Tara Jones, Ph.D., CFRE
Tara Jones serves Alexander Haas as an Associate Partner, bringing with her nearly 20 years of experience in higher education advancement. In addition to her work at Alexander Haas, she serves as a connector for university fundable initiatives at Auburn University, where she works with various programs to develop and execute plans to raise capital for new initiatives.
For over six years Tara was one of the two Associate Vice Presidents for Constituent Development at Auburn University where her role included motivating and encouraging major gifts officers while also providing them with the tools and information to help them succeed. As part of this executive leadership team, Tara developed comprehensive strategies for constituent units while implementing new fundraising activities and processes to support institutional goals. Tara has a demonstrated track record of success in developing and executing fundraising plans, campaign strategies, prospect management and research, portfolio management, corporate and foundation relations, donor relations, staff professional development and volunteer training. Tara firmly believes in utilizing data to develop intentional approaches related to prospect identification, donor engagement and solicitation strategies.
Tara also served as the Director of Advancement for the Harbert College of Business at Auburn University. During the successful $1 billion Because This is Auburn campaign, Tara and her team secured a $40 million transformational gift that resulted in the college’s renaming, and she led efforts that tripled the college’s endowment in just nine years. As the Director of Development for the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction, she directed the capital fundraising campaign that resulted in a new academic facility and led development efforts for the college’s 100th-anniversary celebration.
Tara has a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and has earned her CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) designation. During her Ph.D. studies, she conducted research exploring how excellent undergraduate teachers influence fundraisers long after they leave the classroom.
Tara and her husband, A.J., enjoy traveling, watching Academy Award-nominated movies, and keeping up with many college and professional sports. In her free time, Tara volunteers as a sorority advisor and enjoys swimming and attending spin class.