AFP Emerging Leaders: Lisa Robinson, CFRE
Prior to joining consulting firm Alexander|Carrillo, Lisa Robinson, CFRE, served as executive director of the Petfinder Foundation and director of development at Tu Nidito. She is a member of the AFP Southern Arizona Chapter.
1. How did you start your career in the fundraising profession, and what led you there?
A: When I was in college, I was studying art and psychology, focusing on art therapy. During this time, I had an internship with a local nonprofit, Tu Nidito, an organization that supports children impacted by serious illness and death. I fell in love with the nonprofit work and was hired as a program coordinator following my internship. As I grew in my profession, I began working with Petfinder Foundation, a national nonprofit that supports shelters and rescues with finding homes for adoptable pets. As their program director I worked with corporations to help fund grant programs and found my way into fund development. I’ve have been an executive director, development director, and now work as a fundraising consultant with many local nonprofits.
Q: What is a current challenge you or your peers are facing in regard to your professional fundraising career?
A: Knowing how to find the right support when you need it. While development work can be very systematized, it is important to have a network of individuals with all skills to reach out to for support and find creative solutions to raising money.
Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
The two most recent gifts I have solicited and received for a capital campaign. Two asks resulted in $400,000 for an organization I have a passion for, and I am so happy to get to work with them! Additionally, I received my CRFE last year.
Q: Talk a little bit about a mentor/coach/boss you’ve had that has helped you in your career.
The two women who have mentored me throughout my career, Jenny Carrillo and Laura Alexander (founders of the firm I now work for!). They are a true gift to our community and Tucson nonprofit professionals. I began working with them ten years ago as a client of theirs and have always been supported, inspired, and challenged when needed.
Q: How has AFP and the community (AFP Global and/or your chapter) helped you with your success?
The AFP Southern Arizona chapter has always provided good content during meetings and opportunities to get involved. However, it is the peer support that I get during meetings and other community events, and knowing who to reach out to when I am in need of support in any way, that I value the most!
Q: What is your dream job?
A: I’m living it! I feel so blessed to work with two women I truly respect and know they value me as a member of their team. It is an amazing opportunity to be able to work with so many nonprofits in the Tucson community, be inspired by innovative leaders, and be a part of a community that helps to do good better!
- Favorite podcast: Crime Junkie
- Coffee or Tea: Coffee
- Morning person or Night Owl: Not really either, but more morning
- Last show you binge-watched: Working Moms
- Favorite band/artist: P!nk
Lisa Robinson, CFRE, has dedicated her professional career to working with non-profits in the Tucson community. Her work has been instrumental in the development of effective fundraising plans for non-profit organizations, including grant writing, corporate partnerships, and individual gifts. Lisa’s knowledge offers the unique perspective and experience of working in non-profit programming and fundraising, which has refined her skills to develop strategies, processes and goals for the success of her clients.
Prior to joining Alexander|Carrillo, Lisa has worked as both an executive director and director of development. As executive director of the Petfinder Foundation, she led and managed a team with integrity and respect. From developing strong human resource policies and building a development program to following best practices in financial management and board governance she increased effectiveness and efficiency to help the organization succeed. In her role as director of development at Tu Nidito, Lisa implemented and led a development program that resulted in 13%+ revenue increase over budget, created and maintained a major gifts program, built strong board relationships, and executed a robust communications plan.
Lisa has a bachelor’s degree in Art Education from the University of Arizona and has completed nonprofit and leadership course with the Eller College of Management and Lodestar Center for Nonprofit Excellence. Lisa is active the national and local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and has her certified fund raising executive certificate. Her husband, Mark Robinson was born and raised in Tucson and works in a leadership role at World View. Together they have two daughters, Rylie Jo and Harper.