ADRP Virtual Event: Best Practices & DEI-Focused Sessions
Hosted by the Midwest Regional Committee — Open to All!
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Sessions Information

Donor Relations Best Practices in a Digital World Panel 

Session Description

The world has drastically changed over the past year but has our industry moved with it? With many of us shifting to remote work during the pandemic, technology and digital solutions have been critical to adapt. Whether digital reporting, virtual events, or social media, there are many creative ways we can incorporate technology into donor relations! Join this panel session to hear how peers are recreating donor relations best practices with technology not only to steward donors but to keep them engaged as well. 

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn how to adapt the principles of donor relations to digital practices that can keep donors engaged.
  2. Discover practical applications of technology that can help steward donors in new and creative ways.
  3. Help donor relations professionals to be more efficient with our everyday tasks.


Mary Weingartner, Director of Donor Relations, University of Chicago


Kristen CostelloAssociate Director of Advancement Communications, The Grainger College of Engineering Office of Advancement

Tiffany MorrisStrategic Stewardship Officer, University Advancement's Annual Endowment, University of Virginia

Vicky SanchezAnnual Fund and Membership Director, Field Museum

Cheryl Smith-LintnerExecutive Director of Donor Relations, Hackensack Meridan Health Foundation

Leading in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Session

Session Description

We all know that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is important. So, how do we influence change in our organizations and within our industry? Join this discussion on how one non-profit organization is approaching this topic with its staff, and learn as they share their experiences and challenges with this timely, crucial issue. Through their story, learn ways to support DEI efforts in your own organizations and build skills to become an advocate within our industry.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn how to approach and support DEI efforts in our roles within our organizations.
  2. Build confidence in how to advocate and lead DEI efforts within our industry. 


John HannesSenior Officer with Club and District Support, Americas, Rotary International

About the Presenters

Kristen Costello, Panelist
 Kristen Costello Photo

Kristen Costello
Associate Director of Advancement Communications
The Grainger College of Engineering Office of Advancement

Kristen Costello’s passion lies in illustrating how the generosity of others can and does improve our world. She joined The Grainger College of Engineering’s Office of Advancement in 2018 as the Associate Director of Advancement Communications. In her current role, she develops and tests stewardship communications and philanthropic messages to students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the college.

Prior to her move into higher education, she spent 9 years in the non-profit sector where her focus was on enhancing communication to donors and supporters through impactful print and digital content and mobilizing her community to act.

She has over a decade of experience in writing fundraising appeals, including proposals and grant requests, has served on her local Association of Fundraising Professionals Board of Directors and on committees that work to improve her community, and completed her certificate of Fundraising Management from IUPUI’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

John Hannes, Presenter
John Hannes Photo

John Hannes
Senior Officer with Club and District Support, Americas
Rotary International

John Hannes is a Senior Officer with Club and District Support, Americas, representing Rotarians in 39 Districts throughout the United States. He and his team members provide personalized service, regional guidance, and training on Board policy, Rotary’s constitutional documents, resources and services, and administrative procedures.

Recently, he became a founding member of the Rotary Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee whose purpose is to promote DEI for Rotary Staff and address any real or perceived inequities within the organization, and to rely on recent research and proven best practices to ensure diverse, equitable, and inclusive hiring, retention, and advancement opportunities for staff.

John graduated from Dominican University (River Forest, IL) with a BA in Theatre Arts and lives in Evanston, IL. He has been on staff with Rotary since November 2010, is a supporter of The Rotary Foundation (Paul Harris Fellow +4), and is a charter member of the Rotary Club of Evanston Nouveau, Illinois, USA.

Tiffany Morris, Panelist
Tiffany Morris Photo

Tiffany Morris
Strategic Stewardship Officer, University Advancement's Annual Endowment
University of Virginia

Tiffany manages University Advancement’s annual endowment reporting process. In 2018, she partnered with Ovrture to lead Advancement’s transition from hardcopy to digital endowment reporting. Tiffany has since onboarded a number of University of Virginia affiliated schools, units, and foundations to the platform and is at the forefront of efforts to expand the ways the University can provide engaging and meaningful digital stewardship to donors. Tiffany holds a BA from the University of Virginia.  

Vicky Sanchez, Panelist
Vicky Sanchez Photo

Vicky Sanchez
Annual Fund and Membership Director
Field Museum

Vicky Sanchez is the Annual Fund and Membership Director at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, IL. In her role, she oversees all giving levels up to $500—representing 19,500 member and donor households. Vicky joined the Field Museum as the Membership Director in 2017. Under her leadership, efforts to align membership to philanthropy were strengthened with a targeted approach to onsite sales, stewardship, acquisition, retention, and online sales.  


Cheryl Smith-Lintner, Panelist
 Cheryl Smith-Lintner Photo

Cheryl Smith-Lintner
Executive Director of Donor Relations
Hackensack Meridan Health Foundation

Cheryl Lintner started her development career in 2008 in a small non-profit based within a healthcare institution. In 2010, she moved to donor relations in higher education at Rutgers University, then in 2013, returned to healthcare to develop the first comprehensive donor relations program for three hospital foundations within the RWJ Barnabas Health system. Cheryl currently leads the donor relations team responsible for 15 hospitals and network entities under the Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation, where she has worked to grow a donor relations program that includes multiple, recurring touches for all donors and an emphasis on major donor stewardship. Prior to entering the non-profit sector, Cheryl worked in the legal field and in academia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and History from the University of Delaware and a doctorate in Anthropology/Archaeology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Mary Weingartner, Moderator
 Mary Weingartner Photo

Mary Weingartner
Director of Donor Relations
University of Chicago

Mary has worked in the field of donor relations for nearly 15 years, beginning at the University of Illinois Foundation in 2006. In 2009, she joined the University of Chicago’s Donor Relations team and later became Director of Alumni Relations & External Engagement for Loyola University’s Health Sciences Division. Next, Mary managed stewardship for a portfolio of corporate and foundation donors at YMCA of the USA, the national resource office for local YMCAs. Today, Mary is what the University of Chicago calls a boomerang, having returned to Alumni Relations and Development in 2016. Currently, she leads the Donor Relations team and their work to create meaningful donor experiences that deepen relationships with the University.

Mary is an active member of the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP) and chaired the 2018 International Conference in St. Louis and the 2019 International Conference in Miami. She currently chairs ADRP’s Education Committee. 


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