Why I Give: Emily Essert

Apr 3, 2023

We sat down with Emily Essert, Ph.D., who joined People Incorporated’s Board of Directors in 2022 and currently serves as the Director of Institutional Partnerships at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. She’s also a People Incorporated sustaining donor.

Why People Incorporated?

For the past four years, I’ve been on my own mental health journey. In 2018, I had twins. Six weeks afterward, I found out that I had thyroid cancer. The whole thing was so challenging that after a year, I finally said, “I need help.” Funny enough, without getting cancer, I might not have had the courage to do that. But it’s been nothing short of miraculous for me.

I love how much People Incorporated emphasizes that it’s basic, regular health care. It’s community health. It’s made a difference for me and my family. I’m a better parent to my kids and a better spouse because I get mental health care. I’m so happy I can support an organization trying to share that message.

Why are recurring gifts the right philanthropic strategy for you?

I give a recurring gift because it makes it feel possible for me. We’re still paying for daycare, and the expense is intense. I don’t feel like I have a lump sum to give, but a little bit at a time feels like something that not only adds up but also fits into my monthly budget.

Having worked in nonprofits for a while now, I’m aware of how many important causes there are in the community. Now that I have some capacity, I feel like it’s really important to give what I can. I know there are so many community members in the Twin Cities that aren’t having their basic needs met, so the idea of not giving at all doesn’t even occur to me. One of the ways you can solve community challenges is by giving to nonprofits.

Why would you recommend this giving strategy to others?

Even a small recurring gift, whatever you would normally spend in a week on Starbucks, adds up over the year and is really impactful to a nonprofit. People have these ideas that if they can’t give a big gift to a nonprofit, it doesn’t matter. But that’s not true – it hits us in the heart when we know our donors are prioritizing us and making a choice to say, “I’m doing this because it matters.” Recurring gifts are really wonderful ways to show an organization that you care about them and want to support them in the long term.

I hope no one ever says, “I don’t want to give because I can’t give enough.” It always helps, and it all adds up.

Are you interested in setting up a recurring gift to People Incorporated? Visit the Give page on our website, which offers a “Recurring donation” option. If you have any questions or want to talk further about the value of setting up a recurring donation, email us at give@peopleincorporated.org.