29 M.P.A. Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations – The Jackie Robinson Foundation Inc., New York City
At just 29, Sandra L. Richards is director of corporate and foundation relations at The Jackie Robinson Foundation Inc. She is the primary strategist for the organization’s fund-raising and public relations plan, providing counsel and direction to the president and CEO, vice president, and board of directors in identifying potential corporations, foundations and individuals likely to support the Foundation. She works with key corporate sponsors to leverage charitable donations by developing a plan to enhance diversity initiatives and strategic recruitment of talented minority candidates.
Richards has enjoyed many successes since joining the foundation in 2002. She negotiated a media relationship with Diversity Inc. that resulted in an annual in-kind contribution of $125,000 for the Foundation, and partnered with the National Black United Federation of Charities to launch a fund-raising campaign that secures $60,000 annually. Richards also established a national media partnership with the Ford Motor Co. Fund for Major League Baseball’s inaugural Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, 2004, and directed the creation of the “Jackie Robinson: A Living Legacy” exhibit, a traveling showcase for national conventions and special events.
Richards holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in public administration from Seton Hall University. She previously was director of resource development for the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children and has tenure with North Star Management and Consulting, Our Children Foundation of New Jersey, The Visual Arts for Children and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. (North Jersey Alumnae Chapter), the Association of Fundraising Professionals, National Association of Female Executives and New York Urban League Young Professionals.
Richards credits her parents with providing her with the tools to be successful. Her father’s untimely death while she was in high school was “extremely traumatic,” she says, but it probably inspired her to excel and accomplish everything her parents wanted for her. Also inspired by Jackie Robinson’s determination and tenacity, she would support programs that focus on education, self-esteem and poverty if she had the opportunity, she says.