As Chief External Relations Officer of the Texas-based nonprofit Upbring, The New LSS, Donna Palmer oversees the planning and implementation of all external relations strategies, activities and initiatives. She is responsible for fundraising, marketing and communications, advocacy, and volunteer relations. Palmer has more than twenty years of experience building teams and programs to effectively increase funding, awareness and community involvement.
Palmer most recently served as Chief Development Officer of the Austin-based LIVESTRONG Foundation, overseeing individual giving, business development, corporate sponsorship and partnerships, events, major gifts, annual giving, donor relations and stewardship. In her capacity there, she helped identify new revenue channels and crafted creative outreach to engage both current and potential supporters of the patient-centered, cancer-fighting nonprofit.
Before joining the LIVESTRONG Foundation, Palmer was vice president of donor development at the American Diabetes Association where she managed a national revenue budget of $65 million. Prior to that, Palmer was national director of donor relations at Compassion International where she worked closely with donors, created new funding opportunities, and ultimately, increased gift revenues by 48 percent.
Earlier in her career, Palmer served as senior vice president of major gifts and gift planning at ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where she managed a revenue budget of $80 million, created St. Jude’s first major gift strategy and team resulting in increased outright donations and implemented an effective multi-channel marketing strategy resulting in a $15 million increase in bequest revenues within two years and an overall increase in future bequest donations.
Palmer received her B.A. in journalism, marketing, and public relations at Drake University and her J.D. at Tulane Law School. She and her daughter Ellie live in Austin, Texas.