Margaret Cohen is thrilled to be joining WHC so she can answer the question her mother asked her when she declared her major at Tulane University 35 years ago: “What do you do with a degree in Jewish Studies?”

In honesty, she admits she has unexpectedly created a career in development that she is deeply grateful for. Aside from a stint on Capitol Hill after earning her master’s degree in journalism, Margaret has spent decades working in the nonprofit world. She started in communications and became what’s known in the industry as an Accidental Fundraiser—beginning in online fundraising and eventually learning all aspects of individual philanthropy. She has a proven track record of exceeding revenue and activity targets, developing successful cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship initiatives, leading teams, implementing strategy, and connecting with funders in meaningful ways. She approaches life and her career from a learner’s mindset and has appreciated the opportunity to work for both domestic and international organizations.

She loves working in philanthropy because it gives her the chance to sit with people who want to make the world a better place by investing in organizations that are close to their hearts. She can’t wait to spend her time talking with donors who want to help Washington Hebrew Congregation and Reform Jewish values continue to thrive in a changing world.

She lives in Bethesda, MD, with her family, including rescue dog Nelson (who’s always looking for doggie playdates). When she’s not working or keeping her dog busy, she might be doing yoga, practicing mindfulness, enjoying her backyard, reading modern fiction from her porch swing (her happy place), laughing with friends, or learning mahjong. She loves traveling and being exposed to new cultures. And she rarely misses a chance to go to the theater.