2021 20 Under 40: Kari Hopkins
- Photo by Keith Borgmeyer
Chief Development Officer, Coyote Hill
For eleven years, Kari Hopkins has been helping Coyote Hill children’s home grow and transform into the nonprofit organization it is today. “When I started in 2009, Coyote Hill was a small nonprofit, mostly unknown to the community,” says Kari, now the organization’s chief development officer.
In her day-to-day role, Kari oversees all of the fundraising and marketing efforts for the organization. Some days she’ll be planning a fundraiser event, others she might be writing copy for newsletters or taking pictures with big checks that were generously donated to the organization by its corporate partners. But, the best part of Kari’s job is connecting the community with opportunities to invest in its future.
Since she’s been a part of the Coyote Hill, Kari has helped it triple in size and become a household name throughout Mid-Missouri. She’s been there as the organization has built four new homes to accommodate twice the amount of children. She’s been there as the organization has tripled its budget while remaining debt-free. She’s watched the staff grow from 12 to 43 people. She’s been the leadership behind the expansion of the organization’s equine program. And, she was there to watch as Coyote Hill hit a milestone of caring for over 500 children.
It’s the children who call Coyote Hill their home that motivate Kari every day. “I am driven to give them a childhood they deserve and didn’t receive,” she says. “I believe child abuse can end with this generation. They can stop the cycle of abuse and neglect.”
Kari’s mentor through her 11 years at Coyote Hill is founder and executive director Larry McDaniel. Larry, Kari explains, has quietly and unintentionally been her mentor for the past 11 years — he taught her humility, leadership, and boldness, and that getting out of her comfort zone helps her grow. “I have a running note on my phone affectionately called ‘Larry-isms’, because I want to remember every lesson he has taught me,” she says.
Fun Fact: Misspelled words drive Kari nuts — make sure you spellcheck!