Direct Relief International, California’s largest medical relief organization, announced the hiring of three new members of its staff. Hayley Firestone Jessup and Raissa Smorol join the Development Department as Director of Major Gifts and Director of Development, respectively. Alex Beauchamp is serving as the new Director of Online Communications. These hires reflect Direct Relief’s strengthened commitment to engaging more people and harnessing more resources to help more people around the world.

Direct Relief was recently awarded the grand prize of the 2011 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation, and has a 100% fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes Magazine. Below is more information on each new member of the staff (photos attached):

Hayley Firestone Jessup brings to Direct Relief extensive development experience. Jessup served as the Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts for Laguna Blanca School where she exceeded fundraising goals by engaging donors and soliciting major gifts. Jessup also led the capital campaign effort to rebuild many of the school’s aging facilities. Prior to this, Jessup was the Director of Development and Alumni Affairs for Dunn School. Here, she led the development team to execute alumni relations building and fundraising objectives. Jessup’s experience working with major donors will be an asset to Direct Relief. Jessup, like her family, has been a longtime, avid supporter of the organization.

Raissa Smorol comes to Direct Relief from Changing Our World, Inc., a New York based fundraising and philanthropy consultancy where she specialized in helping human service organizations design and build strategic fundraising plans, grow major gifts programs, develop fundraising capacity, and execute capital campaigns and other funding initiatives. She managed a diverse portfolio of clients, including Safe Horizon, BronxWorks, MENTOR, BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), the New York Academy of Medicine, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, and Mercy & Sharing. She also led the firm’s work with World Vision U.S., the nation’s largest Christian relief and development organization.

Prior to joining Changing Our World, Raissa worked for a consulting firm specializing in developing emerging, community-based organizations, working with Rebuilding Together, the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation, and the Korea Society. Raissa earned an MPA Degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs with a concentration in nonprofit management and social entrepreneurship and holds a BS Degree from Cornell University. She has presented many workshops and trainings nationally to executive directors, board members, and development professionals. She is also a frequent guest speaker at various forums, including the Association for Fundraising Professionals. In 2010, Raissa presented at The Convening at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford.

Since 1995, Alex Beauchamp has been creating content and community online. She’s helped companies such as Disney, Anthropologie, Rogers & Cowan, Demand Media and Citrix Online develop and execute holistic social media campaigns, content, partnerships, support and policies.

Transforming the way companies think about the web, their communities and their business from the inside out has garnered international press recognition, awards and makes her a popular speaker at conferences such as SXSW, CBS & MOCCA. With a passion for web technology and how people actually use it, Alex has consistently innovated new ways for companies to connect and be useful to their customers beyond traditional marketing, CRM and web presence. Now, she brings her online marketing, brand humanizing, and community connecting skills to Direct Relief.

About Direct Relief International

Direct Relief International is California’s largest medical relief organization, active in all 50 states and 70 countries. It works with more than 1,000 health clinics across the U.S. to assist in emergencies and an ongoing basis, providing them with free medications for people in need. The organization has been among the world’s largest medical suppliers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, has top charity ratings, including four-star and “top-notch” rating from Charity Navigator, and a 100% fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine. For more information, please visit


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