Member Spotlight with Jacqueline Perlman

YNPN Chicago Member and My Favorite Outfit Founder, Jacqueline Perlman
YNPN Chicago Member and My Favorite Outfit Founder, Jacqueline Perlman 

How did you first become interested in a nonprofit career? 

My parents would take me volunteering with them at a young age, and I continued to volunteer on my own throughout college. However, it wasn’t until my first job at a media company post-college that I realized I wanted to make a career out of giving back. I landed a marketing role at Action for Healthy Kids and tried to absorb everything I could during my time there so I would have the skills to start my own NPO. After one year on the job I was ready to launch My Favorite Outfit, which combines my two loves of fashion and women-empowerment.

Who is your professional mentor and why?

I don’t have a professional mentor, but I am on the lookout for one! In the meantime, I look to fashion brands, bloggers, and young nonprofit organizations for inspiration. Many of these young companies and bloggers collaborate with each other and have built strong local networks. I am trying to emulate this for My Favorite Outfit and create connections with anyone or any brand with a similar mission or passion in life. In fact, if you’re reading this and are intrigued, then shoot me an email!

In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue facing the nonprofit and social impact sector in Chicago? 

This is not unique to Chicago, but the most pressing issue facing the social impact sector is navigating the funding landscape. As founder of a young NPO I have scoured many resource databases, tuned into countless webinars, and attended a handful of trainings, but the key to fundraising success still escapes me. The truth is that grants are hard to come by and it can be terrifying to ask someone for money – especially large sums of money. Not to mention, you usually need an ‘in’ to connect with large corporate donors. Luckily there are organizations like YNPN to point us in the right direction, but it is still a challenge to take on fundraising all on your own.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?

Outside of work I absolutely love to cook. I am obsessed with all things Ina Garten and am reluctant to try any recipe besides her own. I recently had friends over for Friendsgivng and used her Accidental Turkey recipe, which I highly recommend.

If you could travel to one place in the world, where would you choose? 

My heart is set on traveling to South Africa. I keep hearing amazing stories of African safaris where wild animals are within arms length of you and nights are spent sleeping under the stars. It would be a wonderful adventure!

Member Spotlight is a recurring series that recognizes YNPN Chicago’s dedicated and accomplished membership. If you would like to nominate someone to be featured, please email using the subject line Member Spotlight.