Melissa Rowan is the Assistant Vice President – Strategic Initiatives at Iowa State University. In this role, Melissa staffs the ISU Foundation’s Board of Directors, oversees operational implementation of the Foundation’s recently completed strategic plan, and serves as the public information officer. Prior to this role, Melissa spent nearly 20 years in annual giving, with 15 of those years in director, senior director, and executive director roles. She has worked both in the higher education space as well as the museum and cultural organization space, where she focused on both annual giving and membership programs. She estimates that the programs that she has led have raised close to $70 million from phone, mail, online, and personal solicitation efforts.
Melissa has served for more than 15 years an Annual Giving Consultant, helping nonprofit clients of all sizes and purposes strive to reach their fundraising potential. Her expertise includes core and emerging annual giving strategies; strategic and annual planning; staff development and coaching; board and volunteer management; and effective donor stewardship and engagement.
Melissa has participated as a chair and faculty member at several CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education) and Academic Impressions annual giving conferences. She has also been a featured speaker at national conferences for organizations such as the League of American Orchestras and Volunteers of America.
Melissa graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in history and Florida State University with a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management.
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