Writer. Strategist. Rainmaker.
Fundraising strategist bringing big-picture vision to research, project management, collaborative leadership, written communications, development planning, and more. The result: award-winning content; exceptional project design, management and delivery; happy teams (internal and external)... and tens of millions of dollars in new revenue.
hello! i'm karen
I have worked on "both sides of the table" when it comes to fundraising: as a grants officer for a family foundation and as a volunteer philanthropist for an Impact Fund; and also as a grant writer, media relations coordinator, social media coordinator, and individual fundraiser for various nonprofits.
I have advised hundreds of nonprofit executives, managers and volunteers -- in workshops, in small-group sessions, and one-to-one -- with regard to the successful strategies needed to help others understand what you do, why your work is so important, and how they can support your efforts.
People listen when I talk, because I speak only when I have given careful thought to an issue, considered the options and outcomes, and reached a possible resolution -- or two. I make sure every word is the most appropriate for the situation, and ensure that the finished product is something of which all stakeholders can be proud.
Ada Jenkins Center
Blumenthal Performing Arts
$45 million - its largest gift ever
Leadership during COVID-19
$100,000 in event sponsorship
I wrote the grant documentation and assisted with presentations for Davidson College's largest gift ever: $45 million from The Duke Endowment for construction and renovation to campus buildings to create a more vibrant academic environment.
As Director of Development, I led the effort to raise $200,000+ in individual gifts immediately when COVID hit our community; helped secure $750,000 in Federal CARES Act funding; and raised a record $300,000 during the fall fundraising campaign.
I wrote the grant documentation that resulted in The Leon Levine Foundation's sponsorship of the 2016 and 2017 Charlotte Jazz Festivals, featuring the critically acclaimed Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra under the leadership of musical director Wynton Marsalis.
Alexander Youth Network
$14.6 million per year
$500,000 to support K-8 academics and KIPP Through College programming
$384,135 for children's mental health treatment
During my ten-year tenure as Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations at Davidson College, I managed the relationships that led to an annual average of $14.6 million in grants from private and community foundations, corporations, and religious and other organizations.
KIPP Charlotte initially sought a part-time staff member to write grant proposals for the school. Instead, the school saw savings by hiring me as a contractor -- and secured external funding of $500,000 in grants for KIPP Charlotte's academic programs and capital projects.
As the designated Grant Writer for Alexander Youth Network, I helped seek and secure grants for crucial treatment and services for children with emotional and behavioral problems.
Back-to-back record years
In 2015 and 2016, I led the most successful Annual Fund drives in Woodlawn School history -- in both participation percentage and dollars raised. In the first year, the dollar goal was exceeded by 25.6 percent in only six months.