When Katrina Little Bowers (BSHE ’84, Consumer Economics and Home Management) first interviewed for the development director position at the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, she wasn’t completely sure what the job entailed.
“I thought I would be helping students get internships,” she recalls with a chuckle. “But after Dean Sharon Nickols explained to me what the job really was about, I said, ‘Sure, I can do that.’”
And do it she has. During Bowers’ 14 years in the college she raised several million dollars, including surpassing the college’s goal in the Archway to Excellence campaign by more than 300 percent. Bowers’ creativity also led to an innovative planned-giving campaign that garnered the college’s inclusion in the long-term estate planning of more than 100 of its alumni and friends.
In 2011, Bowers was recruited by UGA’s Terry College of Business to head the leadership and major-gift component of its $90-million Building Terry campaign. “Her experience at FACS, combined with her leadership style and proven communication and negotiation skills, made her an excellent candidate,” says Martee Horne, senior director of Terry’s development and alumni relations office.
Bowers spent her first years at the university educating alumni about the importance of private giving. As donors began to give, however, Bowers says she was educated in return. “I have learned that there are so many different ways to give,” she says.
Whether it’s an individual retirement account rollover or selling stock, it’s a fun challenge to learn how to incorporate those funds into an endowment. And I also have learned patience. Many people want to give, but they want to identify an area they’re passionate about. In those instances, it’s a matter of continuing the conversations, getting to know them, and then looking at what’s going on in the college. Over time, you find the right match.”