I came to Texas from Scotland at age 21 to work in the oil industry and fell into nonprofit involvement unexpectedly. My work raising funds and awareness for different missions blessed me with tremendous friendships and experiences. I have also learned immensely from volunteer roles.
Philanthropy and volunteerism in America are truly remarkable. The generosity of servant leadership and giving is unmatched anywhere in the world.
In development, we strive to create intentionality in funders’ actions. It’s our job to know exactly what action we hope they will take and provide that opportunity. Personally, one of my favorite ways to achieve this goal is through storytelling. Great stories, when told well and accompanied by compelling facts, provide an emotional and rational bridge between funders and organizations.
I am honored to be part of the talented team implementing Convergent’s dynamic fundraising approach which clearly articulates to funders how capable nonprofits delivering outcomes with value and measurable impact change lives and build communities. Maria is an innovative, entrepreneurial, fundraising leader who builds strategic relationships across multiple stakeholder groups. Her leadership grew major gifts portfolios, sponsorship, events, volunteer leadership, and corporate mission awareness with several national charities.
As the President and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) Georgia Chapter, Maria led the Chapter from closed doors, three board members, and no funds to the largest, most successful Chapter in the LFA network. Her ability to raise funds and build partnerships has steered every organization served to be a national leader.
She is tenacious and visionary with experience in board and committee development, public speaking, and building community support and partnerships. An excellent writer and researcher, Maria produced and designed diverse marketing collateral, social media content, and groundbreaking videos. She helped build the lupus state advocacy efforts with a Lupus Awareness Day and a 2015 lupus bill. Her excellent rapport with physicians created the largest, most engaged LFA Chapter Medical Advisory Board in the nation.
Maria’s passionate ability to connect with stakeholders and to share the story and magic of the mission enhances every project and helps empower others.
Summary of Experience
- President & CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) Georgia Chapter. Accomplishments include:
- Provided a voice and hope for 55,000 Georgia lupus patients.
- Grew revenue from multiple sources for statewide education programs, support groups, patient resources, advocacy, and awareness.
- Created Atlanta’s first Walk to End Lupus Now. 20,000 participants raising $600,000+.
- Instrumental in establishing the Georgia Council for Lupus Education and Awareness.
- 2008 LFA Chapter of the Year.
- 2009 highest Walk revenue.
- 2016 Top Fundraising Chapter.
- Deputy Executive Director, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Accomplishments include:
- 25% annual revenue increase; $700,000 over fiscal budget.
- Largest National Walk increase with 110% revenue growth.
- Recipient of multiple awards, including:
- Phenomenal Women’s Health, Community Service Award (2013).
- Children’s Hospital of Arkansas, Member of the Year (1997).
- Houston Heights Association, Member of the Year (1994).
- MA, Honors in Sociology, University of Glasgow, Scotland.