Tucson Lifestyle November 2012 : CT-8

Outstanding Fundraising Professional: Laura Alexander learning, are great critical thinkers and are engaged members of the community. I think anyone would want to invest in that.” Fun Fundraising Laura brought in artist Charles Andrade to teach his innovative wall painting technique called “lazure,” in which layers of glaze are applied over a white base-coat, creating depth and vibrancy. Waldorf parents, teachers and others were invited to the work-shops and painted the four new classrooms using the technique. Why did you choose the fundraising field? “I’ve worked in the nonprofit sector since I was 19 years old. I really started out as an activist in college and learned that commu-nity organizing, constituency building and fundraising were essen-tial to my social justice goals. Now I get to use my fundraising skills for many causes and organizations that improve the quality of life in our community. I feel I’m still an activist at heart. I love working for organizations that I’m passionate about on a deeply personal level, like the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. “My brother died of AIDS in 1997 so my husband, daughter and I do the AIDS walk in his honor every year. I’ve worked with SAAF pretty consistently for the last five years. I love it when I work for a client where my personal passion meets my professional capabili-ties.” What is an effective way to get people to contribute time and/or money? “There’s an art and science to fundraising. The science is to find the target audience who will be predisposed to a certain cause and to articulate a compelling vision. The art is building authentic rela-tionships with donors. Time, money, sharing expertise — every person in the world has something to offer.” Laura Alexander is surrounded by members of the 7th grade class at Tucson Waldorf School and their teacher Linda Braun, (back row). What is a difficult part of your job? “When people misrepresent what philanthropy is. Oftentimes we think of it as getting the gift and meeting the needs of the orga-nization, and that really puts donors off. It makes them feel like they’re being hawked. What philanthropy really is supposed to be about is voluntary action for the common good. So that means building relationships based on trust, connecting people to causes and issues that really matter to them and helping the donors make their dreams come alive.” Laura Alexander sits in a Waldorf School classroom shimmering with newness. Her talents were integral in raising the $1.3 million it cost to build the four new classrooms on the midtown River Road campus that used to be a horse ranch. She laughs as she points out that the canopied picnic benches where students dine were once horse stalls. Family: Married to UA Professor Fabian Alfie; they have a nine-year-old daughter Cecilia. Education: Undergraduate degree in women’s studies from University of Kansas; Master’s in philanthropy and fund develop-ment from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Occupation: Consultant and Partner, Alexander/Carrillo Consulting LLC Current Community Involvement: Board member of the Tucson Waldorf School; the Arizona Family Health Partnership; and the Association of Fundraising Professionals You’ve just finished a major project — raising more than $1 million for the Tucson Waldorf School. “It’s a holistic education that works with the mind, body and spirit. So the kids who come out of this school have a love of 8 CR TUCSON LIFESTYLE CHARITY REGISTER | 2012-2013 Current projects Watershed Management Group; Greenfields Country Day School; San Miguel High School; Ben’s Bells; Catholic Community Services; and Greater Green Valley Community Foundation. What have you taught your daughter about philanthropy? “We built it into our family life. One of the things that we’ve done is call the Humane Society to see what they needed for the animals. They gave us a list like Kongs, food and collars. So Cecilia and I bought some things and we went down with a check. Because I know HSSA Development Director Gail Brown, they came and met Cecilia, received her donations, took a picture and gave her a little tour. It gave her a concrete image of what it means to give. The Humane Society realizes they could create a life-long donor in my daughter.” www.tucsonlifestyle.com

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