Charity Navigator: Meet the Team: My Nonprofit Journey

Welcome to our Meet The Team series, where each month we introduce a member of the Charity Navigator team to our readers. We are extremely honored to be a part of the nonprofit community where our footprint (and our ratings!) have expanded, and we are incredibly appreciative of the support received from our donors and users, nonprofits, and funders. We hope this series will be enlightening and entertaining. Click here for other profiles.

My name is Crystal Gouldey, Charity Navigator’s Senior Digital Marketing Manager since December 2021. My day-to-day role involves managing the digital marketing channels for our donor and nonprofit audiences. If you get an email from us, see a post on social media, or notice something new on the website, chances are I played a role!

While I have almost 15 years of experience in digital marketing, this is my first paid position in the nonprofit sector. My career journey has included positions in marketing technology, finance, and healthcare, where I achieved incredible success.  In 2019, I was honored to receive the  Medical Marketing & Media (MM+M) Young Marketer of the Year award. 

Giving back has been a core of my existence, having volunteered at various animal and wildlife shelters for years. After a rough patch spanning a few years where I was diagnosed with PTSD, multiple sclerosis, and other health issues, I felt a stronger pull to help others. I recognized that I was very privileged in my ability to figure out what helped me, which allowed me to begin truly living. I started volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters and a local domestic abuse shelter. I became hyper-aware of systemic issues I had not been exposed to as I volunteered with these organizations. It inspired me to launch my own small nonprofit focused on assisting individuals facing chronic conditions who are struggling mentally, physically, and emotionally. The more I entwined myself in the nonprofit world, the more it made me want to pursue a full-time role in an organization making a difference.

Charity Navigator first got on my radar when I needed to vet organizations for a donation as part of a marketing campaign. Using its free resources made my job much easier, and it felt good to be confident about the charity we wished to support. It was also the time when I began reading books by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn on the data-driven impact of various nonprofits. 

Something that surprised me was I still had access to many of the digital tools I was familiar with in previous roles. Many companies offer free or discounted tools and services to nonprofits, which is especially helpful in marketing. I had assumed my resources would be limited, so it was a pleasant affirmation. 

As we continue to face more global challenges, kind-hearted individuals will seek opportunities to help others. Charity Navigator provides invaluable information the public can access free of charge, and I’m proud to play a part in this effort. As a nonprofit, we help guide individuals, corporations, and foundations to impactful nonprofits where their money will do the most good.  We also provide nonprofits with resources to help them improve their impact and provide inspiration by sharing stories of nonprofits making a difference. Having joined Charity Navigator less than a year ago, I’ve been excited to grow our online presence as our rating systems prepare to merge in a few months and the giving season approaches at the end of the year.

In my case, the grass really was greener on the other side. I’ve worked with so many talented, passionate people throughout my career, but the team at Charity Navigator far exceeded my expectations. There’s something special when you have a close-knit team working together on a meaningful mission. Because of this, it was easy for me to feel welcomed even though I had to be integrated remotely. For anyone feeling pulled toward the nonprofit sector, don’t be afraid to share your story about why you’re passionate about working with a particular organization. 

Written by Crystal Gouldey, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Charity Navigator.

Photo Credits: Crystal Gouldey by permission. All Rights Reserved.

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