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Alison Hight

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Pronouns: she/they

Alison Hight is a Director at Elevate, a leading grant writing firm that provides top-level development expertise to nonprofits nationwide. Her certification as a Fundraising Executive (CFRE) is a testament to her commitment to excellence. Alison has supported organizations focused on democracy, equity and social justice in the arts, youth and adult education, workforce development, healthcare, and international development. She brings deep issue knowledge in the arts, media, civic engagement, advocacy, and human rights, and is deeply engaged in women’s and gender issues.

Alison is a relationship developer and partnership identifier who excels at connecting people based on what excites them and the type of impact they want to have. She creates relationships where everyone can deepen their impact while sparking new ideas that can further their mutual visions. Alison is also an accomplished trainer and presenter who has developed internal and external training materials on essential fundraising topics and development activities. Her background in Visual Communications and Economics, as well as training in video and audio production, has allowed her to explore creative solutions to complex problems.

Alison is deeply committed to creating a more equitable and just philanthropic sector. She believes that fundraising is a critical tool for social change, and that it should be approached in a way that centers the values of equity, justice, and community power. Alison works to dismantle systemic barriers that have historically excluded marginalized communities from philanthropy, and advocates for funding models that prioritize community-driven solutions. Alison has developed and leads trainings on the power of language and how fundraisers can use it as active participants in creating more equitable philanthropy, the first of which she presented at the Grant Professional Association’s national conference in 2019.

Outside of work, Alison explores the human experience through experimental multi-disciplinary art and creative coding. She is also a transformational coach, avid reader, traveler, and coffee drinker. Alison’s favorite aspects of working at Elevate are the variety of clients she works with, the ongoing opportunities to learn, and feeling like she gets to be part of deepening the positive impact of people on the world.

What is your favorite quotation?

Among my favorites, from Mark Twain, “Words are only painted fire, a look is the fire itself.” I sometimes think of my words as painted fire as a draft proposals and outreach to supporters.

Who would play you in a movie of your life?

I present for immediate consideration a selection of important, yet largely un-discovered, talent: my cat, Sunji; the trench coat with a child and a broom from Bojack; or, as co-stars, my fern and his brother, La Fern and Surely.

What’s your favorite thing to do in DC?

Museum hopping, checking out shows at small venues, attending free lectures, and supporting friends’ creative endeavors.

What’s your biggest grammatical pet peeve?

I don’t honestly have any. We’re all human.

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