Sara Stern

Executive Vice President, Philanthropic Marketing


Sara Stern leads Philanthropic Marketing at Lipman Hearne where she brings to clients an insider’s understanding of nonprofits’ issues and imperatives, honed from years of managing the complex demands, techniques, and tactics of large-scale integrated marketing and branding programs at Rush University Medical Center, the Alzheimer’s Association, Illinois Institute of Technology, and clients of Burson-Marsteller.

Sara serves such clients as Brown University; the Chicago Community Trust; the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Colorado Children’s Hospital; Mayo Foundation; and the University of Arizona Foundation, among others. As well, she has served as account director on a range of other client engagements—from creative services to brand marketing to web redevelopment—for the Crown Family Philanthropies; the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University; John Jay College of Criminal Justice; the University of the Arts in Philadelphia; and Whitman College.

Sara came to Lipman Hearne from Rush University Medical Center where she was associate vice president for marketing communications. She led the institution’s consumer marketing including branding, advertising, public relations, employee communications, and web strategies. She and the strategic planning and marketing team repositioned the institution and launched Rush’s first major integrated marketing and advertising campaign that generated more than $20 million in new patient charges, tripled calls to its physician referral center, and increased queries to the website more than fivefold.

Prior to Rush, Sara was vice president for communications at the National Alzheimer’s Association, where she led co-marketing efforts with the pharmaceutical industry, created public education campaigns, and developed a transactional website. She was head of public relations and marketing at Illinois Institute of Technology prior to her position at the Association. She started her career at Burson-Marsteller and Ruder & Finn in Chicago and New York.

Sara has lectured on integrated marketing communications for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Academic Impressions, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and Development Dialogues. Sara received her A.B. in government from Smith College.