Campus Life

Donor engagement and alumni relations the focus of new University of Lethbridge vice-president Greenwood

An experienced leader in revenue development and alumni and donor engagement in Canadian post-secondaries is the newest vice-president at the University of Lethbridge.

Kathy Greenwood, who has been at the forefront of several prominent and successful multi-million dollar fundraising and engagement campaigns for post-secondary schools throughout Western Canada, is the U of L's new vice-president development and alumni relations.

“We’re extremely fortunate to be adding someone with Kathy's breadth of experience to our senior administrative team,” says Dr. Mike Mahon, U of L president and vice-chancellor. “Her strengths in engaging alumni and donors, inspiring philanthropy, and stewarding large campaigns are essential in today's environment that places such a strong emphasis on own-source revenue generation. We're excited to bring her enthusiasm on board.”

Greenwood, who grew up in Lethbridge and attended Winston Churchill High School, comes to the U of L from KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc), where she served as partner and senior vice-president. KCI is one of Canada's leading consulting firms to the non-profit sector, supporting charitable organizations across the country in fundraising, strategy, research & analytics, and executive search.

“This position feels like a homecoming for me. Growing up in Lethbridge, the University was part of my life and well known to me through my involvement with athletics,” says Greenwood, who earned her BA in sociology from the University of Alberta and Credentials of Readiness business certification from Harvard Business School.

Before her consulting work, Greenwood held positions with the University of Calgary, as director of development and alumni relations, and the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, where she served as vice-president and chief development officer.

Each opportunity allowed her to expand her skillset as a strategic planner charged with increasing revenue in crucial funding areas, boosting philanthropic engagement, and establishing a sustainable culture of philanthropy.

In 2012, she returned to KCI, where she worked with several post-secondary institutions on their campaigns, including the University of Victoria, University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, University of Saskatchewan, MacEwan University, University of Regina and University of British Columbia.

“Throughout my career, I have had the privilege and opportunity to work with a variety of universities. I understand the challenges faced by post-secondary institutions as well as the enormous opportunities within this sector.”

She's enthused about the opportunity to focus solely on the post-secondary sector.

“What universities can do in terms of impact is so incredibly important. They are catalysts for change, putting forth new ideas and innovations, and offering a different lens on issues of societal importance,” she says. “In my role, engaging philanthropists in conversations about the work we do, having them invest and communicating our impact is incredibly important.”

Greenwood recognizes the difficult climate facing post-secondary institutions and the emphasis on creating own-source revenue streams. The University is in the midst of historic budget cuts with further reductions in provincial operating grant funds scheduled for the next two years.

“Currently, we are in challenging times; there have been many who have been hurt economically by the pandemic. As with any challenge, there is also opportunity for new ways of seeing and doing. In my conversations this past year with donors, there have been many business leaders and philanthropists who have a sense of responsibility to give back to their community and that is inspirational to me,” she says.

Her role is also not just about generating revenue; rather it is about cultivating engagement and involvement on multiple levels and connecting the University to its communities.

“So much of my work is about building relationships and about communicating need and impact," says Greenwood. “It is understanding the needs and interests of our donors and alumni who may want to invest in ways that might not be financial. Their investment could include their time, talent, or treasure. All those things are essential to the University. As I work with donors and alumni, I want to provide opportunities for connections because those connections will ensure lifelong supporters of the University — and that's an exciting opportunity for all of us.”

Greenwood will begin her new role in mid-May.