Hartford Seminary Welcomes Director of Philanthropy

President Joel N. Lohr is pleased to announce that Kaaren Van Dyke will join Hartford Seminary on Feb. 1, 2019, as Director of Philanthropy.

“Kaaren is an experienced and energetic leader in philanthropy, and I could not be more pleased that we’ve attracted her to Hartford Seminary,” President Lohr said. “What I am particularly excited about is that Kaaren not only loves the work of development, external relations, and philanthropy, but she comes with a deeply held passion for Hartford Seminary and its unique mission. She understands that Hartsem is not a regular seminary. She’s precisely the right person to help us share our unique message of hope with our local communities and the world.”

Van Dyke has worked in nonprofit management and development for seven years, most recently as Development Director of Food for Thought in Forestville, Calif. Founded in 1988, Food for Thought is dedicated to feeding people in Sonoma County with HIV and other serious illnesses.

She also worked in development at San Francisco Theological Seminary, calling that the “most impactful time” in her career, and earlier as an administrator for other nonprofit organizations and as an artist and designer with her own showroom.

Van Dyke said she looks forward to engaging with Hartford Seminary’s students, faculty and staff, and learning from the Seminary’s diverse faith communities.

“I pursued a career in philanthropy to engage with organizations and philanthropic partners who choose to foster a community of world changers,” she said. “I am excited to join the Hartford Seminary community and believe that I have been called to bring all my energy to support this amazing educational institution.”

As Director of Philanthropy, Van Dyke will oversee all fundraising efforts within the Seminary: major gifts, annual fund, planned giving, new donor development, special fundraising initiatives, foundations and grants work, and capital campaigns. She will also be a key partner in developing and growing institutional relationships, internal and external, and in fostering a culture of philanthropy.

Van Dyke holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nonprofit Public Administration from the University of San Francisco. She also studied at the Alfred University School of Art and Design.

She has served as a board member and board president of Compassionate Living, an organization that encourages a vegan lifestyle. When not working, she likes to run, spend time in nature, go to farmers’ markets and cook vegan meals.


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