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NextGen 2020

Lauren Grow

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Founder, Talk About Town; Assistant Director of Marketing and Stewardship, University of Pennsylvania

25, Unionville

By Lisa Dukart 

Photo By Tessa Marie Images.

As training grounds go, Lauren Grow couldn’t have been happier with Longwood Gardens. “I really loved the educational and cultural attachment to nonprofit work, but I think it took working at one full time to actually understand what they do,” says Grow of the time she spent there earlier in her career.

Encouraged by a mentor at Longwood, Grow continued to pursue her intersection of interests, enrolling in the University of Pennsylvania’s nonprofit leadership master’s program. There, she put her studies to work, taking a position with the Penn Fund, which raises $40 million a year for everything from scholarships and financial aid to infrastructure and operations. Today, Grow serves as its assistant director of marketing and stewardship, facilitating communication with 29,000 alumni donors.

Maintaining her connection with nature, Grow volunteers with the National Park Service. Her local outreach efforts include work with First State and Independence national historical parks, along with a public school science festival. “Working with kids and the National Parks is really rewarding,” she says. “[NPS] really values the historical elements of our country—and also the beautiful elements.”

In 2019, Grow launched Talk About Town, a word-of-mouth marketing and public relations company focused on small businesses and nonprofits. “I fell in love with being involved in so many different projects and working with like-minded entrepreneurial spirits that were really trying to make their dreams and goals come true,” she says.

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