Fellow Feature: Suhailah Waheed

Published: October 9, 2020

The interview series will share more about our Notley Fellows, who are rising entrepreneurs and business leaders in the Austin community passionate about helping to solve pressing issues in the social impact sector.

This week we are featuring Suhailah Waheed, Fundraising Manager at Giving Geeks, and member of the Fellows 2019 class.

Tell us about your purpose or “why” behind choosing to get involved in the social impact space.

The decision to get involved in the social impact space was mainly due to the acknowledgement of my own experiences as a Black Muslim woman, and the experience of those around me. Black people have been endorsing the social impact movement for longer than I have been alive, so it is my honor to continue that work for the communities I know and the ones I don’t.

I believe in my work as an advocate for women, and the BIPOC community. I believe in the collective power of the overlooked and underserved community. I believe in us, because our culture, political movements, and impact feeds the soul of our nation, and it is high time we sit at the head of the table. I got involved in the social impact space so that I could do my part to reinforce the potential and power that we share as a diverse community.

What Notley initiatives and/or programs have you participated in through this fellowship?

I have been able to deepen my work with Notley through their new NotleyEDU digital learning platform. I have been able to spend time exploring valuable concepts with Notley teams member who are focused on offering learning opportunities and solutions to nonprofits serving the Greater Austin Community. As a forever student of philanthropy, I was able to offer my opinion, research, and feedback on the ideas that would directly affect the industry that I work in and advocate for.

What has been the most beneficial part of the Fellowship experience for you?

The opportunity to take the lead. I have enjoyed not only engaging in some of the most important conversations in our community, but also being able to offer my skill set as a part of the solution. Notley has encouraged every fellow to do what they can, and offer what they know to enhance the quality of life for every community member, and that was the most important part of this fellowship.

What’s one thing that is giving you life right now?

Post lunchtime walks with my one year old nephew. They are the sweetest and most important moments in my life right now.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

I see myself, the “multi-passionate” queen, working on a unique startup while leading a national organization through a successful annual fundraising campaign with a mission to take a significant burden off of women and the BIPOC community.