Martha E. Heuser wants to be known as a “social architect” – someone who builds and bridges networks between people and organizations. This is best manifested in her commitments as a Board Member of the Young Professionals Network of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce (since 2011) and as a Co-Chair of the Nonprofit Leadership Alumni Association (since 2014). By day she’s a fundraiser for the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a fully defined benefits plan with over $8.5 billion in assets and over 45,000 members. Martha works to support the Assistance Program that provides $5.3 million in grants to those whose needs exceed the bounds of the benefits plan, personal resources, and other means. She previously managed and wrote grant proposals for a children’s social services agency, securing $300,000 from foundations and corporations. Prior to that, she worked for the National Park Service, and as a consultant for federally funded projects in the tri-state region, managing wireless telecommunication projects. Not being bound by any sector, having worked in them all, Martha’s interested in creating the most sustainable impact and finding where social innovation can be best realized. She received her B.A. cum laude in Historic Preservation from the University of Mary Washington, a Certificate in Fundraising from Villanova University, and a M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.
What I was looking for and found in the Nonprofit Leadership Program was to challenge my thinking and look at the bigger picture. To this day, there are certain concepts and themes that I apply regularly in my professional and personal life. In addition, I greatly valued the diversity and learnings from my classmates, and am excited by these dynamic, emerging thought leaders and what we will achieve together.