Publish Date
Sarah Jennings
Sarah Jennings, DPA
Executive Director of Development at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Doctor of Public Administration

Dissertation:  Does Nonprofit CEO Education AND/or fundraising experience influence the CDO Relationship and organization culture?

Hometown: Griggsville, Illinois

Undergraduate Institution and Major: Culver-Stockton CollegeFine Art

Graduate Institution and Major: University of Illinois Springfield, Arts Administration and Nonprofit Management

Bio:   Sarah Jennings is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (2007- Present) who has raised philanthropic support for various nonprofit organizations since 2000. She currently works as Executive Director of Development at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Sarah previously worked on campaigns and oversaw corporate and foundation relations for SSM Health Foundation- St. Louis. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, special campaigns, major and planned giving, corporate and foundation relations, grant development, and prospect research.

Relevant Professional Experience: Leadership and development roles with:  Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (2021 – Present), SSM Health Foundation- St. Louis (2017- 2021), The Hope Institute (2015- 2017), University of Illinois Springfield (2005- 2006 & 2011- 2015), University of Illinois Foundation (Interim SVP 2012), American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest (2006- 2010), American Lung Association of Illinois- Iowa (2003- 2005), Prevent Child Abuse Illinois (2001- 2003), and Springfield Ballet Company (2000- 2001).

Research Interests:  Effective fundraising, nonprofit talent selection, and retention, nonprofit culture and organization dynamics, donor relations, board relations.

Honors and Awards: Association of Fundraising Professionals Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award, 2008

Professional Affiliations: Association of Fundraising Professionals (2000- Present), Illinois Women in Leadership (2011- 2017), Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (2013- Present)

Volunteer Activities: Springfield Ballet Company Board of Directors (2007-2017; Co-President 2008- 2009; President 2009- 2010; Finance Chair 2011- 2012), Springfield Area Arts Council Grant Review Committee (2013- 2015), Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Illinois Capital Region Program Facilitator (2012), American Heart Association Gala Executive Leadership Team (2012), Association of Fundraising Professionals Capital Area Board of Directors (Secretary 2010- 2014), Memorial Medical Center Festival of Trees Designer (2004- 2006; Volunteer 2006), Viva Springfield Curator (1999), John Wood Community College Adult Literacy Program (1998)