10A | Defining Donor Relations in a Mega-shop: How We Are Working to Professionalize Donor Relations at Illinois

Friday, Oct 2
1:00 - 2:00 PM

Experience Level
Suitable for all levels

Shop Size
Medium Shop (6-10 staff)
Large Shop (11+ staff)

Does your institution struggle with the very definition of donor relations?  Do you find yourself doing too much case-making and not enough execution? At Illinois we found ourselves struggling with these questions too often. A small group came together to write definitions that are guiding the future of donor relations at Illinois. We will give an overview of our charge, discuss why we chose to write new guidelines rather than adopting ADRP guidelines wholesale, and review the methods we used to build consensus among both donor relations professionals and senior management. We hope to inspire you to assert your own professional identity and help prioritize donor relations at your institution.


Katie Harrell

Katie Harrell has 10 years of non-profit management and advancement experience and is passionate about collaboration and creating impact. Katie previously managed stewardship and donor relations for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Illinois, worked in gift administration at the University of Illinois Foundation, and managed marketing and programming activities for small arts organizations. Katie currently works in Planning and Policy Analysis where she focuses on data analytics and designing enterprise business processes that maximize constituent philanthropic giving and institutional return on investment. Katie has an MBA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.



Douglas Heintz

Douglas Heintz believes that advancement success is a direct result of the trust we build through great collaboration and open communication. At Illinois, Douglas advocates for positive institutional change by implementing and renewing programs that have had bottom-line impact on fundraising. Douglas leverages his background in science and technology studies and his superior interpretive skills to tell stories and design strategies that target important donor behaviors. He has a degree in Russian Literature from Illinois, perfected his Russian in Novosibirsk and St. Petersburg, and studied the Philosophy of Science in Sydney.

Anita Stein

Anita Stein is a proven leader in stewardship and donor relations. Among the first stewardship professionals hired at Illinois, Anita built Engineering at Illinios' practices from the ground-up, developing a model proactive stewardship and donor relations program. Anita has been connected ,to Illinois for more than 30 years. Before joining Engineering at Illinois she managed viewer services at the university's PBS station for 12 years. Anita completed an MBA at Illinois in May 2015.