On September 10, GiveMN’s Board Chair Mahtab Rezai (z”l) concluded a two-year dance with cancer, leaving us a legacy of community leadership we will work to carry forward. Most folks reading this message never had the chance to know Mahtab personally, but I assure you—as someone who has used GiveMN.org—you were impacted by her leadership and vision.
Mahtab joined the GiveMN board of directors in 2017, and immediately took on a strong leadership role for our organization's direction, particularly related to GiveMN.org. As a digital user experience expert who helped build innumerable websites you’ve likely used before, she helped lead our organization’s search for a new technology platform, which led us to partnering with Mightycause in 2018 as our new partner for GiveMN.org.
She guided our staff through this process, reminding us to reflect on our working values to help make this important decision. In the years since selecting our new partner, it has become even more clear that her leadership steered us in the right direction.
When Mahtab was diagnosed with cancer, she committed—and recommitted again and again—to give energy to GiveMN. She was elected by her peers to be vice chair, and then chair, and she dynamically led our board for the past 14 months. As recently as a conversation I had with her two weeks before she concluded her dance, and hearing from her closest friends and family, she lifted her work with GiveMN up as something that brought her joy, agency, and deep satisfaction. We were so lucky to have her on our team, and she felt the same way.
In Mahtab's faith tradition, Baha'i followers believe that death is not an end, but a transition. When a human being dies, the Baha’i religion teaches that the soul leaves the body, and then continues on its journey towards perfection. Having worked closely with her for the past four years, I am not sure there is a more apt Mahtab ideal than that: a continuous journey toward perfection, always striving for the best user experience possible.
Mahtab was inspired by the thousands of donors who supported thousands of organizations through GiveMN.org, and loved the concept that we can grow the pie bigger and bigger through our shared generosity as we democratize giving. With that in mind, and in her memory, we invite you to make a gift to one of your favorite causes—helping Mahtab to ignite generosity in your world once more.
Mahtab’s memory will forever be a blessing, and her legacy will forever be one of generosity and abundance.
In gratitude and grief,
Executive Director, GiveMN