Alumni on the Move: Shawn Cote ‘06

Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Shawn Cote

Shawn Cote ’06 recently got a new job as VP of Digital Fundraising at Community Funded, a company that offers a digital fundraising platform and consultative solutions for digital fundraising efforts like Crowdfunding, Day of Giving, and online giving.

Shawn works directly with nonprofits to share the company’s platform and help them with best practice applications.

“I’ve always been interested in the tech space that caters to nonprofits, and what is being used to advance the causes that people care about most,” said Shawn. “I found a unique opportunity with Community Funded which combined a care for the mission with great technology. In my new role, I get to work with a company and a technology that I truly believe in while directly supporting the fundraising efforts of a wide range of nonprofit missions.”

Shawn says he’s fascinated by how nonprofits and donors interact.

“The way that nonprofits attract donors now is much different than it was 20, 10, and in some cases even 5 years ago,” he said. “It’s exciting to have a front row seat to how a whole industry is quickly developing.”

Shawn is a 2006 graduate of Thomas College. He says Thomas prepared him for his fast-paced career.

“Thomas provided me with community and a learning environment that exposed me to people, ideas, and challenges that developed my personal framework to succeed in my career,” he said.

One such opportunity was when he came back from Iraq. He sat in on a lunch with the development team at the time. They had invited a generous husband and wife couple, who had just started a scholarship for Maine veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, which Shawn was a recipient.

“I look back at that single experience as one that has in some ways influenced my entire career and exposed me to other opportunities,” he said. “As recently as a year ago, I came across that donor and got to thank him for his generosity.”

At Thomas, Shawn studied sports management and criminal justice. While going to school, he worked in the computer lab, in admissions as a student ambassador, the book store and was a resident’s assistant. He also was a member of the campus activities board, an orientation leader and helped restart the men’s hockey club.

“I came into my own at Thomas for a number of reasons, but it certainly helped that I had a small and supportive community that allowed me to foster my strengths and work on my weaknesses,” he said.

Shawn said being involved in his alumni community at Thomas is important to him, and he encourages other alumni to not just consider writing a check – but also help out by spreading their connections across generations of Thomas students and alumni – “by welcoming the opportunity to help a rising junior get an internship, by helping a graduating senior land a great job or by accepting a request for an informational interview,” he said.

“Thomas is a special place, but it’s most special to those that helped make it that way and continue to do so,” said Shawn. “We can continue to make Thomas special by helping each other and promoting Thomas with pride to those in our communities.”

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