Community Connections Blog
Happy New Year from Yaya Foundation for 4H Leukodystrophy!
One of our goals for 2023 is to highlight the voices of our community each month. We will feature Yaya Foundation Board members, staff, 4H Leukodystrophy-impacted individuals and families, and clinicians and researchers to learn more about their lives and what Yaya Foundation means to them. We want our community to know the faces and stories of those who are fighting 4H Leukodystrophy; while we are often separated by location, we are stronger together!
Our first blog features Gabe Bassin, Yaya Foundation Board member, Board Treasurer, and longtime friend of co-Founders Ron Garber and June Cheng. Gabe is a champion of the Yaya Foundation, helping to shape the vision for the organization, connecting us with new partners and potential donors, and assisting with the management of Yaya Foundation finances.
We are grateful for Gabe’s continued support and are proud to highlight him as part of our Yaya Foundation blog series. Read on to learn more about Gabe and his dedication to finding a cure for 4H Leukodystrophy!
How did you ﬁrst get involved with Yaya Foundation?
I have been friends with Ron since pre-school (shout out Minneapolis JCC) and he asked me if I could help out with professionalizing our ﬁnancial processes and join the board.
What is your title and role within the Yaya Foundation?
My positions are Treasurer and Board Member. For a long time, I was deep in the weeds preparing the monthly ﬁnancials, reconciling the bank statements and helping to secure good ﬁnancial software to help us grow. Now we have handed off the accounting work to a trusted consultant (Josh Wolf) who has been invaluable the last two years. I have now shifted into more of a “big picture, strategic” role where I can take the data that we get from our reports and make budgeting and other ﬁnancial decisions based on them. I have also been getting more involved on the development side of things and hope to accelerate this going forward.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
This is a volunteer position and I don’t work on this full-time. I wake up around 7am, get my son Bodhi off to school and then start grinding. In terms of work for Yaya Foundation, it ebbs and ﬂows depending on where we are in the month and where we are relative to our board meetings. I will also chat with Shannon from time to time to discuss development strategies for people in my network.
What is something you have learned upon starting your position with Yaya Foundation?
I have learned a lot about how non-proﬁts function and the different functions that are necessary to not only enable the organization to run smoothly but to take the organization to the next level. We have constantly been growing the organization in terms of headcount, donations as well as processes. This evolution has been an amazing learning experience and I have so much more to learn in this regard.
What advice would you give someone looking to work for a non-proﬁt organization?
I think the biggest piece of advice I would give is to simply connect with the organization’s mission. It is so important in terms of giving someone an internal locus of accomplishment and meaning.
Is there any prominent experience you would like to share from working with Yaya Foundation?
When we got the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Rare as One grant, we were elated for days! That was so big for us in terms of money raised but also in terms of the educational resources that were provided by the CZI team. CZI is an amazingly compassionate organization and they were tremendously instrumental in helping get us to where we are today.
Thank you, Gabe, for sharing a little about your work with the Yaya Foundation.
We want to share more stories from our community! If you would like to be featured, please reach out to Shannon at firstname.lastname@example.org!