Karla Woods brings fundraising expertise to Central Arizona College’s community ed program

By Guy Harrison, Media & Marketing Specialist

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - Whether they are leaders of non-profit entities or parents of children in a youth organizations, most people at some time in their lives have been asked to help with a fundraising event.

Central Arizona College's Community Education program now offers two classes that help make fundraising event planning easier.

Planning a Fundraising Event Part I and Part II are two one-day courses offered at the college's Superstition Mountain Campus (SMC) in Apache Junction as well as CAC's Corporate Center in Casa Grande.

In the classes, students will learn the fundamentals of effective fundraising for church, club, corporate or non-profit organizations. In addition, attendees will learn how to implement strategic planning techniques to execute a successful fundraising event.

The two classes, taught by Karla Woods, will be held at SMC on Tue., Sept. 20 and Tue., Sept. 27, respectively. At the Corporate Center, the classes will be held on Tue., Sept. 27 and Tue., Oct. 11. Each class at SMC will be held from 5-8 p.m. while the Corporate Center classes will run from 6-9 p.m.

In addition, Woods will be facilitating Event Planning Seminar I at SMC on Tue., Sept. 13 from 5-9 p.m. During the class, students will give participants the tools of the event planning trade to plan and execute high quality events. Students will acquire the skills necessary to plan a wedding, anniversary, or holiday party like a professional.

Tuition for each of these classes is $25.

Woods was born and raised in Memphis, Tenn. While a college student at East Tennessee State University, she became involved in many activities that included producing her own one-hour exercise show and hosting her own music show on WETS-FM radio.

She also co-founded a university-recognized organization called Essence to help young collegiate women with the transition to independent college life. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in mass communications and minor in health education.

Woods started her career in middle Tennessee as a sports writer with Lakeway Publishers, a regional group of newspapers that spanned from Murfreesboro to Knoxville, Tenn. She covered college football, basketball and all high school sports.

Seeing that her writing abilities were limitless, she began writing for the political beat as well as special interest stories.

When an opportunity for Woods to return home to Memphis presented itself, she jumped at the chance. She was offered a position with ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as a marketer and fundraiser.

At ALSAC, the fundraising arm of St. Jude, Woods made great strides in growing an already successful radio marketing program by more than 10 percent each year. She championed a struggling small market radio program by raising participation over 40 percent.

Woods took these stations on and brought many of them up to the caliber of larger stations, planning and coordinating each event. She also was instrumental in developing the multicultural marketing efforts for ALSAC/St. Jude, specifically African-American marketing. One such venture was the fraternity of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Woods and the St. Jude team secured a commitment from the fraternity and they eventually signed on to raise $500,000 for the organization. She supported many other fundraising programs by traveling across the country and assisted regional staff with management of events and sponsorship procurement.

Woods amassed more than 10 years of event planning and marketing prowess with ALSAC/St. Jude.

After resigning her stellar career at ALSAC/St. Jude, Woods began working as an independent event planner in the Memphis area. She specialized in corporate and special events.

Shortly thereafter, she moved to the metro Phoenix area where she continued planning and developing events for national nonprofit Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and event planning agency Katherine Christensen & Associates.

Woods has served as vice-president of the Catholic Charities of the East Valley Advisory Board. The board is responsible for assisting in raising funds, spreading the mission of Catholic Charities, and supporting local community service programs in the East Valley. She also is a published freelance writer.

Currently, Woods is the president of Bona Fide Event Management, LLC, based in Phoenix. She specializes in coordinating corporate events, marketing and consulting.

For more information or to register for this course, please contact Muriel Thomas by phone at 520-494-6616, or by e-mail at muriel.thomas@centralaz.edu. Registration also is available online at www.centralaz.edu, or in person at any of CAC's 10 locations throughout Pinal County.

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814