Jessica Rogers – Mini Bio 2023
With 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, finance and education, Jessica Rogers serves as Vice President of Philanthropy at Children First. She represents the agency in advocating for the philanthropic support of early childhood education, family strengthening and breaking barriers of poverty. During her tenure, she has transformed fundraising and outreach efforts allowing the agency to serve the greatest number of children and families in its 62-year history and receiving major accolades including being named by the Nonprofit Times as one of the Top 50 Best Nonprofits to work for in the country, WEDU PBS’s Nonprofit of the Year and a Best Place to Work in Sarasota-Manatee Counties for the past two years in a row.
Rogers’ volunteer and philanthropic engagement is broad across our community in Sarasota. She has served on the board of directors for the Junior League of Sarasota (which founded Children First in 1961) and currently serves as a member of their Sarasota Alumnae Sustainers. In 2020, Jessica was nominated for the National Head Start Association’s BOLD Leadership Award recognizing Head Start leaders who boldly faced challenge brought on by Covid-19 and lived up to an unprecedented level of extraordinary leadership. Also in 2020, Jessica was honored by the Junior League of Sarasota County for her community engagement and transformative work at Children First, receiving their Sustainer Community Service Award. She will serve as Legacy Luncheon Committee Co-Chair in 2024.
Rogers has brought awareness to the mission of the National Council of Jewish Women and the programs of their local chapter in Sarasota-Manatee counties, most recently by serving as the co-chair of their 2020 Women in Power Luncheon, which included bringing the Washington DC based national CEO of NCJW to Sarasota and our region for the first time as their keynote speaker.
Rogers is also a proud graduate of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Program and served on their Leadership Alumni Committee from 2018 to 2023. She was invited to join the Sarasota Leadership Alumni Council in 2023, helping oversee the committee and governance initiatives.
She has served as a Troop Co-Leader for the Girl Scouts of Southwest Florida (her daughter Maggie’s Troop!) and she is also a member of The Southwest FL Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and a member of the Charitable Gift Planners of Southwest Florida.
Upon invitation from the organization’s president, Jessica has served on the Sarasota County NAACP’s Freedom Fund Awards Gala committee since 2021, in both committee and co-chair roles.
Following her departure from New College of Florida as Associate Vice President of Advancement for their foundation, Jessica was bestowed the title of Honorary Alumna by the college and foundation, which honors individuals who are not graduates of New College, but who have made significant contributions to its welfare, reputation or prestige. Jessica is one of only 12 recipients of this lifetime honorific title in New College’s 60-year history.