17 Sep Staff Spotlight: Liz Milliken
In this edition of SUDC Insights, we would like to introduce you to one member of our amazing staff, Elizabeth (Liz) Milliken, the SUDC Foundation’s Director of Development. She is based out of the Foundation’s office in New Jersey.
What do you do for the Foundation? As the Director of Development for the SUDC Foundation, I am responsible for developing and implementing the Foundation’s fundraising efforts to make sure the Foundation has the resources to do the good work it does! This means working with families and organizations who want to host events or other fundraisers to raise money to support the mission of the SUDC Foundation and working with philanthropies and corporations to encourage them to support our work through grants, employee-giving programs and sponsorships. I also work closely with the members of the Foundation’s board of directors and collaborate in their fundraising efforts. I manage the development of the SUDC Foundation’s newsletter and annual report as well as ensure the transparency and accuracy of the Foundation’s financial records. Currently, I am spending a lot of time planning the 2019 SUDC Foundation Family Retreat!
What is your professional background? I have a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral and Social Sciences from the University of Maryland College Park as well as a certificate in Executive Philanthropy and Resources Development from Fairleigh Dickinson University. I previously worked in the hotel industry as a corporate conference manager until a dear friend asked me to help her establish an organization within the HandsOn Network under the Points of Light Foundation.
Tell us about life outside of work! My husband and I started dating in high school and continued to date through college despite attending school in different states. We are the proud parents of four children, a daughter-in-law and a darling granddaughter. We live in northwest New Jersey with a lovable yellow lab, Maverick. I have always been very committed to supporting our children’s athletic programs and am currently involved with several volunteer organizations. My most enjoyable moments are spending time together as a family, watching college football, downhill skiing and vacations at the Jersey Shore.
What do you like best about working for the Foundation? I love our staff! The families and professionals I speak with on a daily basis are truly amazing. And I love being able to build relationships with donors from all over the world. It is fascinating to me how individual communities have a different or unique approach to fundraising. One of my favorite experiences was while working with the SUDC UK, an affiliate of the SUDC Foundation, as the organization was established in 2018. It gave me the opportunity to help draft a constitution for approval from the Charity Commission in the UK and learn about international fundraising laws. I also love that my job allows me to use a variety of skills. In addition to overseeing development initiatives for the Foundation, my responsibilities include assisting the Foundation in strategic planning, recruiting members for our board of directors, implementing new fundraising processes to better support our donors and improve the Foundation’s record-keeping to help us efficiently collect and measure data.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Breyers chocolate chip, always in a cup never a cone.
What is a fun fact or something people might be surprised to learn about you? I have a condition called “synesthesia” where my brain joins sensory perception colors to abstract things like days of the week, months of the year and numbers. While I may read text in the actual color it is printed, I always see a certain color in connection to it. For example, in my wonderfully colorful world, Saturday is always pink, the number 5 is always green and July is a pretty shade of blue. Some of the colors are very vivid!