Whitney originally wanted to pursue a career in criminal forensics, but by chance, she took a job in a completely different field. The job was at Thunderbird School of Global Management, and she accepted it because of its proximity to ASU West, where she was completing her bachelor’s degree. “I found fundraising operations, especially technology and research, to be a natural fit for me,” she says. She had the opportunity there to grow her understanding and practice of prospect research and management, a then-emerging field that focuses on developing and nurturing a pipeline of donors.
Whitney established the prospect management and research function within the Institutional Advancement department, later becoming Vice President of Institutional Advancement, where she oversaw fundraising, donor relations, advancement services and alumni relations. When Thunderbird announced its partnership with Arizona State University, Whitney served as a key member of the transition committee, working with Thunderbird’s Board of Trustees on a daily basis to ensure a seamless move.
Whitney brings to The Phoenix Philanthropy Group more than 19 years of experience in fundraising, with expertise in fundraising campaign management, strategic planning, client relationship management, fundraising database systems and fundraising analytics.
As a consultant, she says when a client tells her that something she implemented has helped improve overall operations or employee morale, “it’s the best feeling ever. I like to know that I’ve made an impact and changed an environment for the better. I try to immerse myself into a client’s culture so that I have a true sense of their everyday concerns or struggles.”
On a volunteer basis, Whitney was one of the first members of the Association of Prospect Researchers for Advancement – Arizona (APRA-Arizona) and continues to stay involved in the prospect research industry. Whitney has her Master of Science degree in Information Management from Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business.
Whitney says for her, a quote from social psychologist Erich Fromm has always captured the essence of the value of philanthropy: “In the very act of giving, I experience my strength, my wealth, my power…in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness.”