Welcome to The Able Trust.
The Able Trust, also known as the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation, is a 501(c)(3) public charity established by the Florida Legislature in 1990 as a direct support organization for the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Its mission is to be a key leader in providing Floridians with disabilities opportunities for successful employment. Since its establishment, The Able Trust has worked with community organizations throughout the state to help thousands of Floridians with disabilities of all ages enter the workforce. The Able Trust youth programs provide career development and transition to many students with disabilities annually, helping to reduce the dropout rate and prepare young adults for life beyond high school.
ABLE TRUST EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT
Celebrating 10 Years at The Able Trust
Four Questions With Mary Jo Hatala, Director of Donor Services
QUESTION: What do you do at the Able Trust?
RESPONSE: Currently, I am the Director of Donor Services. I started here as Assistant to the President in 2009, and I have been working in donor services since 2011. I am responsible for all communications with our donors and that they are kept up to date on how their support is helping people with disabilities all around Florida. I search for and write grants, and I prepare grant reports so funders know what programs their donation supports and who they are helping. I like numbers, so I actually like preparing reports and analyzing data. I maintain our donor database and track information like donations and contacts with our donors. Additionally, I do a lot of writing, including grant proposals, reports, letters, and articles.
QUESTION: What do you like best about your work?
RESPONSE: It’s always been important to me that my work means something and makes a difference. Almost every full-time job I have ever had has been in human services in some form, from a children’s therapy group, to a classroom for students with autism, to nonprofit organizations like the Able Trust.
QUESTION: Because you work so closely with donors, you have a unique perspective - what do you feel a donor who is considering the Able Trust should know about the organization and the work that is does?
RESPONSE: Some donors greatly underestimate the part they play when it comes to the success and outcomes of any organization or agency, including the Able Trust. Little to nothing could be done without donors. You hear all the time, “Every little bit helps”, and that is true. Any time a donor reads a success story or positive outcomes about a program, they should feel proud of themselves for investing in someone else’s successful life and happiness.
Donors of the Able Trust have a lot of flexibility.They can support programs like High School High Tech or Disability Employment Awareness Month activities, or their gifts can be extended to organizations all over the state that assist people with disabilities, through our grants program.
QUESTION: What has been something interesting you have learned in the last ten years at the Able Trust?
RESPONSE: Before coming to the Able Trust, I had some experience writing grants and also serving on a grant committee that reviewed applications from local programs. It’s a neat and unique opportunity to combine both of those worlds here. We apply for grants and have supporters of our work, but also get to help other nonprofit organizations do their work by providing grant money to support their programs.