Mary Barden

Mary Barden

Director of Philanthropy

Undergraduate Library Suite #2529


Mary Barden


Mary Barden has been working in fundraising/nonprofit administration for 25+ years. She started her career at University of Detroit Mercy’s law school as Assistant Dean for Career Services and Alumni Relations. She then went on to run several small nonprofit organizations, provided development expertise to two foundations and then worked as Director of Major Gifts at U of D Jesuit High School & Academy for seven years. Most recently, Mary has become Director of Philanthropy for the College of Education and the Irvin D. Reid Honors College at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

Mary was a member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Detroit Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) from 2009 – 2015 and served as its president for two years. While president, the Chapter won their Member Chapter Grouping category for highest member growth at 24%. The Greater Detroit Chapter also increased sponsorship by 52% the same year. Mary is still active in AFP as serves on the Committee on Directorship and the National Philanthropy Day Selection Committee. Mary’s spends much of her volunteer time these days on informal and formal mentoring activies with early career fundraising professionals.

Mary received her B.S. degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University and her Juris Doctor from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. She also completed extensive fund raising training at Indiana University’s Fund Raising School and via the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). She is a frequent presenter on major gift fund raising and the board of director’s role in fundraising. She has been a member of the State Bar of Michigan since 1983. Mary is a former member of the Advisory Board of Sweet Dreamzzz Detroit and the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Foundation.

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