6D | Living Our Cause: Practical Ways to Build a Culture of Philanthropy at Your Institution

Thursday, Sept 22
1:15 - 2:15 PM

Suitable across all audiences

Experience Level
Midlevel (2-5 years), Experienced (5+ years)

Shop Size
Suitable for any size shop

A culture of philanthropy is more than just your institution's overall attitude toward philanthropy and fundraising. Staff at all levels need to feel connected to your mission, understand how it relates to their own passions, and feel joyful describing your organization to not just donors and prospects, but also their family and friends. So how do you turn staff into champions? In this session, you will participate in hands-on activities that you can use to help shift attitudes and behaviors at your institution toward a more donor-centered approach. Activities are adapted from an initiative at YMCA of the USA called "Living Our Cause," an effort to help local YMCA staff understand reasons for giving, their role in fundraising activities, and ways to articulate why communities should support the Y. 


Eliza McNulty

Eliza McNulty is Stewardship Manager at YMCA of the USA, the national resource office for the network of 2,700 local YMCAs. In this role, she manages a portfolio of corporate and foundation national partners, monitoring program progress toward deliverables in grant agreements, monitoring spending, writing reports, assisting with re-grant processes and recognizing donors. Eliza has more than 16 years fundraising experience in health care, university, and national membership offices, including positions at Loyola University Health System and the Elks National Foundation. She is a board member of the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP), presenting at several ADRP conferences and serving as content co-chair for the 2012 ADRP International Conference. Eliza holds a master's degree in nonprofit management from North Park University and a BS in biology from Indiana University.


Mary Weingartner

Mary Weingartner has worked in donor relations and stewardship for 10 years, supporting institutions of higher learning from 2006 to 2014: the University of Illinois Foundation, the University of Chicago, and Loyola University Chicago's Health Sciences Division. Mary transitioned into her current position at YMCA of the USA in 2014.

Mary began her career in the financial services sector, performing sales and trading work for Credit Suisse, CIBC Oppenheimer, and Barrett Trade & Finance Group. She earned a BA in philosophy and religion from Truman State University and later completed the Sorbonne's Cours de Civilization Française in Paris. She lives in Chicago with her husband and 70-pound lap dog.