Bringing Authenticity to Nonprofit Leadership (Lisa Baxter)

September 2020

Like many in the nonprofit sector, Lisa Baxter did not seek a role in philanthropy; the sector quite literally sought her out.  And while the path to nonprofit leadership has not always been accommodating, the lessons learned and wisdom gained has helped Lisa not only succeed but also provide valuable advice for others on a similar career track.  In episode #57 of the Path podcast, Lisa discusses the systems she has in place to remain productive while balancing work and family, and also how she's even more sensitive to the value of her time.  She also shares some great resources that have helped her develop her skills and encourage others to join the profession.


"Once you let go of regimented ideas of what a fundraiser should look like, it opens up a whole new world." 


Lisa is the Director of Major Gifts for MLK Community Health Foundation in Los Angeles and is responsible for the strategic direction and management of key donors and fundraising initiatives essential to developing, expanding and stewarding major philanthropic support for the hospital.  Lisa has worked in the nonprofit sector for 12 years including roles as the Director of Development for After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles (ASAS-LA), the Associate Director, Corporate Giving at Starlight Children's Foundation and the Director of Corporate Development at Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles. Prior to Make-A-Wish, Lisa worked at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) for five years as an Associate Director, Major and Planned Gifts. Lisa began her career in nonprofit as a Match Support Specialist at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and earned her BA in English from Mount Saint Mary's University and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Greater Los Angeles (AFP-GLAC) and Conaxion a non-profit that supports small businesses in South LA with access to capital, technical assistance and resources needed to grow and thrive. Lisa is also the 2020 Chair of the AFP-GLAC I.D.E.A. (Inclusion. Diversity. Equity. Access.) Committee.