Young Professional 2022: Anneke M. Rachinski

Anneke Rachinski

Anneke M. Rachinski

Director for Resource
Development & Planned Giving Columbia Basin College Foundation

What’s your dream vacation?
My dream vacation is road tripping around to weird roadside attractions or events with my kids. That or the ocean.

Favorite book? Movie?
Book: “All My Puny Sorrows,” by Miriam Toews.
Movie: “Good Will Hunting”

What would people
be most surprised to learn about you?
I play a mean game of badminton. At least against my kids.

Favorite snack?
Easter egg shaped Reese’s

Age: 35

Current city of residence: Richland

How long have you worked there? 7 years

Briefly describe your company:

Columbia Basin College is a federally-designated Hispanic-Serving Institution that offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs from short term certificates to bachelor’s degrees. As a public community college, we focus on meeting students where they are at, serving workforce development needs and providing economic opportunities for those in our community.

Columbia Basin College inspires, educates and supports all students in an environment of academic excellence leading to the completion of degrees, certifications and educational transfers, while fostering meaningful employment, engaged citizenship and a lifelong joy of learning.

The Columbia Basin College Foundation is a separate 501(c)(3) that supports the college through fundraising, developing community partnerships and providing over $1 million in scholarships each year.

Please list your degrees and professional certifications:

Associate of Arts, Columbia Basin College.

Bachelor of Arts, cultural anthropology, Western Washington University.

Master of Science, management and leadership, Western Governors University.

Lily School of Philanthropy, certificate of fundraising management.

Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE), CFRE International.

Briefly describe your job and how you got into it:

I work with donors in the community to help them realize their philanthropic goals through current giving or estate planning. This can include raising money to support scholarships, college programs or CBC initiatives.

I attended CBC as a Running Start student. My husband graduated from CBC as well, so the college has always held a special place for me.

After graduating with my bachelor’s degree, I started out working in community nonprofits including Jewish Family Services and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

When my oldest son was born and we moved back to the Tri-Cities, I started working in the development office at Washington State University Tri-Cities. I had an amazing mentor who helped me understand and build a passion for higher education fundraising.

When she left to join CBC, she recruited me to come over. As a CBC alum I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work for an organization that I believe in.

I have held several different roles at CBC, transitioning into a major gifts role right before the pandemic. I feel incredibly lucky to have an amazing team of women that I work with here who I learn from and laugh with every day.

How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? 20 years

How did you earn your first dollar?

I earned my first dollar probably babysitting as a kid and went on to have an eclectic mix of jobs in my teens and early 20s before finding my interest in nonprofit fundraising. This included working at a movie theater, a ballet studio, a retirement home and a factory.

What professional lessons, if any, have you learned during the pandemic?

One of the biggest professional lessons I learned was the impact of using the forced slowdown to connect on a more personal level with our donors and partners.

As fundraisers, not being able to hold events and meet with people in person was hard, but we used it as an opportunity to connect in other ways. It was amazing to see how much a phone call just to see how people were holding up or a plate of cookies at the holidays meant to our supporters.

We were scared that we would lose touch with our donors, but the opposite happened. We were able to make connections that we probably wouldn’t have without the pandemic. Another lesson that came out of Covid was rethinking how we support our students.

With high percentages of low-income and first-generation students at CBC, we saw the pandemic hit those at the college hard.

What used to be a rare occurrence of someone coming to us with an issue outside of school that was preventing them from being successful became a weekly or even daily thing. It really made us shift our perspective from helping students just through scholarships and book support to looking more holistically at what it takes for someone to be successful on their educational path.

It is really hard to be a good student when you have uncertain housing and are struggling with basic needs.

On a personal level, my biggest lesson was that under no circumstances should I be in charge of home schooling my children. (Thank you, teachers!!)

What was your dream job as a child?

I was never someone who had super clear career goals as a kid or even as a young adult. My biggest goals were to be either a private eye or an archaeologist, but neither of those panned out.

Tell us about your community involvement/community service:

I have been involved in the Richland Arts Commission, the United Way Young Leaders Society and Sacajawea PTA. I am a graduate of Class 25 of Leadership Tri-Cities. I also was part of the Powerful Connections Mentor Group and am a current member of Powerful Connections as well.

How do you achieve work-life balance?

I definitely do not achieve work-life balance. I think the pandemic has given me a different perspective on how to be better at balancing the two, but I feel like in any given week I can be a really good mom or a really good professional but almost never both at the same time.

My kids are in elementary school and it’s just so fun and funny to be around so I try to be present with them when I can to laugh and enjoy this time in their lives.

I am incredibly lucky to work for an organization that gives flexibility and resources that support work-life balance, even if I am not always great at it.

List any awards/honors you have received:

WGU Capstone Excellence Award, 2017.

Presidential Physical Fitness Award, 1995.

Do you have family? Pets?

I live with my husband Travis, 40, and our two kids, Emerson, 10, and Nova, 7, as well as our pandemic dog Dipper (age unknown).

We also live a couple blocks from my mom who is a huge part of our lives and is always there to help with the kids or make me laugh.

What brought you to the Tri-Cities? Did you grow up here?

I moved to the Tri-Cities in elementary school, then left for about eight years, living in Las Vegas where I met my husband, and then Denver. After our oldest was born, we decided to move back to raise our family here.