About Valerie Harris

Valerie Harris is Senior Director, Stewardship Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. Specializing in publications and personalized donor communications, she has worked with small and large organizations in the fields of education, community services, and the arts. She is the creator of “Writing to Donors: The 'Thank You' and More,” an online course designed for fundraisers and writers at nonprofit organizations.

When Looking to Diversify Your Development Office, Widen Your Lens

Have you noticed that when talking about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in fundraising, the conversation frequently mentions the lack of suitable candidates of color? I’ve heard that to be a major gift officer you have to have access to people with money, be comfortable socializing with them, and speak [...]

Building A High-Performing Fundraising Team While Advancing Racial Justice

In 2011, I embarked upon a new position in donor relations with great expectations and optimism. But my excitement soon dissipated when within six months both of my Associate Directors left for other positions within the University—one for a higher position while the other made a lateral move. Still a [...]

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