Alicia M. Lifrak, CFRE Announced as Gabriel Group’s Executive Vice President

Gabriel Group is proud to name Alicia M. Lifrak, CFRE as its Executive Vice President.

Alicia makes her way to Gabriel Group from Washington University in St. Louis where she served as the Senior Director, Regional Eliot Society Programs and Leadership Annual Giving. There, she was responsible for the recruitment and retention of a record-breaking 10,685 Eliot Society members and achieving $31.8M in annual fund support. She also specialized in developing volunteer leadership and market strategies for 22 target regions outside of St. Louis, created collaborative fundraising efforts for all schools and programs and led a multiyear giving initiative to sustain annual giving donations. Prior to her time at Washington University, Alicia served as the Chief Executive Officer at the Lewis & Clark Council, Boy Scouts of America from 2009-2016 and has provided consulting services to nonprofit and academic clients since 2003 to generate fundraising success, operational growth and increase organizational capacity.

“With Alicia now overseeing our entire fundraising team, we couldn’t be more confident that Gabriel Group will soon be seen as a full-service powerhouse to nonprofits everywhere,” CEO Dave Hawkins says.

“Her experience in the nonprofit sector – as CEO no less – will give us the perfect perspective in regards to exactly how we need to serve our current and future clients. Her work at Washington University also proves her practical knowledge of and within the direct marketing world which will benefit us greatly as we look to continue expanding our capabilities and market offerings.”

Alicia graduated cum laude from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts. She also completed the Senior Leadership Development Program at the Naveen Jindal School of Management, University of Texas at Dallas and the Culture of Philanthropy CEO Seminar at Washington University, Brown School of Social Work. Alicia has been engaged in numerous volunteer leadership roles and as a volunteer including Rotary International, Southwest Illinois Leadership Council, the Meridian Society, SIUE, the Women’s Society of Washington University and her local Parent Teacher Organization. When she’s not in the office, she enjoys traveling, live music and spending time with her four children.

Ready for some scary good tips and tricks?

‘Tis the season for ghosts, ghouls and the Gabriel Group fall newsletter!

Check out our latest edition of The Messenger here for information on an amazing multichannel opportunity for your nonprofit, insight into how to keep your monthly donors happy, growing and giving and more.

And if you’re already getting spooked at the thought of planning for next year, reach out to us today before it’s too late! Email Anna at or give her a call by dialing 314.732.5796. Now is your chance to avoid digging your own grave in 2019 …

Good news travels even faster …

… especially when it comes to Gabriel Group!

Our nonprofit summer newsletter is now available online – and with some particularly exciting news to share.

As already mentioned on the blog, Membership Consultants has now joined our team! What this means is expanded, specialized capabilities when it comes to everything membership marketing and more for nonprofits. From digital marketing to on-site sales campaigns, our new team members are ready to help our clients exceed goals and make an impact like never before.

For more information about this extraordinary addition and more of our latest developments as one big happy company, check out our latest edition of The Messenger here.



Gabriel Group and Membership Consultants Join Forces

As of June 18, 2018, Gabriel Group and Membership Consultants, a fellow St. Louis-based fundraising firm, have officially joined forces through a mutual acquisition agreement. The merger comes as an exciting one as it adds greater depth in expertise and focus to the clients of both companies.

As an organization, Membership Consultants provides program strategy and planning services to membership organizations including museum, zoo, aquarium and visitation-based nonprofits and associations around the world. They also specialize in direct mail, digital marketing, telemarketing and on-site sales campaigns. These services will now be combined with Gabriel Group’s areas of expertise, which include full-service campaign development, planned giving lead generation and in-depth data analysis. As a whole, both Gabriel Group and Membership Consultants will greatly benefit by the collective services the pair will now offer together to their nonprofit partners.

“Having the Membership Consultants team on board is going to be amazing for Gabriel Group as a company. Adding their extensive knowledge of membership marketing and management to our existing suite of fundraising services will help so many organizations and their missions. Our company cultures and our collective focus on quality fundraising services are a perfect match. We are very much looking forward to experiencing the many positive outcomes, both internal and external, this will have on our future together,” said President Charlie Pitlyk.

Dana Hines, Vice President of Membership Marketing, added, “We couldn’t be more excited to be teaming up with Gabriel Group. Moving forward, we will be able to provide expanded direct mail capacity as well as a greater depth in staffing resources and client services to our current and future clients. This move is a smart one due to the fact that gaps that were previously left open are now filled on both sides. We can’t wait to begin working with our new team members at Gabriel Group and start making a difference together as a united front.”

Membership Consultants Client Sampling:

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Zoo New England

Desert Botanical Garden


Louvre Abu Dhabi

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

The Henry Ford Museum of Innovation

History Colorado

Frost Museum of Science

Space Center Houston

Saint Louis Art Museum

Lynn Connors Joins Gabriel Group as Director of Business Development

Gabriel Group is pleased to announce the addition of Lynn Connors as Director of Business Development.

Lynn joins the company’s gaming team after a successful career in casino management. Before coming to Gabriel Group, Lynn served as the Executive Casino Host at Casino Queen in East St. Louis for five years, where she developed customer relationships through new promotions to enhance engagement as well as coordinated player loyalty events. Prior to Casino Queen, Lynn worked at both River City Casino and Lumiere Place Casino as the Casino Host at each casino through their parent company, Pinnacle Entertainment. In addition, she also held the position of Senior Account Manager at SCA Promotions, where she partnered with casino executives to bring promotions to their player’s clubs.

CEO Dave Hawkins states, “Lynn’s experience and knowledge of the gaming industry will bring such a boost to Gabriel Group and our clients.

“Anytime we can add someone to our team who comes with direct insight into the organizations we aim to partner with is only going to benefit us as a company. Lynn brings with her years of expertise within the casino market and we couldn’t be more thrilled to now have her onboard. Her knack for building strong relationships and implementing successful player engagement strategies is going to help so many of our client partners, and we can’t wait to see what she can do.”

Lynn attended both Southern Illinois University – Carbondale and the University of Missouri, where she competed on the diving team at each. When she isn’t in the office, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, Carli, and twin sons, John and James. Lynn also enjoys playing tennis, pickleball, golf and boating.

Gabriel Group Announces Janet Leigh as Director of Business Development

Gabriel Group is proud to name Janet Leigh as its Director of Business Development.

Janet comes from the St. Louis Region Missouri Chamber of Commerce where she focused on building relationships with local corporate business leaders and CEOs to increase and retain membership. She has also worked as the Director of Development & Special Events for Nurses for Newborns. There, Janet specialized in increasing donors, executing direct mail and digital fundraising campaigns and overseeing all charity events. In addition, Janet also held multiple sales management and business development positions at Carson-Dellosa Publishing early in her career.

“We are very excited for Janet to hit the ground running with us at Gabriel Group,” CEO Dave Hawkins says.

“Janet is not only personable and ambitious, but she has the combined knowledge and experience of both the corporate and nonprofit sides of our business which I’m not sure we’ve had before. She is a truly great fit for us at GG and I have no doubt that she will be able to make a difference for both us and our clients as we continue to build relationships in the future.”

Janet graduated from St. Louis University where she played volleyball as a collegiate athlete. In 2011, she was inducted into the St. Louis University Athletic Hall of Fame for her accomplishments. When she isn’t in the office, Janet enjoys playing golf and tennis as well as spending time with her husband and two daughters.

Rolling It Out: Babies Join Workforce at Gabriel Group

Chief Baby Officer, Ava Grace Wuertz, settling in for a hard day of work

Incidentally, it started out as a joke. “Babies at work – wouldn’t that be fun!?”

But with the ever-changing landscape of what real work-life balance truly looks like and the idea of a progressive, supportive culture always being top of mind, GG leadership decided to take a chance.

Fast forward to January of 2018, and the Gabriel Group Bring Your Baby to Work program was officially implemented company-wide.

For office associates, the concept is pretty simple: bring your baby to work until he or she turns six months old or starts to crawl (runaway infants aren’t quite on the agenda, after all). For production associates who aren’t able to bring their babies to work due to safety issues, each is offered a weekly stipend to be used towards childcare for the first six months of the child’s life.

With plenty of guidelines in place to ensure a positive experience for all, including alternative care providers, quiet spaces and plenty of open communication, the program has been met with raving reviews from new parents and co-workers alike.

“I feel so fortunate to work for a company that is supportive of me being a working mother. Being able to bring my daughter to the office with me has made the transition back to work as smooth as I can imagine the process possibly being. I have the best of both worlds; I get to come to work at a company I love, doing work I enjoy, without sacrificing precious time with my sweet baby girl.”

Kelsey Wuertz – Marketing Communications Manager

“The Bring Your Baby to Work program at Gabriel Group has been great. So far, both the mothers and babies have been very respectful of the business environment and things have run very smoothly, even with such unconventional circumstances. As a seasoned grandfather, it makes me smile every day.”

Tim Nowell – Senior Manager, Print and Estimating

“The Bring Your Baby to Work program is consistent with the core values of Gabriel Group, and as such, a very logical step for the company. We pride ourselves on providing our associates a work environment that will allow them personal and professional growth as well as a healthy work-life balance. I was skeptical at first, but it has proved to be a fun experience for everyone – especially the new mothers. We are excited about the future of the program and the hope to make sure we have a positive impact for our associates as they grow their families.”

Charlie Pitlyk – President

Still no word from Baby Ava, our pilot participant, regarding her thoughts on the matter. But the frequent smiles and growing list of new friends do in fact seem promising. Stay tuned for updates as the program and babies continue to develop …

Interested in learning more about our latest cultural initiative? Contact Anna McNulty at 314.743.5796 or and make sure to check out our blog post here to read on about everything else we’re doing as an outstanding place to work!

Informed Delivery: What You Need To Know and How to Take Advantage

In case you haven’t heard yet, the United States Postal Service has recently rolled out a new opportunity to mail recipients across the country – a sneak peek of what’s in your mailbox called Informed Delivery. Informed Delivery sends those who enroll in the program daily emails that contain scanned images of pieces that are scheduled to arrive soon. In addition, Informed Delivery gives participants access to a personalized dashboard where they can view previous days’ mail, track USPS packages and even request redeliveries. Now, at the surface, it might just seem like a small digital upgrade of the same old system that has been around for centuries.  But in reality, Informed Delivery offers organizations that rely on direct mail for revenue an entirely different avenue to pursue when it comes to direct marketing.

One of the biggest advantages of Informed Delivery is that it provides an additional touchpoint to your target audience at absolutely zero cost to them or to you.  With an average open rate of 70% and widespread eligibility to nearly every ZIP code in the country, the ability to reach your donors, customers or prospects has never been easier.

What you may not be aware of is that this gives the individuals receiving your mail piece access to a landing page of your choosing when you create a digital interactive campaign through the USPS Informed Delivery platform.  Instead of a black and white scan of your original mail piece, you can create a full color replacement image that will integrate into the Informed Delivery email template and lead recipients to a call to action of your choosing.  Informed Delivery even provides data and reporting so each campaign comes with its very own set of results and key metrics (number of subscribers, email opens, click-through rates, etc.)

With a service like this readily available to you and your organization right this very moment, if you’re not actively taking advantage, you’re missing out.  Contact us for help in getting started on integrating your direct mail into a multi-channel Informed Delivery campaign today.

Charitable Gift Annuity Rates Going Up — Finally!

It’s been six years since the American Council on Gift Annuities raised the recommended rates payable on charitable gift annuities (CGAs), but the wait is over, and the association will formally publish new, higher rates on May 15. The new rates will take effect July 1, 2018.

The council said the new rates would be .30% to .50% higher, with the largest increases applying to ages when donors typically sign up for annuities.

This is good news for organizations offering gift annuities and good news for their donors. Gabriel Group is prepared to help its nonprofit clients take full advantage of this welcome opportunity to increase the number and size of charitable annuity contracts.

For more information, please contact Renee Durnin at Gabriel Group at 314.743.5713 or And stay tuned — we’ll pass the complete new rate schedule along when it’s announced.

What do middle children and great fundraising results have in common?

They’re both a part of our spring newsletter!

Gabriel Group’s latest publication of The Messenger is out and ready for you to view here.

This time around, we’re covering stewardship of mid-level donors, GG’s fundraising history and one of our latest successful partnerships – a new relationship with YMCAs across the country.

Interested in learning more? Make sure and contact our Vice President of Fundraising Services, Dino Megaloudis, at 919.619.1266 or to find out how Gabriel Group can help your nonprofit thrive.