Stefanie Stark – Development Systems International President

Stefanie Stark

Stefanie Stark

Stefanie Stark, President of Development Systems International, fell in love with the nonprofit sector early in life when she was recruited at the age of 12 into a performing arts college. Stefanie saw firsthand the funding challenges that arts organizations faced. A serious car accident with a drunk driver ended her performing arts career and changed the trajectory of her life. It was then that Stefanie turned her passion for charity and the arts into what has become her life’s true calling: perfecting the art of fundraising, connecting donors and philanthropists to the missions and organizations that inspire them.

Stefanie has worked as an executive and a fundraising professional in the charitable sector for more than 20 years. She is a founding member of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives (NANOE). Stefanie is a Certified Nonprofit Consultant, Certified Development Executive, and Certified Executive Coach and serves on the faculty of National Development Institute. She studied at the National Hungarian Ballet Academy and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Utah, B.F.A.

Stefanie has served as a Development & Marketing Officer in transitional housing for homeless women and children. She served as Executive Director of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s nonprofit, Children’s Health Defense, a national legal advocacy nonprofit. Stefanie is Secretary of Board for Inside the Vatican Magazine’s nonprofit foundation, Urbi et Orbi Communications, Secretary of the Board for HorsePlay Therapy Center, and President Emeritus for Once a Soldier. She is experienced in nonprofit operations, strategic planning, budget planning, donor engagement, board administration, national advocacy, digital marketing, and chapter development.

Since 2016, Stefanie has been a marketing and fundraising consultant for some of the most recognized NGO brands in the charitable world – including the United Nations Foundation, the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, the Bridgespan Group, and the San Diego Museum of Art – as well as newcomers to the sector. She has coached nonprofit leaders through successful multi-million dollar campaigns that are donor-driven, using the Major Gifts Ramp-Up model, in order to meet their organization’s financial goals, achieving exponential growth, sustainability, and measurable ROI.

It was a serious car accident caused by a drunk driver that catapulted Stefanie into her career serving the charitable sector. In these 20+ years of immersion in every aspect of nonprofit management – working with arts, faith-based, and secular organizations, and raising millions of dollars for worthy causes, Stefanie now refers to herself as “the nonprofit whisperer” for good reason. Sometimes the detour in life is the path. She has embraced her path, serving the leaders and world changers in the social sector through connections with donors and philanthropists who support their missions.

Development Systems International ensures professionals who lead human welfare, health services, education, arts and environmental nonprofits access the Major Gifts Ramp-Up Model (MGRU). Major Gifts Ramp-Up is used by organizations around the world to raise the millions they require to accomplish their important mission. Stefanie and her team of experts introduce wealthy donors to nonprofits who in turn secure the financial-capacity of charitable organization who achieve significant impact.

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