Kristen Schultz Jaarda, JD, LLM

Executive Vice President, Crescendo Interactive

Kristen S. Jaarda is an innovative philanthropy executive, expert fundraiser, accomplished charitable tax attorney, marketing specialist, skilled nonprofit trainer, sought-after speaker and author of numerous publications and national studies in the areas of charitable gift planning and philanthropy.

She has over 18 years of increasing levels of management and leadership experience in philanthropy, business, technology, board development and governance. Kristen has worked with nonprofits of all sizes and from all sectors, including the largest education, healthcare, arts and social service organizations, equipping them to raise millions of dollars in major and planned gifts to support their charitable causes.

As an owner and Executive Vice President of Crescendo Interactive, Kristen is at the forefront of developing technology and marketing services to help charities better reach, motivate and retain their best donors through use of smart analytics and innovative campaigns, web, email, social media and print marketing strategies. Her multifaceted roles at Crescendo include company strategy, business development, product research and development and client services.

Kristen's strategic understanding of charities' needs comes from her daily interactions with fundraisers. Kristen advises nonprofits on planned gifts and major gifts fundraising program development (from getting started to growing an existing program), communications and multichannel marketing strategy, donor cultivation and gift design, stewardship and ongoing donor relations. Kristen also manages a team of client service representatives who work directly with charities to facilitate their fundraising needs.

Kristen is a nationally recognized speaker and regularly conducts trainings for charities and foundations. Her industry leadership roles include Board Member and Executive Committee Member for the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA), Vice President of Research and Rates and Regulations Committee Member for ACGA, Editorial Board Member for Planned Giving Today, Committee Member for the American Bar Association Charitable Planning and Organization's Group, past Legislative Chair and Board Member for the Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners and Leadership Institute Member for the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners.

Previously, Kristen was Counsel to the Assistant Secretary of Education in Washington, D.C. and Oversight Counsel to the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary. Prior to that, she worked in a public affairs and tax-exempt organizations law practice. Kristen graduated from UCLA School of Law where she was a Law Review Editor. She completed her Tax LL.M. with honors at Loyola School of Law. Kristen is a member of the California State Bar, District of Columbia Bar and the Maryland State Bar.