By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Duggan to lead YMCA fundraising
Suzanne Duggan
Suzanne Duggan

The YMCA of Coastal Georgia, which operates 11 facilities across eight coastal Georgia counties, has selected Suzanne Duggan for the post of annual campaign director. In that role, her primary responsibility will be managing the annual Community Impact Campaign, the annual fundraising drive which makes so many of the YMCA’s programs possible.

This year’s goal is $662,000 for a campaign that will run through Dec. 31, 2023.

Since her arrival in April, Duggan has brought innovation to this year’s campaign, creating the Founder’s Circle as a premium donor recognition program that salutes the Y’s long history in the area.

“As a newcomer, I was reading about the historical partnership that the Y has had with Savannah, and was wowed by the fact that our doors opened here in 1855, making us the 13th oldest Y in the country,” Duggan said. {This legacy is something to not only be proud of, but to celebrate, so we created the Founder’s Circle to honor that legacy and invited members of the community to lead with a gift of $1,855, which will fuel the YMCA mission programs in the community.”

YMCA members, supporters and the public can donate to the YMCA’s campaign via its website, where they will find a clickable link marked “GIVE” or by going to YMCAofCoastalGA. org/Donate. Duggan also invites donors to contact her personally at her YMCA office at 6400 Habersham St., Ste. A, in Savannah, (912) 358-2651. Donations are tax-deductible.

Duggan comes to the YMCA from Durham, Ontario, in Canada, where her most recent role was fundraising and development manager for the Tom Thomson Art Museum in Owen Sound, Ontario. In that role, she partnered with that community’s YMCA to create art camps, a community outreach program and an award-winning art program for teens with autism.

Nor did the YMCA connection stop there.

“I was a single mom and my daughter attended YMCA summer camps. I watched her self-esteem, confidence, social skills and creativity blossom through these experiences. She was also a lifeguard at the Y, her first job,” Duggan said. Her daughter is now in her third year as a biochemistry and physics major at the University of British Columbia-Vancouver.

Duggan also worked with Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh in a fundraising and sponsorship role for seven years and, prior to that, spent 12 years as an archaeologist for a Pittsburgh engineering consulting firm.

She received a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology/art history from the University of Pittsburgh and also studied Irish history and cultural studies at Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland. She has participated in archaeological work in Belize, serving as archaeologist and finds assistant at the Cahal Pech Archaeological Site, and also worked with the Wessex Archaeological Trust in England.

Duggan describes her hobbies as painting and a love of history and historical architecture, along with tennis and a newfound interest in pickleball. Her reading interests run to history, art history and murder mysteries, and she enjoys visiting art galleries and museums.

“Suzanne brings a wealth of experience and a fresh approach to our strategic philanthropy program. She has already begun making an immediate impact” said YMCA of Coastal Georgia COO Krystal McGee. “She will be working side-by-side with our branch leadership and our Annual Campaign Chairwoman to expand our opportunities in all of our Coastal Georgia Communities.”

With a successful annual fundraising drive, the YMCA hopes to expand on 2022’s very successful record. A total community benefit of $1.5 million was provided, and more than 80,000 members and program participants were served. Among the community service highlights, some 6,694 pounds of fresh produce were distributed, and 278 beds were delivered to children in the “A Place to Dream” program. Meanwhile, the YReaders program had an 87% success rate in bringing participants to grade level.

Sign up for our e-newsletters