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Nonprofit hires senior director of philanthropy and strategic initiatives

December 12, 2018
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Debra Minton
Debra Minton. Courtesy Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors

A local nonprofit serving burn survivors has created a new leadership role.

Beginning Jan. 3, Debra Minton will be the first senior director of philanthropy and strategic initiatives for the Grand Rapids-based Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.

Minton will oversee philanthropy, strategic initiatives and the expansion of the Phoenix Society's growing list of U.S. and global corporate partners in the health care, surgical, fire-protection, insurance and tissue-bank sectors.

Minton has served as a philanthropic consultant to the Phoenix Society since 2015 through her firm, Philanthropia Partners, most notably leading the capital campaign that raised over $6 million for a variety of expansion initiatives, including moving the nonprofit to its new space at 525 Ottawa Ave. NW in Grand Rapids.

“Through Philanthropia Partners, Deb was instrumental with not only equipping our organization with the strategies and tools needed to meet our capacity campaign goals, but she also dug into the work right alongside us,” said Amy Acton, executive director, Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.

“As a member of our team, we know that Deb will immediately contribute to our continued growth and success in serving our mission to empower our constituents.”

Minton plans to close Philanthropia Partners on Dec. 30 for the new role.

“I have loved every minute of building relationships, and results, for many incredible nonprofit organizations through my firm,” Minton said.

“It has been challenging and rewarding, and I will miss interfacing with clients, but I am extremely excited to apply my 30 years of experience to forge meaningful relationships with others who share the same commitment to Phoenix Society’s critical mission."

Prior to founding Philanthropia Partners in 2010, Minton was VP of development for the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, where she built a fund development department and laid the foundation for an eight-year, $30-million expansion effort that brought three new YMCA organizations to the region. 

Minton was also the VP of development for the Heart of West Michigan United Way.

She is chair of Inforum’s West Michigan Regional Council, a long-time board member for the Saugatuck Center for the Arts and an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals West Michigan Chapter. 

She holds a B.S. in education from Michigan State University and a master of management from Aquinas College.

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