Katie Lempert Sklar
Katie Lempert Sklar is a seasoned philanthropy professional with over 25 years experience in strategic planning, donor relations management, alumni and student services. Her passions including building comprehensive programs that encompass cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, facilitating long-term donor stability, expansion, and successfully achieving reach goals.
Katie has worked for some of the top organizations in the country, including New England Conservatory, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Women & Infants Hospital. In her roles as Director and Assistant Director, she has re-imagined organizations’ fundraising efforts, leading to record levels of donor expansion, increased support, and surpassing budget goals. In addition to managing all aspects of annual campaigns and special events, she has established donor relations programs that have has a measurable impact on donor engagement and involvement, leading to both increased donations, as well as positioning organizations for campaign strategic planning and readiness.
Throughout her career, Katie has also served as the first fully-dedicated philanthropy officer at organizations seeking to establish and professionalize their fundraising efforts, including Jazz Aspen Snowmass, The Silk Road Project, Inc., and most recently Community MusicWorks (CMW). At CMW, she established the first year-long strategic fundraising campaign for individuals, family foundations, and corporations, successfully raising the highest level of individual contributions for three years, surpassing annual fundraising goals, and consistently raising over 60% of the overall fundraising budget. Additionally, she established and executed a significantly enhanced cultivation and stewardship program, resulting in larger gifts from returning donors, substantially reduced attrition rates, and enhanced donor attendance at programs.
As a fundraising consultant, Katie has the privilege of collaborating with many of the top service, medical, and arts organizations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, providing specialized services including capital and annual campaign strategic planning, donor and database research and analysis, feasibility studies, capital campaign case statements, board and committee strategic materials and training, and communications and marketing materials.
Katie has a B.A. in Psychology from Tufts University and a B.M. in Classical Horn from New England Conservatory of Music. She and her husband, Mitchel, and their daughter, DiDi, live in Providence, RI. Katie also serves on the Gordon School Fund Committee, the Miriam Hospital Women’s Association, and is a member of the Board of Overseers at New England Conservatory.
Louise Rosarbo Dinsmore
Louise Rosarbo Dinsmore is a seasoned development professional with over 20 years of experience in all aspects of fund raising both for major non-profit organizations and as a consultant. Her passions include capital campaign planning, management and execution, major gift solicitation and relationship-building.
Louise began her fund raising career at the Rhode Island School of Design as Director of Annual Giving and was promoted to Director of Special Gifts and Director of Major Gifts. In her role, she was responsible for building the annual leadership giving society – the President’s Club. During her five years at RISD, she increased membership in the President’s Club from 18 to 140 members, increased overall annual giving by 68% and she solicited and closed a $1 million capital campaign gift.
The highlight of Louise’s professional career includes serving as the Capital Campaign Director for the successful drive to fund the University of Rhode Island’s Convocation Center, which was the largest capital project in the history of the University at the time of construction. Success meant raising over $15 million through charitable gifts from over 1,000 donors. Success in that project also meant working with high-profile volunteers including Governor Lincoln Almond and Thomas M. Ryan, former Chairman, President & CEO of CVS/Caremark.
Following the Convocation Center Campaign, Louise was named Director of Athletic Development at URI. When she began in this role, she raised $950,000 for 22 Division I sports and built the annual giving program to $1.7 million three years later through strategic relationship-building and effective face-to-face solicitations.
Serving as Director of Major and Planned Gifts at Women & Infants Hospital provided a unique opportunity for Louise to be a part of a major capital campaign to fund the largest neonatal intensive care unit in the country, here in Rhode Island. She managed a portfolio of 200 prospects for the $23 million ONWARD Campaign and raised $550,000 in the first few months of her tenure.
Louise has a passion for giving back to her community. To that end, she co-founded the Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart & Hope Fund, a local non-profit organization, to honor the memory of her daughter, who passed away due to complications from a rare congenital heart defect (CHD). In 4 years, Louise raised over $1 million leveraging her strong relationships with key business leaders, philanthropists, and corporations and foundations to support the mission of the Fund. The signature program funded by Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart & Hope Fund is Gabrielle’s Heart Camp - the only camp in this region exclusively for children with CHD’s.
Louise has a B.A. in Political Science from Providence College. She and her husband, Jeffrey, live in Washington County, Rhode Island and have a son, Jovani.. She is a member of the Association of Fund Raising Professionals and also serves on the Advisory Council of her high school, Sacred Heart Academy located in Hamden, CT.
Cheryl Comai is an accomplished fund raising professional whose career in Rhode Island non-profit fund raising spans more than 25 years. Her passions include developing and implementing fundraising plans, capital campaign planning and execution, and corporate fundraising. She is one of the most experienced grant writers in this region raising millions in charitable support as a development professional and consultant.
After working for several years in small entrepreneurial businesses and selling one of those businesses to Bausch and Lomb, Cheryl began her non-profit career at Bryant University as Director of Corporate Development. At the Rhode Island School of Design, she served as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations where she increased corporate and foundation support by 33% in each year of her tenure. While at RISD, she was instrumental in initiating and negotiating to conclusion, the first-ever, out-licensing of RISD intellectual property to the Maytag Corporation that resulted in an additional $1 million through a technology transfer.
As Executive Director/Development and Alumni Affairs at Roger Williams University, Cheryl instituted a major giving program and organized the University’s first capital campaign. She re-organized the development department and surpassed all previous annual fundraising goals.
Cheryl managed the highly successful $15 million capital campaign at Meeting Street from inception to successful completion – earlier than expected. She assisted in securing an individual gift of $1.5 million and a $1 million corporate gift and re-instated the successful Meeting Street Telethon.
At the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School, Cheryl organized the $12 million capital campaign and increased the number of annual fund donors by 30%. She also served as the Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving at Providence College, managing a staff of 5 major gift officers.
Cheryl has a B.A. in Social Work from Elms College and an MBA from the University of Rhode Island. She and her husband, Nicholas, live in Oro Valley, Arizona. They volunteer for several non-profit organizations and Cheryl’s interests include travel and collecting African folk art.