Transactional Stewardship

Nonprofit practice has a long history of thanking donors with a return gift. Whether it is access to leadership, event tickets, exclusive events, or physical gift items like branded clothing, these "thank you for giving" gifts carry with them the weight of IRS regulations. This panel of experts will explore a number of different transactions between donors and the organizations they support, and how donor relations inspires donors to maximize their giving. We'll explore the mission-specific experiences these transactions provide, and how, when used effectively, they can broaden a donor's relationship with the organization. The session will be hosted by Patricia Berry, recently named the executive director of the Heurista Institute. She'll be facilitating a conversation with the following panelists:

Stewardship Panel

Natalie Akin
Director of Donor Relations
Queens University of Charlotte

Natalie is the Director of Donor and Foundation Relations at Queens University of Charlotte. In that role, she oversees donor recognition and stewardship, as well as foundation grant requests and reporting. Natalie came to Queens from Myers Park Presbyterian Church, where she worked in stewardship ministry, primarily managing the church’s annual campaign. Prior to her work there, Natalie spent nine years in the development office at Davidson College, her alma mater. At Davidson, she worked in both the annual giving and donor relations offices. Natalie graduated in 2005 from Davidson with a degree in Economics. She is from an Air Force family, moving regularly growing up. She came to Davidson from Oakland, California and has been in the Charlotte area ever since.

Susan Brenner (Broadcasting)
Leadership Giving Officer

Georgia Public Broadcasting
[email protected]

Susan, MBA, CFRE, has 13 years of fundraising and donor relations experience in arts, education, and healthcare. She began her career in Chattanooga, TN as an intern at Arts Build, where she stayed on as a part-time staff member for 18 months after graduation as the development and marketing assistant. She managed the annual gift programs for the Inspired Heroes: The Campaign for Memorial at CHI Memorial Health Care System in Chattanooga, TN, where she received her CFRE in 2014. More recently, she created a stewardship program for the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, AL. She received her MBA from the Stephens College of Business at the University of Montevallo in 2017, and is currently the leadership giving officer at Georgia Public Broadcasting. She lives in Acworth, GA with her other half and their two fur babies, Theo and Esperada.

Mary Helen Martin (International Not-for-Profit)
Director, Donor Relations & Stewardship
Habitat for Humanity International
[email protected]

Mary Helen joined Habitat for Humanity International in November 2014 to create a donor relations program at the organization. Before joining Habitat, Mary Helen was Director of Donor Relations at Kennesaw State University where she created and oversaw a donor relations program for six years. Previously, Mary Helen worked as executive director for the Kennesaw Mountain Historical Association at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. Earlier in her career, she was an Emmy Award winning journalist working at CNN as a producer and executive producer.

Keri Kallaway (Medical)
Director, Donor Relations

Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation
[email protected]

Keri Kallaway has 19 years of nonprofit experience and currently serves as Director of Donor Relations at the Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation. She began her tenure at the Foundation in 2007 and was responsible for the inception of their Donor Relations program. Some of her accomplishments include planning and implementing key areas of the program, such as an internal and external endowment reporting processes; establishing lifetime giving societies; and refining and centralizing stewardship processes such as the organization's acknowledgment process and donor cultivation/stewardship events.

Aside from her time at Children's Colorado, Keri's most recent experience includes her roles as CEO of the Susan G. Komen Colorado; and Executive Director at Amp the Cause, where she oversaw all program areas for both organizations.

Additionally, Keri has worked in fundraising and development at The Winston-Salem Foundation in North Carolina, Georgetown University, and The University of Connecticut Foundation, Inc. Her experience covers many aspects of a development office including communications, individual and corporate fundraising, planned giving, and board development. Keri has been a member of the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP) since 2007, and was elected to the ADRP Board of Directors in 2014.


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