aka Her Highnessness
Mar-Com ingenue, geek chic, good-doer
Contact: chelseanovak[at]

I am your digital Girl Friday. From developing clever fundraising and awareness campaigns to building digital communities, I’ve been using the online space for years to support various causes close to my heart.

I currently work with a global team to raise funds and engage with donors, all with the goal of furthering a free and open Internet. I have been involved in digital communications and fundraising for the past decade for organizations in media, healthcare, education, research and technology

I am skilled at taking difficult concepts and not simply explaining them to the public at large, but showing how they can impact lives and even generate excitement in the process.

If you look below you’ll see I have a history of writing on everything from navigating the epic Czech bureaucracy to mind-boggling discoveries in biomedical research. I also enjoy coming up with fun and effective ways for people to support philanthropic causes both online and offline.

Most importantly I work very hard. I am authentic, I am creative and I am driven.

New York University
, 2000 – Prague, Czech Republic
Achieved a GPA of 4.0 studying Czech film, performing arts, literature and art history
Queen’s University, 1995-2000 – Kingston, Ontario
BA; Film Studies, Art History
Participated in study-abroad program in Venice, Italy, studying art history

It’s all about relationships:

  • Personable, professional and conscientious of the importance of an organization’s culture, mission and values
  • Strong leader and team player with exceptional people skills

Technical specs:

  • Skilled with most operating systems, bug trackers and software. What I don’t know, I learn quickly.
  • Know enough html to be dangerous, but am smart enough to know when to use it.
  • Intimate knowledge of social media tools and principles
  • Superior problem solving, time management, prioritization and organizational skills
  • Experience with online fundraising systems and processes
  • Proficient in marketing strategy, media and information kit development, science writing, press releases, media pitches, fact sheets and backgrounders, creative, feature, web and speech writing, as well as branding
  • Experienced with and advanced understanding of the North American fundraising sector, health care systems and research granting systems

Live and die by the “To Do” list:

  • Deadline and goal-driven, independently and in a group setting
  • Highly motivated, engaging, creative and able to work effectively in a team environment
  • Committed to accurate, transparent, personable and timely communication

July 2009 – present
Fundraising and Engagement Manager (Fun Raiser & Rodeo Queen)

Reporting to Executive Director and Director of Special Projects

  • Development and implementation individual donation and engagement strategies
  • Development and implementation of fundraising and acquisition campaigns, including creative, localization and metrics
  • Copywriting and communications
  • Management of merchandise development and shipping
  • Oversaw selection and implementation of  fundraising back-end systems
  • Donor stewardship
  • Donor database management and accounting
  • See for more details.

May 2008 – June 2009
Digital Communications Manager

Reporting to Directors of Public Affairs, Digital Marketing, Marketing and Information Technology

  • Managed and implemented digital and social media programs designed to educate and inspire a variety of Foundation target audiences including donors, prospects, SickKids colleagues, Foundation staff and the general public on the need for financial support
  • Developed marketing strategies and new fundraising ideas for digital channels like mobile, sms and social networks
  • Maintained high standards of communications and marketing practice including the development of digital and social media evaluation tools
  • Fostered support for The Hospital for Sick Children, its patients and families and SickKids Foundation through community management in various social networks
  • Liaised with digital and social media outlets, bloggers and communities in order to promote accurate, fair and insightful reporting of development activities and fundraising initiatives
  • Directed generation and approval of digital/social media content including; articles for SickKids online publications, social media news releases, digital marketing communication pieces, video, blogs and social networks
  • Managed the application of the principles of good graphic/online design and effective user experiences to Foundation digital properties
  • Current project examples:, SickKids Foundation Twitter

September 2007 – April 2008
Marketing & Communications officer (Corporate Ventures)
Reporting to Director, Knowledge Partnerships and Director, Public Affairs

  • Developed SickKids Corporate Ventures visual identity within the SickKids brand
  • Redeveloped SickKids Corporate Ventures website, increasing usability and clarity as well as creating opportunity for invention and inventor profiles
  • Redeveloped website for the Learning Disabilities Research Program to facilitate marketing of Empower™ Reading
  • Created and implemented SickKids Corporate Ventures communications plan
  • Project managed and contributed copy to SickKids Impact, a magazine co-produced with SickKids Foundation to highlight SickKids achievements in commercialization
  • Wrote non-confidential disclosures for new innovations
  • Created marketing plan and promotional materials for the launch of the SickKids Family Knowledge Group
  • Created marketing materials for the SickKids Book Series and other SickKids products
  • Planned, advertised and executed book launches, trade show presentations and seminars for SickKids Corporate Ventures

September 2003 – September 2007
Communications Specialist (Research Institute)

Reporting to Manager, Public Affairs, Research Institute

  • Provided media relations, media training and crisis communications for both proactive and reactive media
  • Promoted SickKids research discoveries via news releases focused on publications in major scientific journals
  • Helped enhance SickKids brand to have national/global impact through media relations and marketing
  • Used interpersonal skills to liaise with researchers in order to harvest research stories for key messages and profile opportunities
  • Developed annual reports that met needs of key audiences, such as granting agencies, government, donors, industry and potential recruits
  • Wrote content and coordinated photography for a 2004 Globe & Mail Supplement focused on the Research Institute’s 50th anniversary
  • Contributed to Kid’s Health, a nationally distributed hospital publication
  • Provided project management, development, branding, content management and vetting for over 35 new external SickKids websites
  • Worked with the Public Affairs team to develop the rules for the recently launched SickKids brand and ensured compliance in an institute and culture previously absent of a corporate branding policy
  • Served on the advisory committee for the Research Institute Research Training Centre
  • Coordinated and executed all aspects of event planning for events ranging in size from thousands of participants to 30. Examples: The Research Institute 50th birthday party/science fair, photo exhibit involving imported art, recognition dinners, lectures, tours, open houses and other smaller events

September 2001
– June 2003
Freelance Contributor

  • Wrote over 50 articles about surviving in Czech culture for expatriates living in Prague
  • Generated story ideas touching on issues affecting expatriates in the Czech Republic
  • Conducted interviews with government organizations, business owners and the general public
  • Worked with the culture and features editor, photographers

January 2001
– June 2003

  • Fundraising for education programs through charity sports tournaments
  • Coordinated flood relief fund for Czech school libraries
  • Responsible for organizing and executing a bi-annual charity softball tournament for over teams from all over Europe
  • Responsible for the Stone Circle environmental education plan
  • Responsible for alternating bi-weekly contributions to the Newspapers In Education lesson plans, focusing on civics, health and new technology


Mozilla Foundation Open Web Fund – copy, strategy and program management
Mozilla Parks – Tumucumaque – copy, strategy and program management
– Concept, content, PR, marketing and event management
I Believe in SickKids – Facebook Group
SickKids Foundation Twitter Feed
SickKids Foundation Annual Report 2007-2008


  • Fitness, music, dance, social media
  • Long-time beauty and identity blogger
  • Certified scuba diver
  • Achieved grade VIII Piano and grade II Rudiments (theory) standing with the Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada)
  • Currently improving Czech language skills
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