Abby Back

Nothing is ever too small, whether it’s time or money or something else of value. You never hear someone say they regretted giving…

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Profession: Management Consulting

What was the first gift you ever gave?:

When I was in high school, the track team was raising money for an athlete with cancer. I didn’t run track, but I told my friends and family that I would walk five miles if they would donate. We raised $500 for her family, and it was the first time I felt empowered by the idea that a bit of effort to get small donations can make a big impact on someone’s life.

What is your charity of choice?:

My local public radio and my alma mater.

Who inspires you to give?:

I’m inspired by my grandparents, who have been generous with their time and resources to give back to their communities for as long as I can remember. I hope to someday be half as selfless as they are.

What motivates you to give?:

I’ve seen so many small fundraising programs succeed because enough people cared to donate just a small amount. I can’t help but be hopeful even when a fundraiser starts small. Plus it always feels good to give back.

How do you give of your time?:

In grad school, I served as a secretary for an organization that connected students to organizations and efforts serving the large refugee population in Atlanta. It was a great way to help connect others with an avenue for giving back, even when they did not have the financial means to do so.  It also opened my eyes to the complex issues surrounding refugee resettlement in the U.S..

What advice do you have for others to consider giving?:

Nothing is ever too small, whether it’s time or money or something else of value. You never hear someone say they regretted giving.

Lauren Shoolman


Lauren is a development professional with five years of experience in Canada and the United States in individual and institutional giving, and special events. She is an Emerging Leaders of New York Arts (ELNYA) Fellow, a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in New York, and has been invited to deliver guest lectures at St. Lawrence University, NY, on fundraising. Lauren holds a BA Specialized Honors in Marketing and a Certificate in Management from York University, Canada.

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Why We Give tells stories of ordinary philanthropists, making a difference, dollar by dollar and hour by hour.  

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