Member Spotlight: Lauren Elliott

Posted by askirvin on Jan 11, 2024 03:14:14 PM

Meet Lauren Elliott! Lauren is the Director of Planned Giving at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Lauren has always found herself intrigued by mortality, so her cocktail conversations often revolve around death, DNR's and living wills (you know- the fun stuff!). As an old soul and cancer survivor, she's not one to shy away from life's most challenging conversations.

With degrees in dance and business from Arizona State University, Lauren channeled her passion for the arts into a career in fundraising. Lauren dove into philanthropy at the American Ballet Theater, the High Museum of Art, and with Atlanta Ballet. There, she cultivated a donor who brought the largest bequest to the organization. The donation empowered Lauren to continue her career cultivating long-term relationships.

At Georgia State University, Lauren is motivated by the ongoing stewardship with donors and her personal connection with the mission. More than 60% of her time is spent connecting with prospects, 10% working with stewardship or stewardship strategies for the office, 10% on other administrative tasks and about 20% on marketing. She is inspired by working through difficult conversations to create a transformational gift. 

 "I feel I have a sense of duty or responsibility to make the world a better place." 

Her dance background helps identify body language shifts when cultivating relationships with donors. Especially when discussing the future of the donor's estate, picking up on changes in body language allows her to further conversations to support the donor and gain trust. She might pick up on tension and ask herself, "Did that [question] make them uncomfortable? Should I ask that question differently?"

For Lauren, the resources available through higher education have impacted her growth as a fundraiser. Attending conferences and participating in professional development have elevated her skills. "I am really grateful for the CGP community. I've learned so much, and the conferences are incredibly valuable. CGP has supported my growth and my sense of community surrounding gift planning."

Finally, we asked Lauren to share some advice for our readers. 

"You are already so brilliant; you know the universe that you have experienced. You are an expert on your own experience in a way that no one else is. I want to support all the knowledge within our organization and tap into and support the new and different ideas." 

Thank you to Lauren Elliott for sharing her experience with us. 

If you have any career news updates, share them with CGP for the opportunity to be featured in an upcoming Member Spotlight.

Topics: Member Spotlight