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Advancement Office restructured to align with best practices and prepare for a campaign

Five teams designed to advance the University’s fundraising priorities in all areas.

By Nathan Solheim

February 27, 2018

Tivoli in winterThe MSU Denver Advancement Office has been re-organized to align the University’s fundraising priorities with professional best practices and launch a major comprehensive capital campaign.

Dino Hernandez, vice president of advancement and executive director of the MSU Denver Foundation, oversaw development of the new structure, which expands the number of teams in the office from three to five, elevated seven employees to positions of increasing responsibility and created two senior-level fundraising positions.

“It’s important for us to create the infrastructure that accommodates the different ways people may wish to support us philanthropically,” Hernandez said.

The new teams will administer all functions within The MSU Denver Foundation, Advancement and Alumni Relations.

Here’s a breakdown of the new teams:

  • Foundation and Advancement Services will include the MSU Denver Foundation, data analytics, database management and gift processing.
  • Stewardship and Advancement Special Events covers advancement special event planning and donor stewardship.
  • Development will be responsible for front-line fundraising, prospect research and planned giving.
  • Corporate and Foundation Relations and the Office of Grants will be responsible for corporate relations and securing support from businesses, nonprofits and private and family foundations.
  • Alumni and Alumni Giving will handle the alumni engagement and alumni donations.

Hernandez also plans to hire two positions: an associate vice president of advancement/campaign director and an executive director of corporate and foundation relations.

Currently, Advancement is working with a nationally recognized campaign consultant—Bentz Whaley Flessner—to gauge the feasibility of a current and planned comprehensive capital campaign—one for the new School of Hospitality, Events and Tourism and one for the entire University. Phase one of the feasibility study should be complete by the end of March.

“The reorganization is as much about using advancement best practices as it is about getting us ready for the next exciting phase at MSU Denver,” Hernandez said.

As part of the re-organization, seven employees were promoted. Here’s a list of the employees and their new titles:

  • Steve DeVisser, UA and foundation chief financial operations officer/chief business analyst
  • Jamie Hurst, assistant vice president of strategic engagement
  • Traci McBee Rowe, director of donor relations and advancement special events
  • Brandi Rideout, director of alumni relations
  • Breanna Milnes, director of annual giving
  • Tori Meyers, interim director of grants
  • John Oseth, assistant director of prospect research

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