Few individuals embody the spirit of innovation and compassionate leadership as profoundly as Devan Mercurio, Senior Manager of Development at Pittsburgh Public Theater. As she stands on the cusp of pivotal career advancements, including completing her MBA and obtaining her CFRE, Mercurio’s vision for the future is clear and compelling.

Embracing Growth and Leadership

Mercurio’s journey is marked by a passionate commitment to growth and efficiency. Her philosophy blends ambitious professional goals with a deep understanding of the need for empathetic leadership.She underscores the importance of “compassionate communication and self-care for those who lead.” Mercurio’s approach to leadership is not just about achieving targets; it’s about nurturing a team and cultivating a culture of kindness and efficiency. In her pursuit of these goals, Mercuriois acutely aware of potential obstacles, notably the fluctuating economy and the constant battle against time and resource limitations. “Things are too hard and they don’t have to be,” she remarks, advocating for automation and smarter work approaches.

A Vision for Fundraising’s Future 

Mercurio envisions a thriving philanthropic culture at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, especially in the context of changing donor demographics. “Millennial and Gen Z really give with their values,” she notes, emphasizing the shift towards smaller, more consistent donations, akin to a subscription model. This vision aligns with her belief in thanking donors, which she considers the most significant impact on fundraising. “Truly thanking people goes a long way,” she states, reflecting on the importance of gratitude in donor relations.Her success in donor retention and stewardship stems from a straightforward yet often overlooked strategy: just ask. Mercurio’s philosophy is rooted in persistence and clear communication, ensuring donors are regularly engaged and informed.

Personal Growth and Work-Life Balance 

Mercurio’s reflections on personal growth and work-life balance are particularly striking. She candidly discusses the challenges of overextension and the importance of self-care, not just for individual well-being but also as a means to enhance professional effectiveness. “If you don’t have time to unplug and recharge, you can’t give yourself,” she advises, emphasizing the importance of leading by example in promoting a healthy work culture.

Devan Mercurio’s story is one of resilience, innovation, and heartfelt leadership. As she looks ahead, her blend of strategic thinking, technological prowess, and compassionate leadership poise her to make a significant impact on the future of fundraising at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. Her journey serves as an inspiration to those in the nonprofit sector, demonstrating how embracing change, technology, and self-care can lead to profound and sustainable success in the world of philanthropy.