How to Build a Planned Giving Culture – and Why...
Laura Simic, Vice President, brings more than 35 years of experience in fundraising and executive leadership in public and private higher education to the GG+A team. She has frontline development officer and two decades of executive leadership experience encompassing all areas of advancement including alumni relations, advancement services, communications, annual giving, major gifts, principal gifts, planned giving, and board relations. Laura has led development programs, project-based and comprehensive university campaigns totaling approximately $1 billion.
Before joining GG+A, Laura served Boise State University, as the Vice President of Advancement. There, she was responsible for leading the advancement division’s teams in development, donor relations, alumni relations, communications and operations, in addition to planning and leading multi-million-dollar campaigns for scholarships and facilities. Laura counseled the University president and board members, as well as trained volunteers, administrators, and faculty in fundraising, donor relations, and alumni activities. Her leadership secured the University’s largest single gift to date of $25 million.
Prior to this role, Laura was Interim Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations and the Senior Associate Vice President for Development and Campaign Director at Creighton University during its $480 million Willing to Lead campaign. Additionally, as Associate Vice Chancellor for Development at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte she initiated new programs, doubled the size of the development operation, and planned and directed the university’s first comprehensive campaign. Laura also held multiple positions at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville including Assistant Vice President and Director of Planned Giving, Director of Development for the College of Communications and Director of Development for the University Libraries. She began her career at the University of Oregon where she served as the Coordinator of Library Development and the Principal Coordinator of the Library Capital Project.
Her expertise extends beyond higher education as a current Trustee of the Mortar Board National Foundation, Director of the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation, Boise Art Museum and Opera Idaho; and a Development Committee Member of the Idaho Youth Ranch. She previously has served in volunteer leadership roles for a variety of regional and national nonprofits in the arts, education, social services and youth services including as a director of the University of Oregon National Alumni Association, president of the Delta Delta Delta Foundation, board chair of United Family Services (Charlotte, NC) and a board member of Inclusive Communities (Omaha, NE), and the Tanasi Girl Scout Council (Knoxville, TN).
Prior to joining GG+A, Laura’s consulting work includes the Franciscan Health Foundation, the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley, Clayton State College, University of Memphis and America Magazine. She has presented on a variety of advancement-related topics for AFP, the American Library Association, the Big Ten Fundraisers Institute, CASE, Duke Foundation, Educational Travel Conference, SOLINET, and the University of North Carolina Bridges Program among other national and regional non-profit organizations and conferences.
Laura is a past recipient of the Outstanding Professional Fundraiser award from the Charlotte, NC chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She has been a Certified Fund Raising Executive since 1995 and audited coursework in taxation and estate planning at the University of Tennessee College of Law. Laura received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Oregon (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a Master of Sciences in education and leadership studies from the University of Tennessee.
- University of Alaska Anchorage
- Fordham University
- Harvard University T. H. Chan School of Public Health
- Indiana University Foundation
- Loyola Marymount University
- University of Massachusetts Amherst
- University of Massachusetts Lowell
- Mercyhurst University
- New Healthcare Concepts, Inc.
- University of New Mexico Foundation
- Northern Arizona University Foundation
- Northern Colorado University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Queensborough Community College CUNY
- Saint John’s Health Center Foundation
- The Pennsylvania State University
- Washington State University Foundation
- Wayfinder Family Services
- Yeshiva University