Ellen Christman, Director, Engagement and Philanthropy, SHRM Foundation | Speaker

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Director, Engagement and Philanthropy
SHRM Foundation
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Christman serves as the head of Engagement and Philanthropy for the Society of Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Foundation.  In this capacity, she raises funds and visibility for the 501c (3) philanthropic arm of the world’s largest HR professional society.  The SHRM Foundation is mobilizing the power of HR for social change. Its robust programming and resources, meaningful partnerships, and evidenced-based research are educating and empowering HR professionals to hire diverse talent, build inclusive workplaces, and help employees find purpose at work and beyond.

For almost a decade, Christman provided strategic counsel to MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership – co-founded by philanthropists Ray Chambers and Geoff Boisi. In that capacity, Christman helped start and raised funding for their MENTOR Illinois partnership; she also worked with a team to create MENTOR’s first National Mentoring Summit with the former First Lady of the United States as keynote speaker; and designed messaging, materials and overall branding opportunities for the national organization.  

Christman helped lead the New York City based HELP USA’s foundation’s marketing, communications and revenue development activities.  HELP USA is a $120 million national nonprofit organization that provides housing and supportive services for the homeless.  Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York founded this non-profit organization.  Christman has also helped national organizations serving America’s veterans, ensuring Congressional leaders, The White House and other DC influencers are aware of these veteran’s services and corporate, foundation and individual donors are supporting veterans.

Christman also led corporate communications and industry relations divisions for the National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation in Chicago, IL, securing more than $15 million, including funds from two federal grants; managed programming and marketing for The Coca-Cola Company’s recruitment and retention program; handled relations with national sponsors, including American Express, Ecolab, Sodexho, the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation and H.J. Heinz; and developed strategic marketing and communications for the school-to-career program, establishing it in 30 states.

Christman began her career at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide in Washington, DC, helping create and implement a national marketing and communications strategy for the U.S. Department of Labor’s $400 million school-to-career program. Christman was also in charge of the DC-based Taste of the Nation event with Share our Strength.  Additional clients included Pfizer, Glaxo Wellcome, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Education.

Christman’s volunteer activities include being a board and active committee member for the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills; the Clarence Dillon Public Library; and Far Hills Country Day School.  She is a member of MENTOR IL’s Advisory Council and has been on the associate boards of the Boys & Girls Club, Chicago; Big Shoulders Fund, Chicago; and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

She is also a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals; NY Women in Communications; and the American Society of Association Executives.  She graduated from Boston College.