Sarah brings RMA a wealth of experience in the nonprofit sector, primarily in strategic business development to raise funds, grow programs and increase public awareness for human service organizations. With a passion for supporting small, emerging and grassroots organizations, Sarah’s strength lies in her ability to develop effective systems with attention to both people and processes of an organization. She is adept at change management and encourages the thoughtful and intentional growth of each organization she works with. Sarah has worked for organizations with up to 1,200 staff members and has raised local, regional and national grants ranging from $500 to $1 million.
Most recently, Sarah served as Vice President for Resident Services and Resource Development for Mercy Housing Mountain Plains, where she led six direct reports and a full team of 26 staff in regional resident services and resource development. Under her watch were 39 properties covering Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah to serve 4,500 low income families, seniors and people with special needs. In addition, she led the resource development activities for the region, totaling $1 million+ of philanthropic revenue annually. Her main accomplishment in that role was creating synergy and processes to heal and unite a disconnected resident services field staff with resource development staff. Together, the team created a targeted strategic plan with measurable outcomes and budget needs for fundraising and program development for the region. Prior to that role, she served as the National Director for Resource Development for Mercy Housing, Inc., where she was responsible for $1.8 million in revenue from national philanthropic sources, a goal she exceeded in 2009. She also participated in a cross-functional team from across the organization to rebrand Mercy Housing and increase awareness of the organization outside of the housing field.
Prior to her work at Mercy Housing, Sarah served as the first development director for HomeAid Colorado, a local chapter of a national organization that links homebuilders with nonprofits serving the temporarily homeless to build and renovate housing. She worked closely with a board of directors of high level executives from the homebuilding and collateral industries, and introduced new revenue to the organization from local foundations, work she had started as a contract grant writer for the organization several years before joining them full-time.
Before working for organizations in the housing arena, Sarah’s work focused on victims’ services and child welfare, two service areas in which home is a common theme. She was the first Development Director for Women’s Crisis and Family Outreach Center in Castle Rock, and created the strategic plan for the organization’s growth and capital campaign. As the Manager of Grants and Research for the Adoption Exchange, she led grant writing activities for five state offices and solicited and obtained a new five-year grant of $400,000 annually to create the statewide Colorado Post Adoption Resource Center. At the Denver Center for Crime Victims, she expanded the funding base of the organization, and participated in the team rebranding of the organization with an updated name, logo and message to the community. Sarah’s first job was as a children’s advocate for a shelter for victims of domestic violence, where she led children’s groups, mom’s support groups and family programming.
Sarah has traveled through the Middle East, South America and Europe and has had the opportunity to work on international issues ranging from Palestinian Christian rights in Israel to education and poverty in Guatemala. She has volunteered her time on the board of directors of local organizations including Young Philanthropists Foundation, Project Salvador and People with AIDS Coalition Colorado. Sarah has written several articles, including “Karma capitalism: Going beyond the basics,” a 2008 guest column in ColoradoBiz magazine; and “Moving Your Bottom Line with Cause-Related Marketing,” which appeared in Home Builder magazine that same year. In her spare time, Sarah teaches yoga and runs Yoga for the People, a volunteer-driven non-profit organization that she co-founded to connect volunteer yoga instructors to nonprofits, schools, shelters and community centers in the Denver metro area.
Sarah earned her Master of Nonprofit Management from Regis University and has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and theology from Wartburg College. She is a graduate of the Partners in Leadership Program at the Anti-Defamation League, and is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.