Newsletter Archives

Non-Profit Resources: 
Association of Donor Relations Professionals

Interview with Rose Dalba, President - ADRP
Executive Director of Donor Relations - University of Chicago

by George Williams, Communications Specialist, Planned Legacy

The Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP) is the first community of stewardship and donor relations professionals in the United States and Canada – and it was formed for a reason.

"Fundraisers are starting to get it now,” said Rose Dalba, Executive Director of Donor Relations at the University of Chicago and President of ADRP. “The powers that be, the Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents of Development, are starting to realize that you have to spend money on donor relations and donor recognition. You will never get repeat gifts without donor recognition and good donor relations.”

There has been a subtle change in the area of donor relations over the past five years according to Dalba, and this change has resulted in an increasing number of donor relations professionals, all of whom need accurate information and networking opportunities. ADRP provides those opportunities.

An international organization for individuals interested in the profession of donor relations, the goals of ADRP are to provide education, professional development, and networking opportunities to its members and to promote the professional status of donor relations and stewardship officers in the development community.

“You don’t want to reinvent the wheel every time you launch a new program,” said Dalba. “You want to know what has been successful for other organizations. ADRP is a network of almost 500 donor relations professionals that allows you, among other things, to network with colleagues and find out what works and what doesn’t – before you begin to develop you organization’s donor recognition, donor relations and/or stewardship programs. It provides an opportunity to learn from the experts in your field, which can save you countless hours of time and money.

“Donor relations and stewardship are often seen as something that goes on behind the scenes,” continued Dalba. “We don’t go actively solicit donations. But what we do is just as important. Our goal is to recognize and thank donors in a fashion that will cultivate future gifts. It takes forward thinking and spending on resources to enhance donor relations. Part of that job is also reporting to donors on the impact of their gifts. The University of Chicago is closing in on the end of a $2 billion campaign. We could never raise that kind of money without appropriate donor recognition.

“The competition for the donor dollar is increasingly more challenging. It’s fine to get a one time gift, but if you ever expect to get another gift you need to have appropriately thanked the donor and recognized them for their first gift.”

So how do you thank a donor appropriately? That’s where ADRP can help.

Membership in ADRP includes numerous benefits besides the opportunity to network and communicate with like-minded donor relations professionals at their annual ADRP International Conference, which takes place this year from November 8-10 in Denver.

The ADRP Web site includes expert opinion articles, member spotlights, inspiring stories and chilling examples of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat in stewardship and donor relations for the edification and amusement of all, job postings, a membership directory with contact information for colleagues, and the StewList archives, which contains helpful information previously posted by your peers. Members also receive discounted registration rates at both regional workshops and international conferences.

Membership at ADRP provides you with the satisfaction of knowing you are joining a group of individuals committed to serving the donor relations profession, the philanthropic community and their individual institutions' overall development and public relations efforts.

For more information on the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP) please visit:

For more information please contact: Association of Donor Relations Professionals
Dartmouth College
6066 Development Office
Hanover, NH 03755-3555

For more information

For specific project examples and demonstrations, or more information on interactive displays, digital messaging systems and integrated donor wall projects, please contact Planned Legacy.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience, but you are using an older version of Internet Explorer which is not supported on this Web site. To update to a more current version of Internet Explorer, please Click Here. Thank You.