Meet the Team: Philanthropic Services

CFSA’s staff is made up of an extraordinary group of people who strive to put our core purpose and values into action through their individual and collective work. We are excited to share a bit more about the members of each department, including the Philanthropic Services Team!

As Senior Director of Philanthropic Services, Tamara McKinney oversees CFSA’s donor services and development activities, as well as all marketing and communications.

A Tucson native, Tamara has more than 20 years of experience in both nonprofit and for-profit communications, operations, evaluation, and fund development.  Prior to joining CFSA, she was the executive director of a local nonprofit focused on health and food insecurity.  Tamara received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and her MBA from the University of Illinois.

When asked about her favorite part of working at CFSA, she replied, “Spending time with my amazing co-workers and being part of a team that is completely dedicated to supporting our community’s critical nonprofits and the generous donors we work with each day.”

Tamara Fun Facts:

  • In her spare time, Tamara likes to spend time with her husband and their two daughters. During COVID, they’ve rediscovered the joy of puzzles and are currently working on a challenging specimen with 2,000 pieces. She is also an avid reader and loves to play with plants in the dirt. She is always excited to discover a new mystery author or an excellent pollinator plant to keep her bees happy.
  • Her favorite food is a vegetarian lasagna that she makes with roasted red peppers, goat cheese, and lots of garlic.
  • It’s impossible for her to pick a favorite musical artist because she loves so many kinds of music. Her favorites range from Nina Simone to Brandi Carlile, English Beat to Eva Cassidy, Prince to Adele, and so many more.

Mary Louise, Senior Director of Gift Planning at CFSA, has almost 30 years of experience working with donors to facilitate their wishes for philanthropic giving.  While at AARP in Washington, DC  she was involved in grant administration for colleges and universities, and was seen as the expert in elder care and caregiving issues.  In Tucson, she first served as executive director of the local Alzheimer’s Associations, winning three major first place national awards.  At Carondelet Foundation for 18 years, and now at CFSA, her focus has been on planned giving.  She was the 2002 recipient of the Outstanding Fundraising Executive award from AFP.

Mary Louise Luna’s journey took her from Texas to Washington, D.C. before making her way to Tucson in 1991 and entering the world of philanthropy. She remains passionate about opening doors for donors to help them fulfill their philanthropic wishes; for her, it’s about relationships and trust.  Mary Louise knows no two people are alike, and the motivations and options available to philanthropists reflect that same diversity. She almost switched gears in graduate school and considered entering the restaurant industry with Tex-Mex/Polish/French fusion, but finished her Master’s degree instead.

When asked what her favorite part of working at CFSA is Mary Louise responded, “Sometimes donors pose some challenging ways they approach their philanthropic wishes.  It may take several discussions to turn those challenges into goals that fulfill their philanthropic wishes.”

Mary Louise Fun Facts:

  • In her spare time, Mary Louise likes to read mysteries, watch history documentaries, gardening, and studying Spanish.
  • Her favorite food is beef wellington.
  • Mary Louise’s favorite music artist is Frank Sinatra.

Megan Litwicki, a Tucson native, joined the CFSA team in August 2020 and serves as the Communications Manager. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA degree in Film + Television and a MS degree in Marketing Management. After previously working in local tourism and film, Megan is excited to promote the sustainability of Southern Arizona’s nonprofit community through her marketing and communications work at CFSA. In her free time, you will likely find Megan renting too many movies at Casa Video, waiting around for Halloween, or hanging out with her dog Otis and cat Thomas O’Malley.

When asked what she enjoys the most about working at CFSA, Megan replied, “I love the positive environment and seeing the intense commitment each member of the staff has for their work. It’s rewarding to know everyone is dedicated to improving our communities.”

Megan Fun Facts:

  • In her spare time Megan enjoys watching films and discovering new titles, and working on macramé projects. She also likes to spend time with her family, friends, and dog Otis.
  • Megan’s favorite food is mac and cheese, and she loves trying new variations of it.
  • While she loves a wide variety of music genres and artists, Megan’s favorite artist is Tom Waits. Her favorite albums of his are Closing Time and Bone Machine, because they show the immense evolution in his style and sound.

Ariana Watson is the Philanthropic Services Administrative Assistant at CFSA. After spending six years in the garment industry in Los Angeles, Ariana wanted a change not only in her career but also in her community. When the opportunity to move to Tucson and work at CFSA arose, she didn’t hold back. Ariana’s passion for people and helping them in all aspects of life inspired her to join the nonprofit industry.

When asked her favorite part of working at CFSA, Ariana replied, “I love working with the unique and talented individuals there.”

Ariana Fun Facts:

  • In her spare time, Ariana likes to hike and sketch.
  • She loves Mexican food (California-style), and seafood.
  • Her favorite music genre is anything 90’s R & B and rap.