Laura Loughridge Richardson is a 19-year veteran of the very competitive world of philanthropy. She has served at the executive level for organizations such as the American Heart Association, Cranbrook Educational Community, American Red Cross, The March of Dimes and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She has successfully led and supported all aspects of financial development, from grass-roots fundraising to multimillion dollar campaigns, and has developed a personal philosophy of philanthropy: “Motivations for giving are as diverse as the people who give. Listen to your donor.”
During her tenure at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Laura led a state-wide staff of 27 to exceed a fundraising goal of $4 million and stewarded more than $18 million in research, therapy and patient aid grants throughout the state. And, thanks to a partnership with the Michigan Dental Association, she helped to increase the Bone Marrow registry significantly.
Laura also contributed to the success of The March of Dimes by exceeding the organization’s fundraising goal by 65 percent while cutting expenses by 20 percent. This accomplishment was recognized by the national March of Dimes organization with the Chapter of the Year in Revenue Development award. Thanks to Laura’s leadership, the team also earned the Mission Triangle award in recognition of its revenue, volunteer development, program, communications, public affairs, and staff diversity achievements.
In her role at the American Red Cross, Laura restructured an entire department creating seven new revenue-generating programs and improved three inherited programs while cutting costs by 35 percent. She also created and implemented a department-wide strategic plan which included a 3-year campaign, a 15-year campaign and individual business plans per revenue generating unit.
Laura moved to Michigan in 2005 and has since become a staple in the community. She annually volunteers to walk in the America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a member of the Big Head Corps. She sits on the President’s Advisory Council at Wayne State University and is a Leadership Detroit Graduate, Class of XXXI. In 2012, Laura represented The March of Dimes on two episodes of the Discovery Channel’s “American Chopper.” In 2012 and 2013, she served as Charity Preview CoChair for the North American International Auto Show. She is a “40 Under 40” awardee, one of Florine Mark’s “Most Remarkable Women of Michigan,” and a DBusiness “Woman to Watch” nominee.
Laura’s passion lies in family, geography, theology, meditation, philanthropy and yoga. Her immense desire to understand foreign culture led her to resign her job at the American Heart Association in 2003. She packed a 50pound backpack and trekked around the world for two years. She purposefully spent time working and living in developing countries. In Brazil, she lived on a small island and taught yoga, kayaking, rock climbing and surfing. Later she lived in a Hare Krishna ashram, studied with the Dalai Lama in Northern India and survived the Tsunami in Thailand. Along the way, she volunteered at several non-profit organizations as well as founded an orphanage in Tanzania (after climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro).
Laura is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and earned certificates from The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her two sons and dog.