Carisa Heiss Joins Advancement Team as Hallmark Prepares for New Growth
Ready to help Hallmark University in its journey to reach a new level in the higher education community, Carisa Heiss has joined the Advancement team as the new Director of Donor Relations. Carisa’s passion for nonprofit fundraising spans more than two decades, building relationships and helping nonprofits connect with donors who believe in their mission.
“I’m a mission-driven person, so finding an organization like Hallmark University with a mission I believe in and can see in action is important to me,” shares Carisa Heiss, Director of Donor Relations. “Our students made the decision to pursue their education, and that will affect them for the rest of their lives. It is important to me that we provide all the resources we can to help them pursue their education and make such a significant commitment.”
Born and raised in San Antonio, Carisa launched her career in Washington, D.C., researching for CNN’s Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider and one of the nation’s leading think tanks, The American Enterprise Institute. Returning to San Antonio four years later, Carisa worked for Junior Achievement, then the Jewish Community Center where she would spend sixteen years. In 2005 and 2009, San Antonio hosted the JCC Maccabi Games, an international Olympics-style event.
“I served as the Games Director for both events, watching hundreds of Jewish teens from around the world compete in the event. It was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but it was always an emotional moment to see the opening ceremonies. Getting to see the fruits of your labor and watch everything fall into place were huge moments for me.”
Carisa moved on to work for several nonprofits in the San Antonio community, connecting them with donors that would support their mission. Before joining Hallmark University, Carisa helped raise eight and a half million dollars for Rise Recovery moments before the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Securing the funds for Rise Recovery is another big moment for me. Families have to send their kids all over Texas to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars because San Antonio doesn’t have a youth treatment center. Now Rise Recovery can build a campus to provide free programming services for families.”
Carisa is the latest member to join the Hallmark family, working with Vice President of Advancement Marion Lee on strengthening the core team within Hallmark University as it prepares for new growth and interest in the community.