Laurel Amabile Professional Life

Laurel Amabile, CFRE | Giving Speaks | Asheville, North Carolina
Email:   |   Phone: (207) 239-7162

Professional Experience

Development Director |  April 2016 – Present                                                           The Mountain Retreat & Learning Center, Inc.                                                       P.O. Box 1299, Highlands, NC 28741  |  phone: (828) 526-5838 ext 254   |  email:  |  website:

•In close collaboration with Executive Director and Board of Trustees institutional advancement team, develop annual and long-term fundraising plans and lead in the execution of the plan.
•Develop the key messages and implement the communication strategy that connects The Mountain to its members, donors, friends and UU congregations.
•Establish relevant metrics and track progress towards goals.
•Establish and maintain giving history and contact information for each donor.
•Creatively plan and implement special events that may generate funds, friends or public awareness for The Mountain
•Liaison to the Mountain Endowment Fund
•Visit UU congregations and attend local events, connecting The Mountain with the people in the wider community.
•Manage content of The Mountain’s website and social media communications, monitoring website performance and regularly update calendar and content as well as links to partner organizations.
•Coordinate the Mountain Movers volunteer program
•Serve as part of The Mountain’s Leadership Team

Director of Development | March 2015 – present                                             Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA)  email:  |  phone: (207) 239-7162  | website:

Administrative support for LREDA’s Endowment Fund Campaign, currently underway, and working in collaboration with the LREDA Endowment Committee. Responsible for gift processing, tracking and reporting, as well as aspects of donor relations, publicity, and communications about the endowment campaign and legacy gifts program.

Independent Consultant, Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) | March 2013 – Present

Giving Speaks Consulting     website:

  • Consult with congregations and nonprofit organizations in the realms of stewardship and fund-raising, strategic planning and visioning, leadership development, and volunteer management.
  • Strategic visioning and goals process facilitation with boards, committees, and staff teams.
  • Provide guidance in written cases for support, fundraising appeals, capital campaign communications, newsletters and websites.
  • Workshop leader, presenter, and public speaker annual stewardship campaigns and events.
  • Donor cultivation, marketing, and communication, including social media venues

Laurel Amabile is proud and pleased to have served the following organizations on a consulting and/or contract basis:    

  • Murray Grove Retreat & Renewal Center
  • Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council
  • Chalice Oak Foundation
  • International Convocation of UU Women


Development and Communications Manager (Interim) | July 2013 – June 2014
Maine Behavioral Healthcare (formerly Community Counseling Center), Portland, ME

  • Managed the agency’s fundraising and development program through annual appeals, grant-writing, legacy gifts, special events, business sponsors, and individual donor cultivation.
  • Responsible for the agency’s internal and external communications, including marketing, community outreach, and media relations.
  • Collaboration and transition planning with Development and Communication staff and leadership of three partner agencies during the merger and reorganization processes.

Director, Annual Program Fund | July 2005 – May 2013
Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, MA

  • Raised over $6 million annually and over $46 million for the organization’s annual operating budget.  UUA’s Annual Program Fund:
  • On the team that planned and executed a $50 million comprehensive campaign.
  • Directed, trained, and supported a national team of 20 volunteers for annual solicitation and cultivation program.
  • Created stewardship and fundraising workshops, educational materials, and online resources:
  • Extensive written, oral, and web-based communication and resource development for the purpose of advocating healthy financial development and stewardship practices.

District Executive (Interim) | May 2005 – May 2006
Unitarian Universalist Association, Southeast District, Charlotte, NC

  • Managed district office operation during a period of significant staff transition.
  • Reorganized and developed organizational systems in collaboration with governing board and UUA leaders.
  • Administered ongoing communication with and support of the leaders of 60+ congregations.

Lifespan Program Consultant | July 2000 – May 2005
Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, MA

  • Created and compiled an extensive collection of web-based and print resources for lifespan (multi-generational) education programs, e.g.
  • Provided consultation and conducted a range of programs and workshops for congregations.

Director of Religious Education | August 1994 – June 2000
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, NC

  • Directed the educational program for over 200 children and youth, birth through young adult.
  • Managed a team of over 60 volunteers to conduct program offerings and special events.

Specialized Training and Professional Development

California Coast University—B. S. Psychology (candidate) | May 2015
Opportunity Alliance

  • Certificate Program in Transformative Mediation | Sept 2014

 University of Southern Maine Professional Development Programs

  • Certificate Program for Fundraising                             May 2013
  • Certificate Program for Grant Writing                           July 2013
  • Associate Degree, Therapeutic Recreation                 May 1978

Association of Fundraising Professionals, Northern New England Chapter

  • Planned Giving Academy                                             May 2012
  • Volunteer Engagement Academy                                 November 2013
  • Metrics, Management and Major Gifts                          May 2014

The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, The Fund Raising School

  • Developing Annual Sustainability                                 Sept 2011
  • Creating Congregational Cultures of Generosity         May 2011
  • Faith and Fundraising (core fundraising)                      May 2009

Professional Affiliations

  • Association of Fundraising Professionals                                             2011 – present
  • Ecumenical Stewardship Center—UUA Representative                          2006—2013
  • Liberal Religious Educators’ Association                                              1993 – present

Other Experience

  • Recreational Therapist working in nursing homes, a hospital skilled nursing unit, and schools.
  • Volunteer mentor for children, teen youth, young adult immigrants.
  • Volunteer mediator

Laurel’s Social Networking Contact Information:

Facebook: Laurel Amabile           Twitter: Giving Speaks           Website:
LinkedIn: Laurel Amabile (CFRE)

Other Experience
• Consultation and strategic visioning facilitation with organizational leaders.                • Recreational Therapist working in nursing homes, a hospital skilled nursing unit, elementary and middle schools.                                                                                                                   • Volunteer mentor and tutor for NC Department of Human Services, Asheville Big Brothers Big Sisters, Asheville City Schools, and Catholic Charities of Maine.                           • Self-employed knitwear designer and production business.

Amabile, Laurel. Giving: the sacred art, A Unitarian Universalist Study Guide for Small Groups. May 2011. For use with Giving: the sacred art by Lauren Tyler Wright, Sky Light Paths Publishing. Online:

Hoertdoerfer, Patricia and Muir, Fredric, Editors. Safe Congregation Handbook: Nurturing Healthy Boundaries in our Faith Communities. 2005. Unitarian Universalist Association. Online version:

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