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A Bittersweet Announcement from Our Founder

Written by Sara Royf, Board President and Founder 


After 10 years of leading SODA and saving lives, I will transition out of SODA: Student Organ Donation Advocates’s Board of Directors on April 1st.


When I started the first SODA chapter in 2014, I dreamed of being part of a community that would save and heal lives all across the country.


In the beginning, this dream felt far-fetched. My fellow chapter founders and I worked hard to create a mission, brand our chapter, raise funds, find new chapter members, and connect with our local organ, eye, and tissue donation community.


When students from other campuses began reaching out to tell us they wanted to save and heal lives, too, I saw an opportunity to continue making my dream a reality.


Are you a student who’s ready to save and heal lives on campus? Start a SODA chapter or host a one-off advocacy event.


There was a missing puzzle piece in the organ, eye, and tissue donation advocacy community: No one else in donation and transplantation was leveraging students’ passions at scale.


Today, SODA has filled that gap with:

  • 75+ chapters

  • 124,000+ people educated about organ, eye, and tissue donation 

  • 7,800+ people registered as organ, eye, and tissue donors

  • 31 Organ Procurement Organization partners

  • National partnerships with the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, Donate Life America, and the United Network for Organ Sharing


Learn about SODA’s latest impact in our 2023 Impact Report.


This impact would not be possible without our dedicated team, including our Board of Directors. 


Our Board of Directors will be led by Erin Kupferman starting on April 1st. Erin is going to make an excellent Board President because she:

  • Has served on our Board since 2022.

  • Has earned a BS in Community and Nonprofit Leadership & Entrepreneurship and an MBA.

  • Is a Vice President at CCS Fundraising.

  • Previously worked for the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence.

  • Is the granddaughter of a transplant recipient and a friend of an organ donor. 


Learn more about Erin in her Board Member Spotlight blog.


With Erin’s fundraising expertise and dedication to organ, eye, and tissue donation, I have no doubt that SODA will continue to thrive and reach our 100-chapter goal by the end of 2025.


Along the way, this is what Erin’s new role might mean for you:

  • Students will continue to receive support from Sophia, our Engagement Manager. Reach out to Sophia at sophia@sodanational.org.

  • OPO partners will continue to receive support from Sophia.

  • National partners will continue to work with Nicole, SODA’s Program Director, with support from Erin. Email Nicole at nicole@sodanational.org to learn more.

  • Financial donors can reach out to Nicole to learn more about Erin and her role in fundraising. 

  • Other community members will now occasionally hear updates from Erin. Be sure to subscribe to our emails to ensure you get her messages. 


While my 10 years of service at SODA are coming to an end, I know deep down that this is still the beginning of SODA’s life-saving legacy. The best is yet to come! 


Want to stay in touch? Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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