Elissa McDonald

Focus: Development plans, major donor cultivation, individual giving, institutional giving

Bio: Ms. McDonald has mastered the art of storytelling and transforming complex ideas into engaging donor-centric text that drives action, increasing efficiencies with process and technology improvements, and working collaboratively across to the aisle to create organizational change.

Beginning with the United Way of Staunton and West Augusta and moving to the Harrisonburg Rockingham United Way, McDonald led volunteer teams in major strategic shifts including organizational merges and funding model pivots all the while successfully raising community funds. The Muncie Symphony Orchestra moved to a patron-focused business model that increased program revenue and obtained multi-year funding commitments to underwrite conductor compensation. The introduction of online technology produced professional event logistics and grant funding provided community music programming at Stuart Hall School. At Blue Ridge CASA, McDonald implemented a student-led one day giving campaign that doubled donations. The Harrisonburg Rockingham Free Clinic saw a 60% philanthropic increase in direct mail campaigns, integrated efficient online donation, auction, and event platforms, and updated business rules and acknowledgment process.

Ms. McDonald has the creativity to facilitate philanthropy balanced with the analytical skills that increase the philanthropic work efficiencies.

Back to Top