Ashley Pratka, a resident of Houston for 23 years has served as a leader in the non-profit community through her professional career as well as volunteer opportunities. As a fundraising professional, Ashley has developed critical skills in relationship building, specialized campaign management, and strategic planning, just to name a few.
Ashley began her career while still in college working as a liaison to the Brazos Valley United Way, raising funds for The United Way and creating awareness among college students so upon graduation they would have the basic understanding of this organization and contribute through their corporate giving campaigns. For Ashley, her efforts were more considerable. She was introducing young adults to charitable giving and volunteerism.
She continued her passion for fundraising at the Houston Symphony working with volunteers and staff as well as managing the annual fund through mail and telephone campaigns. Ashley then followed another passion – healthcare- where she spent the majority of her career raising much-needed funds for a variety of cancer research funding initiatives.
Ashley’s time at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was invaluable for learning major gift development and the importance of donor relationships as they relate to an organization’s mission. She traveled the nation for over 16 years and during that time she took on increased responsibilities and challenging leadership roles. In 2005, she was selected to manage the institution’s first corporate fundraising effort within its South Campus Research Initiative, which led to the Making Cancer History Campaign – MD Anderson’s first $1 billion comprehensive campaign. Following her success with the corporate campaign, Ashley returned to responsibilities that exposed her to management and executive leadership responsibilities.
For eight years she managed the regional fundraising activity for one of only two major gift fundraising teams. She led a team of 10 major gift and planned giving officers responsible for securing more than $50 million annually in private philanthropy. Additionally, her responsibilities included the strategic planning and management of regional activities that increased awareness for MD Anderson in most of Texas, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and Midland, as well as major markets in the eastern and southern United States. During her tenure at MD Anderson, Ashley personally raised over $130 million by establishing strong relationships with the institution’s donors, foundations, and corporate representatives.
Most recently, Ashley was retained by Houston’s Amazing Place to oversee and manage its Marketing, Development, Volunteer Services, and Community Outreach departments as they prepared for a capital campaign.
Education and Personal Highlights
Ashley graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in public relations and marketing. She is an active community volunteer with various Houston area non-profits and a member of several national fundraising organizations.
She resides in Houston with her husband of 20 years and her two children.