Stefanie Stark, Major Gifts Fundraising Expert, is a founding member of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives and is a Certified Nonprofit Consultant. She has spent over 20 years serving in the charitable sector. Stefanie studied in Budapest at the National Hungarian Ballet Academy and is a graduate of the University North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Utah. She began her career in the performing arts in 1998 as a soloist with a nonprofit professional dance company. At the same time, she was an arts educator, creating arts-in-education outreach programs for public school students in Dallas, TX, through the city’s arts council. When a serious car accident forced her to retire from her dance career, Stefanie decided to focus on her calling in the nonprofit sector.
Stefanie joined Alpha-Omega Miracle Home in 2003, providers of transitional housing for homeless women and children. During her tenure there, she served as Board Vice President, Case Manager, and eventually Director of Development. She implemented new organization-wide program success metrics that improved overall client outcomes, increased the donor base by 67% and donation revenue by 70%, and oversaw an $8.5M capital campaign. Stefanie managed all major event planning, donor cultivation and engagement, direct mail campaigns, marketing, grant writing, volunteer recruitment, community engagement, and board development. Stefanie also served on the Continuum of Care Committee, a local collaborative of homeless care agencies working together to end homelessness.
Stefanie has served as the Executive Director of Children’s Health Defense, a national litigation advocacy nonprofit that holds corporate polluters responsible in the courts for illegal business practices that negatively affect children’s health. Her duties with CHD included management of daily operations, strategic planning, budget planning, upgrading systems, national advocacy, donor engagement, board administration, and chapter development. During her tenure, donations increased 250%.
Stefanie has also served as consultant to new nonprofits such as Horse Play Children’s Therapy, MarriageOne, and Once a Soldier, shepherding these nonprofit start-ups through the first years, laying a solid foundation for organizational development and fundraising. Stefanie currently serves as board President for Once a Soldier and board Secretary for Inside the Vatican Magazine’s charitable arm, the Urbi et Orbi Foundation.
Stefanie has been a brand strategist and consultant for many NGOs. From 2015 – 2019, she was Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for Cause Inspired Media, a powerhouse social impact company specializing in digital marketing for nonprofits and singled out by Google as a leader in Google’s Certified Professional Community. She cultivated more than 500 nonprofit clients, including small, mid, and top tier organizations like the United Nations Foundation, The Bridgespan Group, VolunteerMatch, United Way, Boston Children’s Museum, Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the San Diego Museum of Art, American Foundation for Children with AIDS, Board Source, and the National Foundation for Transplants. It was a serious car accident caused by a drunk driver that catapulted Stefanie into a nonprofit career. In these 20 years of immersion in every aspect of nonprofit management – working with arts, faith-based, and secular organizations – raising millions of dollars, Stefanie now refers to herself as the ‘accidental nonprofit whisperer” for good reason. Sometimes the detour in life is the path. She has embraced her path serving the leaders and world changers in the social sector as her life mission to support their missions.
Stefanie is a senior counselor with the billion dollar fundraising firm Development Systems International, Inc. She is a Major Gifts Ramp-Up Expert
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