How many people do you know that built the very first computer they ever owned? When Joshua McLemore was 15 years old, he thought “why not” and purchased, piece-by-piece, his first computer. He meticulously put it together, plugged in the power source, flipped the switch and heard a loud pop, and then, nothing. He learned that day, don’t ground a computer’s motherboard to the metal casing or you’ll have a whole the size of a dime in the middle of the processor. No refunds offered.
From a very young age, Joshua found himself fascinated by technology. That early fascination led him to where he is today as a pioneer in the digital fundraising era.
Before his first experience in the nonprofit sector at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch, Joshua worked in a smorgasbord of jobs. From retail to food service, hotel night auditing to answering calls at multiple call centers, Joshua has a great deal of perspective in a lot of different industries.
When Joshua arrived at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch, he experienced his first taste of nonprofit fundraising. He fell in love with “selling” changed lives to a compassionate community of supporters. He learned the fundamentals of fundraising and experienced how different working for a nonprofit organization is than a for-profit organization.
With destiny calling out to him, Joshua took a position as the project manager of a creative team within one of the largest churches in Amarillo, Texas. In this position, Joshua had a great opportunity to flex his leadership muscles, managing a department of multiple graphic designers, writers, videographers and photographers. One of the functions within the creative department was to manage the organization’s website. Drawn to technology and learning, Joshua’s manager recognized the website would be an excellent place to allow his gifting and skills to flourish. And flourish they did!
Recognizing a unique opportunity, Joshua accepted a position with Children’s Medical Center Foundation in 2011. There he combined his newly learned skills of website design and development with nonprofit fundraising. The result of this unique set of skills allowed Children’s Medical Center Foundation to build and maintain its own website and create a digital fundraising program that brings in almost half a million dollars each year. Online giving to the Foundation has been increasing year-over-year by an average of 17 percent and has become a pivotal program to the organization.
In 2009, Joshua met his wife, Katie. Where? Online, of course. Katie moved to Amarillo while the couple dated and they married in 2011. In 2013, Joshua and Katie co-founded a nonprofit organization of which he served as the president of the board for two years and as a board member for an additional two years.
In 2015, Joshua and Katie adopted Carson, a baby boy born at just 24 weeks gestation. Carson weighed just under two pounds when born and was two months old when the couple met and adopted him. Carson spent a total of four months in the NICU at Cook Children’s in Fort Worth, Texas. He was able to give Katie the very best birthday present, coming home on her 30 birthday.
Joshua completed his Bachelor of Science, Business Management and Master of Science, Management and Leadership degrees at Western Governors University and now serves as the Web Strategies Program Administrator at Children’s Medical Center Foundation. With over nine years of nonprofit fundraising experience and over six years as a website developer, Joshua has discovered a passion within a unique niche in digital fundraising and is a leading expert within the field.
In his spare time (what’s that?!), Joshua enjoys writing, reading, tinkering with technology, shaking his fist at politics and giving his unsolicited opinion to others.
The most important part of Joshua’s life is his relationship with Jesus. Faith, family, friends and work … in that order. He came to know Jesus and accepted his loving sacrifice while he was a junior in high school. Since that time, he has found out first-hand that following Christ is hard, yet completely simple.
Joshua’s personal life mission statement: “To be a man who lovingly serves; first God, family, friends and a career that makes a positive impact in the world around us and improves the lives of others.”