Wittenberg University Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Engagement Rebecca Kocher has announced that Chris Nelson, director of leadership giving, will now serve as senior director of development in the University’s fundraising and alumni relations division effective immediately.
“Since joining Wittenberg in 2015, Chris has made a significant impact both personally and professionally in advancing philanthropy and engagement among our alumni and friends,” Kocher said. “I am excited to have Chris take on even greater responsibility in this role, and I am confident that his work will continue to elevate our leadership and planned giving programs, and strengthen our constituent relationships.”
A Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), Nelson currently manages a portfolio of 175-plus prospective donors and serves as the advancement expert to the Communication and Business Leadership Experience (CABLE) program at Wittenberg, a year-long course that includes developing a plan to engage and solicit millennials for annual support. Nelson also continues to assist in the development of materials and in donor engagement strategies in support of Wittenberg’s new $50 million Health, Wellness, and Athletics complex, the grand opening celebration for which is slated for October 24-27 during Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 2019.
Before coming to Wittenberg, Nelson served as a major gifts officer at Oberlin College, where he managed a portfolio of 175-plus prospective donors during the $250 million Oberlin Illuminate campaign. In this capacity, he identified, cultivated, solicited, and stewarded outright and estate gifts ranging from $50,000 to $1 million, averaged 145 visits a year, and annually met or exceeded proposal creation and estate documentation goals.
Nelson earned his B.A. with honors in English-Writing from Heidelberg University, in Tiffin, Ohio, where he graduated magna cum laude in 2007. He then went on to earn his M.F.A. in theatre management from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, in 2010.