautiful, resilient, and just world.