Senior Assistant Dean achieves institutional fundraising milestones
Mindy Danovaro describes herself as a relationship fundraiser. As the senior assistant dean for advancement at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, Danovaro has excelled at cultivating donors through interpersonal relationships and establishing long-term relationships with law school constituencies.
“Attorneys change the world. They influence society and advocate for clients in every sector. Lawyers don’t just do trials. They do so, so much more,” Danovaro said. “I treat my role as an opportunity to make a difference in the world through legal education and the legal profession.”
Danovaro has written numerous proposals and grant applications and raised more than $40 million for the institution. Danovaro develops fundraising strategies; strategically solicits gifts from current and new donors; and oversees all fundraising activities, alumni relations, and events for the law school.
“McGeorge has the most dynamic, thoughtful, and hardworking alumni network,” Danovaro said. “I really care about our alumni. The alumni and students are why I do what I do.”
During the past six years, Danovaro has helped secure funding for scholarship opportunities, endowments, professorships and chairs, faculty research, academic programs, and experiential learning. She is especially proud of her work with the school’s legal clinics, which deliver pro bono representation to underserved community members and provide experiential learning opportunities to students.
“I have met some of the most amazing humans on the planet through this role. McGeorge’s alumni and donors inspire me to make both McGeorge and the world a better place,” Danovaro said.
Danovaro directs and oversees the Office of Advancement at McGeorge. She works with Casandra Fernandez, Director of Alumni Relations and Events; Sally Pereira, Director of Development Operations; and Dianna Martinez, Alumni Relations and Development Coordinator, to engage alumni and secure charitable support for the law school.
“Every single person at McGeorge makes a difference when it comes to fundraising,” Danovaro said.
Danovaro and her team work strategically to match alumni and donors with their passions.
“We put proposals together that align donors’ passions with the needs of the law school,” she said.
Danovaro also plays an important role in bringing the Dean's vision for McGeorge's future into reality.
“It has been incredible to work with Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz. He is such an asset to this institution and such a great partner for the Office of Advancement,” Danovaro said. “I really feel like I have his support. It's nice to work with a boss that understands the process and is willing to take calculated risks.”
Danovaro said the COVID-19 pandemic altered the way her department interacts and connects with alumni and donors.
“Zoom has really changed how we interface and interact,” she said. “We've been able to reach a much wider alumni base and engage our alumni across the globe virtually during the past year and a half.”
Despite new challenges, Danovaro’s unwavering commitment to the law school was instrumental in achieving multiple institutional fundraising milestones in 2021 - including a recent $25 million commitment from Robert T. and Tracy A. Eglet.
“Mindy Danovaro is as good at her job as a human could be. I have learned so much from working with her, and I am so grateful for the seamlessness of our partnership,” Schwartz said.
Danovaro is actively involved with How Women Lead, a network of more than 10,000 professional women who work together to propel women’s leadership forward.
“Mindy is the kind of leader we need; her deep integrity and commitment to justice combined with her bold actions make her a force for great change and impact,” said Julie Castro Abrams, the CEO and Chair of How Women Lead.
Prior to her role at McGeorge, Danovaro was the executive director at the Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital Foundation for 11 years. During her tenure, she helped raise over $15 million for the foundation. Previously, Danovaro worked in healthcare as a program director for an air ambulance company.
Danovaro has a bachelor’s degree in graphic communications from the University of California, Los Angeles and a master’s degree in communication arts from the New York Institute of Technology. She is also currently an EdD candidate in leadership and innovation at the University of the Pacific Benerd College.
To learn more about giving to McGeorge, visit our website.