Speaker Series Highlights: Elaine Delgado

We recap on ARAD’s Spring 2018 Distinguished Speaker Series with Elaine Delgado.


On Monday, February 26, Elaine Delgado, Director of Individual Giving at the Tenement Museum, joined ARAD students, faculty, staff and alumni to deliver a talk about creating a culture of philanthropy at arts organizations. Delgado shared case studies from her career, which has included arts non-profits Casita Maria and the Hispanic Society to explain how she has applied theories like Michael Kaiser’s the Cycle in her work. She energized our audience by talking through challenges such as fundraising for the Hispanic Society while its main venue is closed for renovations as well as success stories like creating donor relationships between Casita Maria and Gaetana Enders.


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Her passion for each organization’s mission became clear throughout her talk and demonstrated the link between an organization’s artistic mission and its administration. Delgado gave ARAD students practical advice to consider as they embark on careers in development. First year student Rachel Huang said, “Elaine Delgado’s talk was really thought-provoking. I really enjoyed learning her working experience in three such unique organizations.”


Delgado also led a conversation among attendees during which the group discussed building board relationships, integrating individual giving with other forms of development, and building passion among stakeholders. First year student Carolina Cambronero-Varela said, “Her knowledge, professionalism, experience and presentation style made this an empowering event.”


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ARAD program director Dr. Jennifer Lena began the Distinguished Speaker Series in 2013 to complement ARAD’s theoretical and practical curriculum. Understanding development is an important part of ARAD’s curriculum, since many arts professionals are involved in fundraising for their organization’s operations. Through the series, ARAD students have opportunities to learn firsthand from experts in the field. Later this semester, ARAD will welcome speakers from the American Museum of Natural History and Slover Linett Audience Research.