Brad Jessen

For almost eight years, Brad has worked in the Mission’s development department, and we are blessed to have him in this position.

During Griff’s 21-year tenure at Denver Rescue Mission, funding for the Mission increased dramatically. Why do you believe he was successful, and how do you plan to continue that success?

During his time at the Mission, Griff was a champion of relationships. No matter where Griff went, he made everyone in the room feel comfortable and valued. He cultivated authentic relationships with members of the community—both donors and volunteers—and brought them into the Mission family so they could experience lives being changed here first-hand. He fostered this same warm environment among his team.  

Finally, and most importantly, Griff kept Christ at the center of all we do. I’m so grateful for his service to the Mission, and the incredible foundation he built for our current team to stand on as we strive to raise the resources necessary to meet the ever-increasing needs in our community. 

In many ways, continued success will require more of the same. Relationships are at the core of what we do and that won’t change. However, future generations see philanthropy differently, desiring even more authenticity from and personal connection to the organizations they support. Our challenge will be to find ways to communicate creatively so they will clearly see and understand the amazing work our staff does each day and be inspired to generously support that work.  

Why are you excited to lead the Development team at the Mission?  

We have an immensely talented development team, and it is a privilege to work with them every day. God has brought exceptional storytellers, content creators, campaign architects, relationship builders, volunteer and mentor “coaches,” PR experts, and event planners to the Mission who all simply want to help share stories of life change with our donors and other members of our community, and ultimately see God glorified in all that we do.

They are also 100 percent committed to reaching our fundraising and volunteer support goals, so the Mission will continue to be there to meet the needs of those experiencing homelessness and poverty in our community for many years to come. They understand the seriousness of our work, but they also don’t take themselves too seriously in their day-to-day efforts, so we have a lot of fun!

How does raising funds and encouraging volunteerism for the Mission tie into your personal mission?  

Service was something my parents and grandparents instilled in me from a very young age, so working in the nonprofit sector has been a natural fit. As I grew older and began a career in fundraising, the idea of biblical stewardship was introduced to me by mentors, pastors and fellow Christian development professionals.

I was inspired by friends and donors I met along my journey who humbly asked themselves, “How can I use what God has given me to serve others and do Kingdom work?” With those experiences as a backdrop, I now see my role not so much as a fundraiser, but rather a facilitator of relationships, and at times, a philanthropic advisor to the donors I work with closely.

I would describe my personal mission as helping members of our community fulfill their personal missions by giving their time, talent and treasure, and I get to do that every day in this role. It is thrilling to have a front row seat to the incredible generosity of our Denver, Fort Collins and entire Northern Colorado community. Now let’s go change lives together!     

This post is part of September’s Changing Lives Newsletter. This month, we’re sharing Vince and Ralph’s story of overcoming hardship in: Good Works.