Developing Deeper Connections for Community Support:
Development Director Annie Herz
The current expansion of CSS Safe Spots in Eugene is an exciting and challenging opportunity at many levels. Everyone associated with CSS is working hard to make it happen. Approximately 90 residents will have new shelter and stability in their lives at one of the five new camps. It’s all quite amazing and has happened in a very short time.
Yet there is so much more to do, as the current crisis of homelessness and economic uncertainty continues to grow.
Annie Herz sees this challenge as an opportunity to expand the CSS model of community supported solutions. Annie serves as CSS Development Director, a position she moved into in January of this year.
“We’re ramping up as fast as we can, and it is exciting that we are doing it in a way that maintains our positive culture that’s been so successful,” says Annie.
Annie oversees fundraising and outreach for CSS, a big job for an organization that has relied on local donors for the vast majority of its funding. Recent grants from the City of Eugene and Lane County have funded the surge, but contributions from local donors have always been the heart and soul of CSS revenue and will continue to be well beyond the current expansion.
“I’m very excited to be cultivating connections with our donors and supporters who have been so generous with CSS,” she says. “This is such an amazing organization that does so much good work. I’m happy to be part of the mission of CSS that transforms lives for those without shelter and sometimes without a healthy community.”
Annie is part of a strong three-person Development team that includes Pujita Mayeda and Daisy Mills. Daisy keeps the wider community of supporters updated with social media communications, while Pujita works with Annie on development strategies and manages the many details associated with donor communications and database management.
The team also does extensive community outreach and a fair amount of behind the scenes work. This includes creating reports and other informational materials and videos.
Annie first came to CSS in 2019 as a volunteer on the Hut Crew. “I like to build things and wanted to learn more about the great work CSS was doing in the community,” she says. “So the Hut Crew was a perfect fit for me.” She has continued on the Hut Crew even after accepting the development position.
“I love building these Huts and want to stay connected to the crew,” she says.
Annie worked at the University of Oregon for over 20 years, where she served in positions related to conflict resolution, human resources, and leadership development. She left the UO to pursue a new professional path and is thrilled to have landed at CSS.
Annie is also part of the three-person CSS Leadership Team, along with Executive Director Tod Schneider and Operations Director Erik de Buhr. The team meets regularly to ensure coordinated leadership of current projects and to plan for future organizational directions.
“Annie is a perfect fit for CSS,” says Erik. “She has a great background for this work, and she’s very friendly and approachable. She really understands the culture we’ve been creating here the past eight years or so, and that’s really important.”
“I feel right at home with everyone at CSS,” Annie says. “It’s such a delight to be working here. It’s a pretty unique place in that everyone is valued equally, no matter what your job is.
“It’s such an amazing time of growth, and it is exciting to think about all of the ways we can partner with our donors and supporters as we navigate the possibilities for the future.”