Melissa Biggar’s childhood shyness compelled her to hone her writing skills, but once she came out of her shell her family couldn’t shut her up. The result: more than 20 years of communications and client relations experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. With professional interests as eclectic as her iPhone playlist, she has worked in publishing, philanthropic foundations, higher education, and the financial industry. Melissa studied English literature and creative writing at Dickinson College and has participated in several writers’ workshops, including the prestigious Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in rural Middlebury, VT, where the first chapter to her still-not-published (or written, for that matter) novel was born and where she spent a week without access to a hairdryer, both profound experiences in her adult life.
As Director of Annual Giving and Donor Relations at Family Promise, Melissa does more than count money like a veteran bank teller. She works with a dedicated and talented development and communications team to raise awareness of the crisis of family homelessness and support for families rebuilding their lives. She manages multiple fundraising campaigns, giving societies, and donor communications throughout the year, including Family Promise’s annual appeal and its quarterly newsletter. Her passion for developing innovative, creative, and effective content and her fervent belief in the power of storytelling inform her work, and she helps Family Promise graduates share their journeys to demonstrate the transformative and far-reaching impact the organization has on families’ lives while in the program and after.
Melissa was born in New York City, which probably explains her insatiable attraction to The Big Apple, and grew up in New Jersey defying convention by attending only one Bruce Springsteen concert and knowing how to pump her own gas. Most of her writing now involves dollars and sense, but the Great American Novel is hidden somewhere deep inside her waiting for the right time to surface. Melissa loves to travel and has never met a plane ticket she didn’t like. She calls Morris County, NJ, home along with her Puerto Rican rescue dog, Kenny (who doesn’t speak Spanish or English), and her two American kids, Brigette and Peter (who both speak English but prefer to text).
(908) 273-1100, ext. 121