Member Spotlight

Q&A with Elizabeth Lanier-Shipp - University of Missouri-St. Louis

October 7th, 2021Elizabeth Lanier-Shipp

1. What is your current role at your institution? Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations

2. How did you hear about NACRO, and how long have you been a member? I first heard about NACRO in 2011 when I worked at Washington University in St. Louis. I became a member in 2016 when I joined UMSL

3. What do you enjoy most about your NACRO membership? I’ve been so impressed by all the amazing people in this network. The knowledge base, passion, and creativity for our profession is really inspiring. I’ve enjoyed getting to know others and learning from them. A few years ago, I did a benchmarking project for UMSL. I reached out to several NACRO colleagues, many of whom I had never met. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of their time and insights. I see this same spirit in the committee work. As a group of volunteers, we accomplish so much together—whether it is the Benchmarking Committee producing case studies or research reports or the Conference Committee organizing a virtual conference on short notice. It is amazing what this group is able to do

4. So far, what has been your greatest Corporate Relations success? What has been your greatest challenge? Successful external partnerships are based on successful internal ones. My greatest Corporate Relations success has been developing a relationship between UMSL’s University Advancement and our Office of Research Economic and Community Development. These offices had not traditionally collaborated. When I joined the university in 2016, I knew this was a key partnership I wanted to develop. Our enhanced collaboration has laid the foundation for our continued successes as we advance the university’s mission. I think my great challenge is one that many of us face as we try to manage expectations and help others understand how corporate engagement has changed over the last 15-20 years. Our work has evolved into something that is distinct and nuanced. While many of us are responsible for generating philanthropic revenue, the approaches, processes, and metrics used with individual giving do not necessarily work with organizations. I’m grateful that NACRO provides resources to help articulate those differences.

5. What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know? I love to cook. I like to try new recipes, and modify and combine recipes. For me, it is both a creative outlet and a way to show affection for family and friends.